2013 Club Triathlon Secretary's Report submitted to the AGM

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Mike Orton
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Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:28 pm
Location: Watford

2013 Club Triathlon Secretary's Report submitted to the AGM

Postby Mike Orton » Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:54 am


It has been a busy year for many of the club’s triathletes, with others being less active than in past seasons for a number of reasons but mainly injuries.

It was fantastic for the Club to have 3 representatives at the European Age Group Championships in Alanya, Turkey in June. Scott Dixon and Dan Powell competed in the 40-44 age group and had a battle royal with Dan just holding off Scott to finish 9th overall with Scott 4 seconds behind him in 10th. Mike Dixon competed in the 65-69 age group and was 6th. Apparently they had a great time out there and it was good to see them flying the Hemel Flag at a major championships.
Our club championships were beset with difficulties this year.

The National Club Championships in Emberton in September was also earmarked as our Club Championships, as in the past 2 years. Unfortunately the date clashed with the Worlds in London, which ruled some people out who were volunteering or watching the event. The date was then changed to a week later which meant that we were able to enter a team. However with just a week to go the event was first altered to a duathlon due to blue green algae in the lake, and then subsequently cancelled altogether. With less than a week to go it was not possible to identify an alternative that sufficient people could compete in to make it meaningful so it has been decided to postpone the 2013 Club Championships to one of the early Bedford Sprint series in 2014. At the time of writing the 2014 events do not appear on the Gale Force events website but as soon as they are announced an event can be identified.

The Most Improved Triathlete event was the Bedford Sprint on June 16th. Ian Huntingford was the only competitor from the club, so whilst he could technically claim the title, he has graciously agreed that it should be awarded to someone else on a subjective basis. Given some tremendous performances over the season (including several PB’s) the award this year goes to Scott Dixon. Special mention should also be made of Carol Macdonald’s performances. Carol competed in around 10 events over the season including her first middle distance event – the Vitruvian. She achieved PBs in all three disciplines (and an overall PB of 3.01) in the Big Cow Olympic in July which was probably her stand out performance of the year.

The Best Novice Triathlete goes to someone who, although not entirely new to triathlon, has made an enormous impact this season – Verna Burgess. I have literally lost count of the number of events in which she has competed, always performing well and ensuring the club’s name is recognised the length and breadth of the country! Her family have often competed with her too which further raises our profile. Well done Verna.

We had two people (to my knowledge, apologies if there were others) who competed at Ironman distance this year – Graeme Crowston (IM Kalmar, Sweden) and Ben Hurford (Challenge Henley). Unfortunately for both things did not go their way and they had a tough time. They both managed to finish though and in Ben’s case it was a particularly gutsy performance as his knee basically went after the first of 4 laps on the run when he had settled in to a steady 8.15 pace. Just to finish was an achievement. Graham had the consolation of winning his age group and coming 4th overall in the inaugural Bedford Middle Distance in May, and posting a 3.08 in the London Marathon. Next season he should be in great shape for a good Ironman performance if he goes long again. Dan Powell has already entered Ironman Austria and Mike Orton has entered Ironman UK so we will have some representation over the longer distance once again.

There have been many other fine performances over the season so apologies to those I have been unable to mention in this brief report. However I should like to mention one event which saw a great turnout for the club including a number of prizes. At St. Neots in September we had 7 people competing; in the Sprint event Dan Powell was 2nd in his age group, Mike Dixon won his age group, and Carol MacDonald improved her time over last year by 13 minutes. In the Olympic Scott Dixon was 4th in his age group, and Felix Langley and Sandra Mogan also competed. Great day for the club and hopefully we can have a few more like that next season.

There have been some views expressed about the Club awards of Most Improved Triathlete and Best Novice Triathlete, and I have invited members to let me have their thoughts. For the Most Improved various complex formulae have been suggested, each with some merit but the difficulty is choosing one. On balance I would like to suggest that we make this one of the subjective awards (together with the Best Novice) and that these awards are determined by a vote of club members from the triathlon section, to be coordinated by the Club Secretary in the run up to the AGM. This seems to me to be the fairest and most democratic was to decide these awards, whilst the Male and Female Club Champion can continue to be decided by results at a designated event.

Finally, as most of you know my working commitments mean that I have not been able to play as active a part in the club as I think the Triathlon Secretary should, so I have decided to stand down. I am pleased to say that Ben Hurford has agreed to pick up the reins for the next year, and I am sure you will want to join me in wishing him all the best and giving him your support.

Mike Orton
October 2013

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