2023 has been a fantastic year for club members racing as age groupers in Team GB. Our established competitors alongside at least two Tuffs stepping up to the European and World stage for the first time. There has been a discussion within Tuff Fitty about what is required to make an age group team and your club, led by Mark Walford will be preparing something on this in the next few weeks. There is a requirement to be a member of British Triathlon Federation to race age group and be eligible for prizes at BTF Championships. A post is to be raised shortly about the revisions to the BTF membership scheme and it’s day licence. Ahead of these initiatives, the calendar for 2024 is now published here
Why has the above paragraph been raised? Well read on, as we have a brilliant race report from James Togneri. Not only did James produce a fantastic race result, having qualified to race the World’s, James’s write up nicely encapsulates his thoughts on his experience. We are very proud of what James has achieved and we congratulate him from us all:-
WORLD TRIATHLON AQUABIKE CHAMPIONSHIPS – PONTEVEDRA – SPAIN
transition – courtesy world triathlon
“I qualified for this event at Bournemouth championships in September 2022 . This was my first time trying to qualify which was a success. So that gave me a year to slob around then train for 12 weeks before the event 🙂 . Other than the flights being delayed by 10 hours and sleeping in Gatwick; Wow! what an experience . I was a little nervous as I had no idea how the whole championship process worked.
I met other Team GB athletes and they were incredibly helpful and a great laugh . British Triathlon were amazing with the facebook group you enter so everyone’s questions can be asked, from how to apply the tattoos to race elevation and the weather forecast. So many athletes are in the same position as you, and are very inexperienced even with bike setup and simple procedures, so nothing is deemed a stupid question. A very easy process and a silky smooth running of the event.
With so many people it was the best organised event I’ve ever done . (Other than the Frosty of course) . Watching the pros and other races is just fantastic its worth going just for that. So my Race, 1500m swim 40k bike. We went off in waves, mine was 18 to 39. The start was all jump in the water and hold the pontoon until the horn goes . I sprinted out front to settle into some room . On my side I was out in front , until I looked left and saw a swarm of swimmers flying past who just kept getting further away. Some incredible age groupers ! The swim was just 1 loop . Pretty boring racing as there was a pack in front, me on my own and a pack behind which stayed the same the whole way.
“So ill skip to the bike 40k of 2 loops , 10k up hill 10k downhill . Not my forte but I went to give it my all . The course was mapped out so well you could just concentrate on putting the watts in. I had a great bike leg , taking over at least 10 competitors in front of me, and flying past the U23 and older age groups which was brilliant for the morale. It was a grind the whole way up so staying to a consistent power was key. I don’t have a watt meter so it was all done on feel . Downhill my plan was to make sure I still had legs to pedal. 60% of it you could but it was extremely fast and windy so the gears ran out and tucking up and freewheeling was the only option. I hit 45.5mph or 73km/h which was great fun. I didn’t see anyone from my age group so the positions were set right from the swim. I had no idea how I had done as was nervous I had done crap”.
“You have no idea of the abilities of the other athletes from all over the world. I was pleased to find out I came 4th in my age group but also a bit gutted I just missed the podium. Then a cherry on top , I was third Brit home and in the top 10 so I pre-qualified for World championships in Malaga 2024. I’ve also qualified for the Europeans 2024. Coming from someone who had no idea how to apply or what it was in 2022, I do urge people to have a go. It really is for all abilities; there were guys 10 minutes ahead of me and guys 20 minutes behind.