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European Triathlon Multisport Championships – Portugal

Tuff Fitty were honoured to have three of our athletes in Portugal for the European Triathlon Multisport Championships held in Coimbra. Starting from Sunday 16th June with Duathlon (Sprint and Standard) then Cross Triathlon & Cross Duathlon during the week. But our attention turned to Friday 21st for the European Aquathlon Championships where Carey Woods, Maisie Johnston & Katie Young were in action. The following day Middle distance for both Aquabike and Triathlon completed a full week of race action.

The Aquathlon comprised a 1,000m swim and then a 5k run. Whilst registration was from 8:45am, the racing started at 11am with the men first into the water. Then there were five waves of the ladies age groupers with our illustrious trio off at 11:27 and 11:30.

Maisie with ‘clear air’ on the final sprint

‘On a wonderfully overcast and grey morning I headed off to the race start at the Aquathlon Euro Camps, Multi Event, Portugal.

Temps here have been up in the 30’s C so a massive relief that the sun decided not to come out race morning.

However, water temp fluctuated between a wet suit/non wet suit decision, that of course, kept all athletes on tender hooks till the last minute. Would it be a run swim run….or a swim run?!

Wetsuits required after all, swim run it is. 

The swim start was on the opposite side of the Mondego River and the transition area, a 1km swim under the bridges followed by a 2 lap 5k run.

So at the start, with the lovely Carey, discussing tactics and positions on the pontoon, and our fellow tuff, Katie, in the wave after us.

We’re called onto the pontoon and into the water for an in-water start…..

Cue mad heavy metal music and ‘heart beat drum roll’……horn blasts and we’re off! 

After a busy crowded start I found myself in my own water, bad for drafting and finding some faster toes, good for not getting pummelled and gulping down a load of river water in the chop.

Out the swim in 7th, in one piece and happy with that.  Tore through transition as fast as my jelly legs would carry me and out on the run.  Got overtaken by 2 ladies in my age group on the first lap, which is disappointing, but managing to hold on for the second lap, so a 9th for me.  Over all very happy, another top 10 finish and grateful to still be racing for Team GB.

An amazing event with plenty crowds and spectators, and wonderful to share the experience with Carey and Katie.

Massive congrats to both. Carey’s GB debut and Katie for her incredible podium finish.

Well done ladies, we are ‘Tuff’ indeed!

Carey on her Team GB debut

‘So I was super excited to go get into Team GB last November, for  my first race in Coimbra, Portugal this year.

I wasn’t sure I would even be going after some bad news in Feb, with my health! But I wasn’t going to let that stop me! 

Coimbra is lovely location & the weather was hot.  After a week of them changing their minds from  a 1k swim then 5k run. They changed it to no wet suits, 2.5k run, then 1k swim then 2.5k run. Then on Thursday it was all changed back to normal! 

I was so nervous, as my first race for GB. But on hand was Katie & Maisie giving me all the tips & keeping me calm.

The swim was great & I took it easy and just enjoyed it. The run was a little harder as two bridges to go over and very hot.

I didn’t come last, which was a bonus & very proud I managed to compete.  Next year I will put 100 effort in and try and finish in the top 10.

Katie, en route to another medal

Katie was in the second to last wave to go and modestly reported that as a Tuff she just wanted to make our club proud. However we never doubted her ability and she was delighted to report that her luggage increased on the homewards journey as she brought home a bronze medal – what an achievement. Or as Katie put it ” yippee, love a swim and a run!!”

Congratulations to Carey, Katie & Maisie, we are all proud of you.

Anyone aspiring to be Team GB age groupers – then to be eligible you need to be a BTF member at either Core or Ultimate member level and then pay an advanced registration fee if you wish to aim for a qualification slot at your nomination qualifying race. . The full album of Tuffs in action in Portugal is below:-

GB Portugal 10