Jon Osborn and Amy Critchlow took the honours in the 4th and final instalment of the Guernsey Triathlon Club’s Ana Leaf Summer Triathlon Series. 23 brave souls lined up on the slipway at Rousse to chance a swim across to Les Amarreurs Bay in extremely choppy conditions.
The race on Sunday took on an old format of a race that that the club have not hosted for some time. The swim across the Bay was around 850m long. The 20km bike course took on one lap of the old Island Games triathlon circuit; Les Amarreurs, Pembroke bus layby, checking back to Quayside, L’Islet, Grandes Rocques and then back to transition. The run was the Athletics Club’s traditional Full Course and the distance was 4.75 miles.
It was Critchlow who exited water first in a time of 11:47, 24 seconds ahead of Sammy McNaught-Yendell. Third was Sean Murphy in a time of 12:29.
On to the bike and Osborn, who was nearly three minutes down on Critchlow after the swim, wasted no time tracking down those ahead of him and entered transition with Murphy, but left without him.
Murphy commented, “I went into the event with the intention of treating it as a training session ahead of my ‘A’ race (Ironman Vichy) next week, so it was a nice surprise to place 2nd, probably because the usual front runners decided not to race due to the conditions. During the swim I concentrated on sighting to avoid the pier and rocks that we had to swim around in the rough conditions. On the bike, I had overtaken Sammy and Amy by the dead turn but saw Jon wasn’t far behind. I tried to keep a constant effort level which was difficult into the wind, but on the way back, I felt good. Jon caught me right at the end of the bike, passing me in transition and had a strong run pulling a decent gap in front. I wasn’t sure how far behind Tim (Andrews) was but I tried to put him out of my mind and run a steady pace which was enough for 2nd”. Murphy finished in a time of 1:22:23
Winner Osborn was happy with his win in a time of 1:20:29, “The swim was actually ok today. I found the reasonably big waves to be less irritating that the usual head-sized ones and it was only 850m so it was over before I ingested too much sea water and started wishing that duathlons were more of a thing.
The bike went ok, although I probably should have put down a bit more power. It was quite windy, but not strong enough to change wheels for – I didn’t get massively held up by any cars and overtook everyone except Sean, but I got close enough that I passed him in transition.
The run was pretty windy and wasn’t particularly fast. My legs didn’t feel amazing, so I had a few nervous looks behind in case Sean had changed his mind about not really racing but he hadn’t so it was fine”.
A welcome return saw a happy-as-ever Tim Andrews take third place in 1:25:40. “It was great to race again after a year. As usual I found the swim tough but fun. We flew back up the coast and then running the GIAAC Full Course I felt fluid. Fell fast asleep yesterday afternoon. What a great Triathlon. We are so lucky to live in an island where waves crash over the wall in clouds of spray beside the run course. Wow!”
In the women’s race Amy Critchlow took the spoils once again, which is becoming standard practice these days. She finished in a time of 1:26:58. “Sunday's race was a lot of fun considering the challenging conditions and a great way to end the Club's tri race season. Once you were in and past the waves breaking on the Rousse slipway the swim was relatively quick, with the wind and waves pushing you in the right direction across the bay. The real challenge was the sighting - a combination of blinding sun and the swell made this tricky, and was a bit of a guessing game at times. I think this is the first race that I've had to stop and do breaststroke several times to figure out where I was going! Once on the bike it was a matter of just getting it done, with the strong headwind making it a bit of a slog out to the Grande Rocques turn point. With Magda chasing me down it was a relief to ditch the bike back in transition and get into the off-road run; it was here I was able to extend my lead a bit more and I felt comfortable with the pace. I was literally blown across the finish line which was a great way to end a race! It’s been a fantastic tri season and brilliant to race with lots more women this year - hoping for even more taking up the sport in 2017!”
Magda Puzio took second place in a time of 1:29:21.
Sammy McNaught-Yendell was happy with taking the third spot on the podium. “I was pleased that the swim went ahead as planned as its my strongest discipline, and was surprised to be second out the water to Amy. The bike and run was tough with the wind but I was happy to finish my season off with a third place”.