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Tri England Relays

The team relays are a fun priority for the team, a chance to catch up and show everybody what TORQ can do and boy did we perform? 2nd in the open category and 3rd overall…

Eleanor’s recap: I was pretty chuffed to get chucked into the bun fight that was the first leg of the relay (the mass swim start), as I figured it would be good practice for London in a few weeks time.

It also got me the slightly shorter run leg, which made sense as the rest of my team are awesome runners! As I remembered from the relays experience back in the past, there was a fantastic atmosphere with the sense of 'organised chaos' as teams all got their people in the right place at the right time, then going banzai out on the race course. Fast and furious!

Chris’ comment: The National Relays are always a weekend to look forward to. Triathlon is predominantly an individual sport, but this is the one opportunity where you come together as a team.

With everyone following different race schedules for the year, this was a great opportunity to catch up with team mates and enjoy some fast and frantic racing together. The bike and run sections were where we showed our strength, pulling ourselves on to the podium overall and finishing 3rd.

Danielle’s thoughts: The triathlon relays are always fun, but this year I was particularly looking forward to the event to see my team mates. They are all fantastic triathletes, so I knew we would have a pretty competitive team.

I knew the swim would be the part of the race that I would have to work a little harder for the team, given my duathlon focus in recent years, but after a swift swim and handover from Ele, I was soon splashing my way round the course in a solid position. I handed over to Chris who lifted the position further. The bike course was pretty straight forward with the usual dodging of walkers, cyclists and geese! Handing over to Chris for the bike was made particularly easy as I just headed for the tallest person in orange I could find among the crowds! The run was definitely the team's strength on the day with some nippy times all round.

Anchor man Nick's final word:

As my first club relay, I was relieved to take the last leg of the swim, run and bike and be in a position to figure what exactly was going in the most chaotic triathlon in the country.

Thanks to the amazing swim performances of the Eleanor, Danielle and Chris, my job in the swim was made much easier and I spent most of the swim navigating through 3rd leg (rather than 4th leg swimmers).  One heart stopper was that the baton (basically a thick rubber band) almost came off my arm. This led to some frantic re-arranging mid swim – had I lost this it would have been game over. By the time I took on the 4th bike leg, our position was looking good.  We now had a podium spot up for grabs so rather like the swim, I made sure I focussed hard on the bike and delivered an even pace without taking any unnecessary risks. For the final run leg and finish, it was a duel between 3rd and 4th.  I started the run in 4th and was running alongside the 3rd placed athlete. I wondered why they were being cagey and reluctant to let me take the lead and then I saw they were yellow (4th leg) and realised I had to beat them to ensure we got a podium spot.  Fortunately as soon as the run levelled out I managed to pull away strongly and put 2 minutes into him over the next 4 kilometres.

It felt great to have the honour of running that last leg and my job was made easy by the brilliant efforts of the whole team. In the end we finished 2nd in the Open category and 3rd overall beaten only by Loughborough and RedVenom. The fact that both of these teams comprised some cherry picked GB Junior elites makes the TORQ tri team result even more impressive.

Special thanks to Jolekha Shasha for the excellent photographs

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