Whinfell Harriers were out in force at Wimbleball, Exmoor last weekend for the 2009 UK Ironman 70.3 half-ironman distance race.
After 12 months of training (from left-to-right above photo) James Poole (Jimbo), Al Poole (Maurice), Kieron Ford (Fordy), Ryan Evans (Champ) and Brett Welch (Crazy-horse) each put in stunning races to finish the 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, half-marathon run within their expected finish times.
Fordy led the Whinfell boys out of the water with a champion swim split and was first onto the bike. Four minutes later, Jimbo surfaced before starting a 'where did that come from?' bike ride. Maurice was third out of the water showing that his recent pool(e) miles have massively improved his stroke (some thanks for this should probably go to Fordy for his technical advice!). He then backed up the swim with a bit of an epic bike leg puncturing twice. It's a credit to Maurice's training that despite all this, he still finished the bike well within the cut-off.
Crazy-horse, so called because with two wheels beneath him he seemingly has no concept of the word PAIN, showed the kind of form that has been ruining the rest of us in training. With a typically powerful performance he set himself up for a solid run that would get him well inside his predicted finishing time.
Champ, the last out of the water, got progressively stronger throughout the bike course and didn't stop there - he ran negative splits on the three laps of the run course - this has Ironman potential written all over it.
The run course, a hilly off-road half-marathon was a strength-sapping culmination to the race following the brutal bike course. Jimbo on the course ahead of scheduled expectations put in a solid 1:37 a PB on this course bagging a finishing time of 5:20, a PB by 35 minutes. Fordy, naturally strong on the run posted a great run-time of 1:50 showing everyone how a first-time half-ironman triathlon should be done. His overall finishing time of 5:50 was a whole 40 minutes faster than he'd expected. Ryan, third home for Whinfell Harriers also put in a good run-split of 1:51 and finished in 6:15. Crazy-horse's gallop of 2:11 got him fourth spot with a finishing time of 6:22 and not to be outdone, Maurice's great run of 2:04 closed a great day of racing for the team within his target 7 hour target time.
Jimbo 5:20:25 Fordy 5:50:31 Champ 6:15:05 Crazy-horse 6:22:25 Maurice 6:55:25
With such strong debuts at the half-ironman distance by Fordy, Champ, Crazy-horse and Maurice over the world's hardest course, there's really only question guys.....!
Thanks go to the team's girls for moral, logistical, photographic and nutritional support - cheers ladies!
Whinfell Harriers is the re-branded Hall Dunnerdale Harriers (HDH) club which was started in 2003 and based in the Duddon Valley, Lake District UK. The team base has now moved to the Lorton Valley in the north-west Lake District and continues where HDH kicked-off with athletes taking part in multi-sport racing and events.
We have held two multi-day mountain marathon events in different parts of the Lake District, three triathlons and several fell running races of our own, as well as sending teams to races all over the UK and internationally.
In the last three years, Whinfell Harriers team members have participated in Olympic, Half Ironman and Ironman distance triathlon races as well as various swim, bike and running events.