Club Competitions Update: 25/06/2016

All Club Championship Standings have been updated following the Allerthorpe Sprint Triathlon last weekend.  Next up in the calendar is a little known event that our GB athlete Rob Jamison is competing in this weekend, the ETU European Aquathlon Championships in Châteauroux!  Good luck Rob!!

For those single sport athletes, the Swim Championship has its first entrants following the Great North Swim.  The Swim Championship standings have been updated as well.

For anyone else entering single sport events (Swim, Bike or Run), let me know the event and where I can find your results, and I’ll add it onto the standings.  For you runners, this does include Parkrun – basically any event I can get access to final standings.  Remember, the competitions run from 1st April 2016 to 31st October 2016, so any events you’ve completed already let me know about and I will add it in.

EVENT ANALYSIS: Allerthorpe Sprint Triathlon

Sarah Nikki AllerthorpeGoing strong for nine years now, the Allerthorpe Sprint Triathlon is a firm favourite for local triathletes, and often one of the early opportunities to sample open water racing in the triathlon season.

Based at Allerthorpe Lakeland Park, the swim consists of multiple laps of the 400m circuit of the lake, followed by a flat and fast 20km and 5km run. It is an event always seen as a perfect opportunity to notch up new PB’s!

Competing for the Vikings at the event were Sarah Weston, Nikki May and Kurt Haendlmayer.

Sarah Weston AllerthorpeFollowing a weekend cheering on her teammates at the Leeds ITU Triathlon, and putting in some great times to take the lead in the YVTT Summer Run Series, Sarah Weston took to the start line herself. Sarah finished in a fantastic time of 01:22:53, split as a 16:07 swim, 02:14 T1, 39:48 bike, 00:55 T2, and a 23:50 run, finishing 115th overall.

Nikki May had an equally successful race, also making the most of the fast Allerthorpe course, and the favourable weekend weather. Nikki finished the race in 159th place, with an overall time of 01:29:59, split as a 16:06 swim, 01:46 T1, 45:52 bike, 01:21 T2 and a 24:54 run.

Also taking to the start line was Kurt Haendlmayer, who took then men’s race by storm. Kurt finished the race with an 18th place finish overall, 3rd in his age group, in 01:08:14. Kurt ran much better than he expected having treated the bike section as a time trial, and was happy with his run time, having originally targeted 24 minutes. His splits were 12:23 swim, 01:56 T1, 30:14 Bike, 00:51 T2 and 22:50 run.

Fantastic races all round, and 3 very rightly proud Vikings!

Allerthorpe Sprint Triathlon is now firmly placed on the Yorkshire Triathletes calendar, and this certainly won’t be last time the race sees Yorkshire Vikings Triathletes taking their place on the leaderboard.


Joining Barry Jones and Campbell Watt in the 10km Great North Swim on 12th June 2016, Kirstine Gerhold also completed the race in great time.  We caught up with Kirstine following the event, to get her thoughts on the race.

“Campbell asked me if I would like to do the one way swim windermere in September back in March.  So I googled it, and came up with the Great North Swim 10km at Windemere by accident.  I rang him to say have you got the dates right, as the swim is in June and a shorter distance!!!!

So we decided to do the one in June. Before doing the September event, I also wanted to make sure I completed the 10km in June, as it is very long way and want to be certain I can do it.  With the added factor that it’s for charity.  

I started doing longer distance at the pool before the lakes opened, and when they did, I then started training at Hatfield lake on a Saturday.  Once Allerthorpe opened, I increased the training and went there on Mondays to do a long distance swim once a week.  I built it up but the max distance was 6400 metres as the lakes are not open long enough.

We had a few training sessions at Windermere with Tom Noblett, a truly inspirational guy, who gave us all confidence, just like our coach Naiomi does week after week.  I was having a few issues while training with the cold and my breathing at the start of my swim, so took my wetsuit off to try to acclimatise quicker, which I think helped.

On the day I felt tired, having had about 4 hours sleep the night before, which was not really beneficial before the event. The plus side to that was that because I was tired, the nerves did not kick in until the start of the swim.  I had to tread water at the start as I could not exhale in the water, but I kept talking to myself to say come on you have to do this!  I tried again and again, and the boats were getting closer to me as if they were thinking they were going to pull me out.  Talking again to myself I thought of all the training I put in, and thought I can not come out, you can do this, and I was off in my way.

It was perfect conditions, warm and still, so the breathing issues must have been down to the nerves of the unknown.  It was great, I stopped off three times at the jelly baby bar on the way round!  It was hard don’t get me wrong, but I loved the swim and sense of achievement.  I personally think mind over matter, think strong, be determined you can put your mind to do most things.

The guys Campbell and Barry have been great so supportive in training, great company, and Naiomi you’re a star on my Christmas tree! Thank you”


Club Notice: New Competitions!

Following a successful start to our Club Championship series, the club has agreed to run 3 more club competitions in exactly the same format, to give everyone a little extra to strive for!

Going forward, any single sport events entered (swim, bike or run), will be counted into separate series, with points scored in exactly the same way as the Club Championship, and the overall champion honoured at the end of the season.  Swim Championship, Bike Championship and Run Championship sections have now been added to the website, and leaderboards will be added shortly.

The series runs alongside the Club Championship, and the qualifying period for events runs from 1st April 2016 to 31st October 2016 in exactly the same way.

Therefore, any club members who have completed swim events, sportives or run events after 1st April 2016, please let me know and I will add them into the standings.  All I need to know is a website address that I can get full results.

For any events going forward, I won’t be aware of them all, so if you would like an event included in your score, let me know.  Again, all I need is a website address that I can get full results.


On 12th June 2016, Vikings Kirstine Gerhold, Barry Jones and Campbell Watt took to Windermere to undertake the very impressive challenge of the Great North Swim’s 10km marathon swim.

The course was 6 laps, and with the distance involved, every competitor was given the opportunity to call it a day after any of their laps.  This of course didn’t come into the minds of Kirstine, Barry or Campbell, who all successfully completed the swim in great times.

We caught up with Barry and Campbell following their events, to allow them to fully describe the challenge they overcame, and to get their thoughts on the day and their training leading up to the event.

Barry Jones

“I first became part of the amazing YVTT back in February of this year. I joined the team following a chat with a friend who happened to be a member. I’m a keen surfer and I’d just booked a once in a lifetime surfing trip for October and was chatting about hitting the pool to get surf fit for the trip. “you should come down and swim with the tri swim squad, you’ll get a lot fitter a lot faster than going swimming by yourself “the rest as they say is history.

The squad are super friendly and there’s an abundance of ages and abilities from people who are wanting to get fit, first time triathletes through to a seasoned GB squad member.

Naiomi’s training plans and fully coached sessions suited me down to the ground. I found that having a goal to become as fit as possible so I could enjoy my surf trip really helped me focus and train as Naiomi’s plans were set out. I started off doing Monday and Friday before work. A couple of the team were in training for the marathon swim; the 10K in lake Windermere in June. That sounds like an exciting challenge and happens to be half way prior to my October trip I thought. Before I knew what I had done, I’d signed up, booked some accommodation and planned on making a family weekend away of it.

I cranked up the training and started to go to the Tuesday evening sessions as well as the Monday and Friday mornings. Each week I was feeling more and more confident and i started to notice that putting the stroke tips and techniques Naiomi had given me into practice and all the training  and hard work was paying off. I was now finishing the sets and my times and splits were improving. Having two fellow team mates involved in the 10K preparations really helped. Kirstine and Campbell have been a great source of motivation and support. We’ve been encouraging and supporting each other all the way.

Although a keen all year round surfer I knew I needed to get into the open water ahead of the big day. As soon as Allerthorpe lake opened it’s depths to outdoor swimmers, I was in. The first swim was an eye opener, nothing like swimming in the pool. With almost zero visibility a sense of panic came over me and doubt crept in. Could I do the 10K?
A few words of encouragement from Naiomi, Kirstine and Campbell and a few more sessions in the lake later my long swims had got up to 7.2KM in open water. Along the way I was also lucky enough to join Kirstine and Campbell and have a couple of training sessions with Tom a seasoned open water swimmer from the Lakes who as well has having many accolades in the world of open water swimming is a great guy.

I was now ready. Leading up to the big day I had a few goals in mind. I wanted to finish the 10K and enjoy it and I was beginning to wonder if I could do it in a 3K an hour pace and finish in 3hrs 20mins.

The day arrived, the event was extremely well organised and following a group warm up the claxon sounded and we were off. I heeded the advice I was given, think strong switch off and enjoy the swim and when the race starts stand to the side and let everyone race off. After a few minutes  the medley of arms and legs subsided, Campbell, Kirstine and I entered the water.  

All the training and preparations paid off and I felt strong and confident in my stroke technique, the field of 100 swimmers taking on the 10K soon opened up. I completed the first two laps deciding to ignore my swim plan and didn’t  stop at the feeding and drinking station to refuel. At the first corner on my third lap I soon noticed that the next wave of swimmers  had set off and  I was being literally swam over by 5 or 6 people. After what seemed an age the field once again began to open up and I was back into my stroke. After three laps I stopped to take on some liquid and managed to eat a few jelly babies.  I was half way there, feeling strong and really enjoying the swim. I realised I was going to hit the first corner on my forth lap alongside the third wave of swimmers. This time I took a wider line and managed to stay out of all the madness.

With 600 meters to go I started to build up the pace and kick for home. I crossed the line in 3 hours 7 minutes. I am absolutely thrilled with the time and being part of such a great event with my team mates.

Will I re-enter? Absolutely, windermere 10k is special. So special that I hear three YVTT who recently did the 10k are signing up to swim the length of Windermere one way. May the adventure continue.”

Campbell Watt

“We started on Sunday the 12th on the 8.00 am wave. The whole event had a huge amount of swimmers over the weekend, and in our event there was about 250 swimmers divided over two waves. One on Friday and one on Sunday. Barry finished after 3 hours 7, Kirstine 4.05 and I finished in 4.06.  Though in reality those times were about 5 minutes quicker as we waited for the masses to clear.

I very much enjoyed it. It went surprisingly quick and I was a little disappointed when it finished. The event was one of the best days of my life it was so good”

Really inspiring performances from all 3 Vikings, and it sounded like a great event.  One for others to consider in future!

Barry Campbell Swim


After months of planning and preparation, the first ‘A Race’ of the year came round for a lot of the Vikings athletes at the Leeds ITU Triathlon, in both Sprint and Standard races.

Gwen Leeds2016 saw the first change of World Triathlon Series UK venue from Hyde Park, London, to Leeds, as the flagship event for UK triathlon. Featuring both open and elite races, across junior, Go Tri, Sprint, Standard and Relay events, the weekend saw over 5000 competitors from all over the world taking the opportunity to compete on the same course as the world’s best.

Brownlees LeedsHosted on a course taking in some of the main sights of Leeds, with a significant Yorkshire feel, the event was looking to build on the success and popularity of the Tour de France and Tour de Yorkshire events that the county has hosted in recent years. It also saw the return of both Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee to elite triathlon competition, and to their home town, in their preparations for Rio 2016.

The course was a split transition setup, with T1 at Roundhay Park Swim Start, and T2 in the City Centre. Starting with a swim in Roundhay Park’s Waterloo Lake, the bike course wound into the city, finishing with a multi-lap run around the city centre through the cheering crowds of Leeds! Each run lap crossed the infamous blue carpet in front of the grandstand and noisy crowds, with the run leg completed in front of the big screen.

Leeds Transition

For Vikings Naiomi Saunders, Felicity Caddick, Susie Foster, Lorna Watson, Heather Blakey, Anne Lewis, Rob Jamison, Dave Burrows, Mike Evans, Phil Caddick and Steven Dews, it was the culmination of months of hard work, long sessions, and meticulous preparation that had brought them to the event. All training over the winter and spring period had led to this event, and there was a mix of excitement and nervousness in the air as race day approached.

Phil LeedsThe weekend’s events took place over both Saturday and Sunday, with Phil Caddick the first Viking up to take his place on the start line, in Saturday’s Go Tri event. Cheered on as ever by his teammate and wife Felicity, Phil, who (in his own words!) was looking forward to the event as something for a “fat old man with a bad back and dodgy knees to feel competitive in”. Go Tri events are a fantastic opportunity for all abilities and especially beginners triathletes to really get their teeth into triathlon, something Yorkshire Vikings as a club are very much embracing, hosting our very own Go Tri events later in the year. Phil was impressed with the competitors taking part, with each of them showing “sheer enthusiasm, and even when super nervous, they were desperate to give it a go”. Phil completed the event, comprising of 200m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run in 00:55:42.

For the Sunday competitors, preparations began on the Saturday, with the course design for the ITU event being over a split transition setup. Many of the athletes unfortunately commented on the complicated nature of the event only serving to increase nerves, but all Vikings managed to successfully get everything set up on the day before, to prevent any last minute logistical disasters pre-event!

This preparation was that bit more important for the first two Vikings of the day on the start line in the standard distance race, Naiomi Saunders and Felicity Caddick, who thought they had drawn the short straw with a 7am race start time….having to rise at 3am to begin race day preparations. Though, as it would turn out later in the day, that would prove to be a good thing, as they were two of the only Vikings to get their bags delivered back on time! But we won’t dwell on that subject…

Naiomi LeedsNaiomi had a great time, particularly on the hilly bike course, “squealing with glee on the downhills, reaching 34mph!”. Naiomi’s race was also saw a great example of the kindness you can expect in the triathlon community, with a good samaritan helping her get her shoe on the bike whilst moving uphill. Naiomi very proudly finished the 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run standard distance course in 03:09:28.

Felicity LeedsFelicity also braved the 3am start to the day with the same standard distance race. The early start had absolutely no impact on her speed out of the blocks, as she completed a 1500m swim PB in 00:33:33. Unfortunately the complicated logistics of the day included an unusually long T1 for everybody, with only the fastest of the day managing anything less than 5 minutes, and Felicity was another sufferer of the length of transition, robbing her of her desired sub 3 hour time. Felicity finished in a time of 03:02:23.

Next up was Heather Blakey, who came into the race dreading the swim the most, but came away from that discipline with a huge positive for the day, swimming a 1500m PB of 34 minutes. After putting in a great swim, and negotiating the run to T1, which Heather commented was “more tiring than the swim”, the race took a very unlucky turn for the worse, as Heather’s chain snapped 2 miles into her bike section. Extremely bad luck and an extremely disappointing finish for Heather, who, like all the other Vikings, had been looking forward to ITU Leeds race day.  Heather proved on her swim section that all her hard work and training had been a success – on to the next event Heather!


Race number 1157 was Steven Dews, who also took his place on the standard distance start line. A seasoned triathlete, Steven used the Leeds race as a training session and benchmark for his goal of GB qualifier status Steven finished the race in a very impressive 02:19:31….watch this space for Steven at The Dambusters ITU qualifying event on Saturday 18th June.

Rob LeedsThe Leeds ITU Triathlon Yorkshire Vikings line up of course wouldn’t be complete without our resident GB athlete, Rob Jamison, who also took on the standard distance. Rob was the only Vikings athlete who hadn’t peaked for this as his “A Race”, with his GB Aquathlon event just around the corner. That of course didn’t stop Rob from soaking up the atmosphere of the event, who particularly enjoyed “running through the grandstand and on the ITU blue carpet, which felt pretty special”. Rob finished the race with his usual high position on the leaderboard, with a 02:21:46 finish.

Mike LeedsCompleting the YVTT standard distance line-up was Mike Evans. Where some might have been phased by the hilly course, Mike embraced it, commenting on the “awesome bike route, with testing up hills and fast downhills”, and was particularly pleased with the team spirit from the Vikings, who gave “some genuinely amazing support”. All of this led to PB’s on both swim and bike, in 00:28:50 and 01:15:19 respectively. A huge achievement. Mike completed the standard distance course in 02:40:52.

Hot on the heels of the standard distance athletes were the Vikings sprint distance racers, taking on a course of 750m swim, 20km and 5km run.

Dave LeedsFirst off was Dave Burrows. Having only ever competed in pool based triathlons, this was his first experience of an open water triathlon. Dave commented on his nerves before the race, explaining that the logistics of open water swim to T1 was feeling like “a bit of an unknown”. Unfortunately this did prove problematic, with Dave navigating round the wrong buoy and swimming over 800m in the process!! Something to learn from next time round! The positive to that error being that in trying to make up some time brought with it a post-bike run PB of 00:21:16. Dave completed the sprint event in 01:26:18.

Anne Leeds 2Thanks to a birthday gift from her son of a Tri Suit and Leeds ITU race ticket; Anne Lewis took to the start line and finished the sprint triathlon with a simple “I loved it!”. A great response from a great race. Anne particularly enjoyed the run section of the course, which she explained was made “a lot easier because of the crowds”. Anne conquered everything she wanted to from the race, purely down to all the hard work she’d put in beforehand, turning up “knowing she’d done the training”, and “feeling really fit beforehand”. Not only did Anne put in a superb performance bringing home a finish time of 02:01:56, but she also raised a fantastic £1050 for Epilepsy Action. Well done Anne!

Lorna LeedsLorna Watson came into the Leeds ITU with the previous experience of last year “only being able to swim 25m front crawl without having a meltdown”. After a full winter of hard training, Lorna not only completed the full 750m swim course front crawl, but was expecting to hit the 21 minute mark, and instead she came home in 00:18:11. Amazing swimming. Lorna was another to embrace the finish on the blue carpet, and was quite right to be proud having finished the race in an impressive 02:00:52.

Susie LeedsAnother Open Water Triathlon newbie, Susie Foster, started the race taking on all the coach’s tips to quickly acclimatize to the lake temperature, which made all the difference. Susie came out of the water having “loved the swim”. The bike route was tough, mainly due to the lack of hills around the Vale of York area that Susie lives. Whilst Susie commented that she maybe didn’t “push herself hard enough during the run to get under that 2 hour mark”, she did complete the race with a “massive smile on her face”, so there is absolutely no doubt Susie will be back for more. Susie really should be proud, she came home in a very good finish time of 02:00:35.

At the end of the race, all the Vikings were beaming with positives about the route, and the atmosphere. “Clear, warm water” in the lake, a “hilly bike route, but a great experience screaming through Headingley on closed roads”, and “running over that blue carpet”, all to the sound of “great crowds” and “amazing Vikings support”. It all made for a very special day, and made all those months training worthwhile.   Every single Viking can be impressed with their performances.


Special mention goes to fellow Vikings; the Weston’s, Mum Sarah, and Tristars Joshua and Dominic, who came along for the full morning to cheer on and support all their Vikings teammates! Sarah will be competing in next week’s Allerthorpe Sprint Distance triathlon, so it would be great to see some Vikings down at the event returning the favour!

So, with the “A Race” done and complete, will the YVTT team all be winding down now and relaxing? Of course not! On to the next event…

Club Championship Standings Update: 14/06/2016

Following the Leeds ITU Triathlon event on 12th June 2016, the Club Championship standings have really started to take shape, with entrants adding to their already completed races, and some new entrants on the leaderboards.

Rob Jamison still leads the way in the overall standings, with Dave Burrows sitting in 2nd place.  Big moves from Steven Dews, Naiomi Saunders, Susie Foster and Lorna Watson too, pushing themselves up into 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th place respectively.

Rob and Dave have both now submitted 3 events for the season, and can only now increase their scores by improving on these performances in future events.  The points scoring is based on each athletes best 3 event scores over the course of the season.  Time for everyone else to chase them down before they do!

Check out the current standings for Overall, V30, V40, V50 and Junior via the members section of the website.

The reports for the weekends racing will be posted shortly.