Developing Quadrathlon in and around Shrewsbury

Great News from ‘Phil Holden’ our British Trophy Quadrathlon Vet 40 Champion

Phil Holden

Phil Holden

Hello Fellow Multi-Sporters

I am hoping to develop Quadrathlon in and around Shrewsbury. James Block and I attended the Shrewsbury Canoe Club Committee meeting on 1st Dec, where they agreed to support the start of a K1 racing arm of the Club, and specifically to seeking funding to purchase some suitable adult K1s, and to pursuing planning permission for a third container for the necessary storage space. We have advice and support on the funding from Energise and from the BCU, who are both optimistic about the chances of getting it. This is great and brings our hope for more paddle training sessions for quadrathlon a step closer, as well as faster boats being available to race in. This will almost certainly mean people needing to join the Canoe Club to benefit from this, but it isn’t expensive. Have a look at this to see what a shiny array of K1s looks like!

Our Boats & Kit | DCP Home

Phil is keen on getting like minded athletes in the Shropshire Area motivated and ready for next season, 2017 Shrewsbury Quad is open for registration and other Sprint races which will most certainly target new quadrathletes, include a womens only Quad ‘Diva Devas’ in Cheshire and the first juniors race ‘QuadKidz’ at Rotherham ….. so why not book and set your sights now!

There are some winter training sessions over in Macclesfield run by BQA member John Kavanagh. Phil is intending to try to go to the 15th January one. If anyone else fancies going, drop me a line. Message below or on our BQA Facebook page.

A few more Quady thoughts for this time of year… from Phil                                                                 Make the most of Christmas for upgrading your quad gear! If you aren’t lucky enough to get a new bike or kayak, maybe those bike shoes or that swimming wetsuit you wanted …. Winter is a great time to work on things like running, core strength and swim technique. You may be able to keep up some biking on the milder days and there are some nice days to be had on the river if you are properly equipped. It all helps keep things ticking over so you can start the season well. Check out the many brilliant free resources at Swim Smooth Mr Smooth – An ideal freestyle stroke animation I have found these really helpful, and much of it is geared to open water swimming. Mr Smooth – An ideal freestyle stroke animation

daringFinally, perhaps we ought to be practicing those ever important transitions – things can go horribly wrong otherwise!

Have a great Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Phil Holden


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The First Ever ‘QuadKidz’


Dearne Valley ‘QuadKidz’ and TriStars                                                                  Sunday 11th June 2017,                                                                                                     Manvers Lake, Wath upon Dearne, Rotherham 

The BQA are very pleased to have this sprint race back in our calender, but more than that, we are so excited to announce that there will be a ‘QuadKidz’ event … Our very first Junior quadrathlon! This is great news for our sport and we hope to see lots of youngsters taking up the challenge, we cart wait to see ‘our budding Quadrathlete Stars’ of the future in action!

QuadKidz Quadrathon Distances – Swim, Bike, Paddle and Run                                         QuadKidz (ages 9 to 12): 100m Swim, 2k Bike, 400m paddle, 2k Run – Price £6.00
QuadKidz (ages 13 to 15) : 200m Swim, 4k Bike, 800m paddle, 2k – Price £6.00                             QuadKidz (ages 16 to 18) : 800m Swim, 15k Bike, 4k Paddle, 5k Run – Price £6.00

Tri Stars 1/2 and 3/Youth are the same distances as above without the paddle.

Showers, changing rooms available, on site café. Commemorative medal to all finishers. There are a Limited number of canoes available to use/hire
For more information about the course and to Enter the Event go to Dearne-valley-triquad.html

TeamManvers are offering training sessions through May 2017, so please get in touch for details. Mark Benton 07704111414.

Don’t miss this exciting New Event!

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The New Dearne Valley Quadrathon!

Manvers LakeDearne Valley Quadrathon and Triathlon – Sunday 11th June 2017, Manvers Lake

British Quadrathlon, British Triathlon, and Team Manvers join forces together to bring Quadrathon and Triathlon back to the Dearne Valley. The aim is to deliver, a Quadrathon and a Triathlon where people from all walks of life can participate. All that we ask is that you enjoy your training towards it and feel a great sense of achievement afterwards.

The BQA are very happy to have this sprint race back in our calender, and we are so excited to announce that there will be a Junior sprint Quadrathlon … our very first ‘QuadKidz’ event! This is great news and we hope to see lots of youngsters ‘our budding Quadrathlete Stars’ of the future!

TeamManvers are offering training sessions through May 2017, both at bootcamp and the lake so please get in touch for details. Mark Benton 07704111414

Sprint Quadrathon – Swim, Bike, Paddle and Run                                                                             Sprint Quad: 800m Swim, 15k Bike, 4k Paddle, 5k Run – Price £15.00

QuadKidz (ages 9 to 12): 100m Swim, 2k Bike, 400m paddle, 2k Run – Price £6.00
QuadKidz (ages 13 to 15) : 200m Swim, 4k Bike, 800m paddle, 2k – Price £6.00                           QuadKidz (ages 16 to 18) : 800m Swim, 15k Bike, 4k Paddle, 5k Run – Price £6.00      

(Triathlon Distances Sprint and Tri Stars are the same as above without the paddle)

Showers, changing rooms available, on site café. Commemorative medal to all finishers.  Limited number of boats available to use/hire
Entry for the event is now open. Dearne-valley-triquad.html

Race information, and useful guidelines for the Quadrathlon 

Lake Swim – 800m, QuadKidz 100m, or 200m.
Swim – There will be full safety cover in place for the event. Also volunteers on hand to assist you out of the water. You must wear a wetsuit for the swim. The wet suit doesn’t have to be expensive, most sports shops sell them for around £30 and you can even pick them up in certain supermarkets for as little as £15 from time to time. You don’t necessarily need a swim specific one, any boating/surfing one will suffice.

Swim to Bike (Transition 1)
Exiting the swim into the transition area where you will dry off and change into your cycling gear. You’ll then put on your helmet doing up the strap and grabbing your bike wheeling it out of transition past the mount line where you will begin the bike course.

Bike – 15k – 3 Laps, QuadKidz 2k, or 4k.
This is off road and using part of the Trans Penne Trail (TPT) . Please note that the TPT consists of unmade tracks and is therefore may not be suitable for road bikes. Helmets are compulsory.

Bike to Paddle Transition
Upon returning into transition you get off your bike prior to the dismount line, and return the bike back into transition, removing your helmet and once you have racked your bike, changing into your paddling gear, buoyancy aids are compulsory. In your boat and paddle 5, 1, or 2 large laps clockwise. There are a number of boats available to hire.

Paddle – 4k – 5 Laps, QuadKidz 1 laps, or 2 laps.
Collect your boat from the beach, launch from slipway, paddle anticlockwise.

Paddle to Run Transition 3
Leave your boat on the slip way and run back to transition, removing your buoyancy aid in transition, changing into your running gear.

Run – 5k, QuadKidz 2k
You’ll leave transition and run around the large lap of the lake, along the side of the river back around Manvers Lake before heading straight to the finish line – whatever you do, don’t forget to smile!

Timing is on a start to finish basis and split timings can not be produced by the events team. If you wish to keep split timings on the day please use your own timing device. Youth triathletes will be the first to enter the water at around 8.30am, once they have completed their various mini distances, the adults will start.

We will be grateful of any volunteers to help our day run smoothly, so please get in touch to put your name forward, could volunteers please arrive from 8am.
For more Information contact Mark Benton 07704111414

Please support this event, bring your friends, family and any youngsters who would love a challenge like this, its a great stepping stone into our sport of Quadrathlon!

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BQA 2016 Annual Report

Hi Quadrathletes,

Thank you for supporting the sport of Quadrathlon this year and we hope you have had a great Season, enjoyed your racing and will come back for more next year. I hope you are enjoying a Recovery and Rest Period, and will soon be motivated to get back into training, and looking at next years race plans!

Once again we’ve have some great races organized by extremely hard working volunteers so lets keep supporting them! Enter their races (early) and spread the word amongst your fellow athletes. We are a small sport, and I am more than happy to be able to keep the BQA on going, with a ‘Team’ of helpers. But closer to home we do need your membership if the BQA is going to financially survive each year, so please support this great sport, and if you feel you can help out in some way then please let me know, lets keep moving forwards!

Almost all the BQA Trophy Dates have been confirmed, and we are almost there on finalizing next years WQF World Cup Series and choosing the Championship Races. As soon as I have the Final details … You’ll be the first to know.

Hear is a quick glance at what we have planned but I will post a CONFIRMED LIST as soon as I knowthe Final Details.

BQA Colour LogoBQA National Trophy Races 2017                                                                                                              28th May – Brigg Bomber Quad NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS World Cup Race                            11th June – South Yorkshire Sprint Quad
2nd July – Box End Sprint Quad World Cup Race
3rd Sept – Shrewsbury Sprint Quad
No race in 2017 – 8th September 2018 Fabian 4 Mountain Tri
16th September – Awesome Foursome Quad

Races supported by BQA (not Trophy Races)
17th June – Norfolk SuperHeros
8th July – Artemis Great Kindrochit Quad
16th July – Diva Devas Quad (Ladies Only)

wqf-logoWQF World Cup Races 2017                                                                                                                    11th March – Terceira (POR) Sprint
13th May – Orfü (HUN) Middle  – World Championships Middle
28th May – Brigg (GBR) Middle
3rd June –  Křetinka (CZE) Long  – World Championships Long
17th June – Koberbach, (GER) Middle – European Championships Middle
24th June – Tyn (CZE) Sprint
2nd July – Box End Park (GBR) Sprint                                                                                                     12th August – Komarno (SVK) Sprint – World Championships Sprint
26th August – Balaton (HUN) Sprint
2nd September – Ratscher (GER) Sprint – European Championships Sprint
9th September – Oslo (NOR) Sprint

Happy Training and see you next season, Jean Ashley

In the mean time hears 2016 Annual Report. bqa-annual-report

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Ned Price

It is with great sadness I have to tell you all about the death of ‘Ned Price’, one of our most committed Quadrathletes, and this year’s winner of the Eric Hatliff Memorial Trophy.


Ned on his cross bike at Box End

Ned died on Thursday 20th October, aged 58 after a fairly short battle with cancer. We send our thoughts to his wife Helen and his children, and especially to Vicki who has very bravely raced at the 3 Quadrathlons her Dad had entered in this season. She took his entry at Box End, Shrewsbury and Bude …. a real tribute to her Dad!


Ned kayaking on the Long Course Hanover


Ned with his ‘Best’ Macclesfield Canoe Club Buddies at the Shrewsbury Quad

He has been a BQA member for several years and has raced many of our Quadrathlons each year, as well as being an excellent cyclist, he was a great kayaker with his local club Macclesfield Canoe Club.

Last year Ned had a brilliant season, he  won the 2015 National Vet 50 Trophy and also competed in Hannover for the Long Course Quadrathlon World Championships, taking Silver (Vet 50) in 8hrs 53mins. He then finished the season with his favorite Triathlon ‘The Sandman’ followed by the ‘Awesome Foursome’ in Bude the week after! Somewhere in between all those races he managed to fit in the Epic Bolton Ironman! After a hectic season he went on to support the Winter Quad Training Sessions with John Kavanagh and has encouraged many athletes to set themselves challenges, in many sports!

His last Quadrathlon was at the European Championships in Brigg this year, Ned and I always shared such a lot of banter during our races, he was either just in front or just behind me, and we would swap places several times during our races. We would push each other on and 9 out of 10 times he’d just pip me to the finish! He’d always be there to pat me on the back … and say ‘well what happend to you then?’ knowing I’d bust my gut to keep up with him! I was very proud of myself at the Bomber this year, it was the first time I’d beaten him in over a year ….. little did I know. I will never forget his face as I waited for him, as he crossed the finish line  ….’your turn this time Jean … but I’ll get you back next time’ ……. how I wish his words were true.

The More Mature Quadrathletes

Ned … nearly always waiting for me at the Finish!

He will be sadly missed by us all, we shall hold on to all those memories, think of him when we’re racing and when the going gets tough, remember how brave he has been, how he has inspired so many of us, and how he loved to Share the Passion.

Bless You Ned XX




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World Cup Series Round-up 2016

As is often the case, this season had its ups and downs but throughout there were great performances from all athletes, both in the overall categories and in the age groups. So, to celebrate their efforts and achievements, here is a review of the 2016 World Cup season.
The format of the World Cup was the same as in recent years. A total of eight races were available, of which the best four scores count. Those who completed more than four races also received 10 bonus points per competition. The World and European Championship races were included in the series and these scored an extra 20 points for each position.
After the results from 2015 another dominant season was expected from Enrique Peces (ESP), but it was at the World Championships races, but he found he could not win every event, especially when Gergö Badar was present. The young Hungarian ‘Gergö’ secured the World championship titles (middle and sprint distance) with some great performances. Unfortunately, these were his only races and he finished sixth in the World Cup Series.

13267957_1734325383472575_7624081502971470342_n (1)

Enrique Peces (ESP) World Champion

The European Championship titles were both successfully defended by the Spaniard ‘Enrique’, who went on to take first place in the World Cup. An exciting duel for second and third place was anticipated between Leoš Roušavý (CZE) and Stefan Teichert (GER) but as the season progressed a third contender made his presence known. Ferenc Csima, a Hungarian, had a strong second half of the season, winning two of the last three races and took second place in the overall. Just behind him, Teichert secured the third podium position with a victory in the last race. Roušavý, who had many strong races, unfortunately went away empty handed this year. It was great to see how these three fought hard for every second and every point right up to the end of the last race; always with friendly respect for each other as – as is customary in quadrathlon.

Amongst the men Enrique Peces has quite a number of victories, in the Hall-of-Fame he is currently in third place. However, the great Miroslav Podborsky (CZE) has probably set an unbeatable record with his 45 medals (32 of which were gold).

Even though Lisa Teichert dominated the women’s field, it was gratifying to see that there was great competition behind her. Especially as some of the strong competitors are youngsters. Laura Csima (19, HUN), the daughter of Ferenc, secured second place. It was a very close the battle for third place where Magdaléna Koberová (16, CZE) was placed just before Kata Balázs (16 years, HUN) and Fanni Bodolai (21 years, HUN). If these athletes continue to be
active in Quadrathlon then we can look forward to more exciting contests in the years to come!


Lisa Teichert (GER) World Champion

Lisa Teichert has remained undefeated in quadrathlon this season and further extended her sequence of victories. She is now the most successful female quadrathlete of all time! (If you include the first three places at World Cups and European Championships, as well as the World Cup final score). Her record now beats Šárka Skalická-Zimová (CZE), who dominated the late 1990s and early 2000s.

It was pleasing too see that, even though there were two races fewer than in 2015, the number of participants in all the competitions remained the same. It is also great that 11 athletes participated in at least four events and kept many of the age groups competitive up to the end. Twelve nations were represented, more than in previous years. Particularly notable were the Hungarians who put their stamp on the cup this year. Already mentioned, are Badar, plus father Ferenc and daughter Laura, but there are also another six more Hungarians in the top ten men and women, so a force to be reckoned with next season!

Congratulations to all winners and placed athletes, both overall and in the age groups. Certificates for printing can be found on the WQF website

2016 Final Results

wqf-logoThe WQF wants to create an incentive for people to enter more competitions, so a change was introduced for this year, ‘A glass globe and/or a medal are only awarded to those athletes who have completed at least three races’. Additionally, the WQF is a small association, and has to manage its finances carefully.
The overall quality of the events was at a good level, and the organizers made great efforts to give the minority sport of Quadrathlon a great stage. Unfortunately, two events (in Poland and Sweden) had to be cancelled. However, from Hungary and Germany, thankfully stepped in at short notice to take on World Cup status for their races. Plans for the 2017 season are being made and will be announced in the next few weeks. As a hint of what may
be to come, we hope there might again be a long distance race!

Stefan Teichert



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2016 National Trophy Champions

Bude Awesome Foursome was a tough end to our 2016 National Trophy Series, the Overall Champions had been decided at the Fabian 4, but there were a few age groups to be finalized! The series has been made up of 5 races, with the Quadrathletes best 3 races into account (unless there was a draw and the 4th race would be counted)

The Brigg Bomber

Box End Sprint Quadrathlon

Shrewsbury Sprint Quadrathlon

Fabian 4 Mountain Challenge

The Awesome Foursome

FINAL TROPHY RESULTS  bqa-trophy-2016_13-1

The BQA Perpetual Trophies and BQA kit vouchers are awarded to the Overall Winners, and the Age Groupers receive BQA kit vouchers. Provided each winner has done 3 races in the series, and must be a current BQA Member. Congratulations to our 2016 Winners!

MEN Overall Winner Perpetual Trophy Male Steve King

Vet 40 Male Phil Holden (role down as Steve King won Overall Trophy)

Vet 50 Male Russel Breyer

Vet 60 Male John Redmond

WOMEN Overall Winners Perpetual Trophy Female Jean Ashley

U23 Female Louise Beedham

Vet 40 Female Jacqueline Davies

Vet 50/60 Female Mary White

The Eric Hatliff Memorial Trophy awarded each year ‘For Endeavor’. This year it was given to Ned Price for his enthusiasm and commitment to the sport of Quadrathlon. He has been a BQA member for several years and had a brilliant year in 2015 winning our Vet 50 Trophy Series and finishing the season with his favorite Triathlon ‘The Sandman’ followed by the ‘Awesome Foursome’ and somehow in between managed to fit in the Epic Bolton Ironman! He went on to support the Winter Quad Training Sessions with John Kavanagh and has encouraged many athletes to set themselves challenges, in many sports! He has inspired his daughter Vicky to continue in his footsteps, she has just had a brilliant first Quad Season, completing 3 races and winning the ‘Senior National Championship’ Race in Bude. She shows true grit and determination, just like her Dad …. A true credit to ‘Ned and Helen Price’.

Steve King Overall Winner

Jean Ashley Overall Winner

Phil Holden Vet 40


BQA member Russel Breyer 13th 2nd Vet 50

Russel Breyer Vet 50

John Redmond Vet 60




Ned Price Eric Hatliff






Louise Beedham U23

Jacqueline Davies Vet 40


Mary White Vet 50/60







This season 80 males and 28 female athletes took part in the series, up on last year! It was good to see plenty of first timers and great to see commitment from our BQA members, plenty of top class racing from our age groupers and elite athletes too.  We’ve had plenty more Women race this year, and hopefully the increase in competitors will continue next year. The BQA hope everyone enjoyed their quad season and will be back for more challenges and races next year, please tell your friends and help spread the word!

All of our Quad Races this year have been superbly organized by enthusiastic ‘Teams’ of like minded people and athletes, all enjoyed by the competitors ! A Huge thank-you for their commitment, affiliation fees and for providing us with great races with the Aim to Keep our Small Friendly Sport ALIVE! The BQA help to promote these races and supply the Race insurance so its vital we have YOUR support! A Big THANK-YOU to all our quadrathletes and especially the 2016 BQA members, we really appreciate your memberships and love to see you all racing at as many races you can fit into your diary!

Thank You, the Quad Season is over for 2016, rest, revitalize and plan your 2017 Goals ….. We are putting together next years BQA calender and working with the WQF to finalize the World Series …. So watch this space ……….!

Jean Ashley

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Awesome Foursome National Championships!

The Awesome Foursome certainly lived up to its name this year, after several years of kind weather for the race this year it decided to throw it an extra spanner in the works …. A big swell, surf and winds gusting to 40mph! At least it was warm and we had sunshine between the scurrying clouds, and there was a big field of quadrathletes, individuals, pairs and teams all looking forward to the challenge, some a little bit nervous!


Race Breifing

Organizer ‘Simon’ was as cool as ever, giving us a good comprehensive race briefing, but leaving the swim course decision until the last moment just in case the wind changed with the turn of the tide. The swim was slightly shorter with the turn buoy within the breakwater to save us from the huge waves, but knowing the Cornish Surf Lifeguards were bobbing about out there too … we just knew we would be safe!

There were some fantastic swim times, the surfers certainly know how to handle swimming in a rough sea, the fastest swimmers were mainly in teams/pairs with the overall Team winners ‘ Gully Blue Fins’ putting in extremely fast swim in 13.24. James Marshall was the fastest individual 16.16, with Simon (organizer) and his brother, plus BQA’s Nigel Crowe all around the 18.30 mark.

14463295_1788880438062606_2894839279661600976_nGoing onto the bike there was plenty of tough competition, and some excellent bike splits … it was all down to who could handle the head wind and the 3 very steep climbs! Again ‘Gully Blue Fins’ had the fastest split 50.18. Last year’s BQA Trophy winner Nigel Unwin was having a strong bike leg 53.41 and went into the lead, but only just in front of Chris, Simon, Mike Rudd and Matt Rayment. Despite the strong head winds up the hills everyone flew back into Bude … great down hills and a tail wind certainly felt good for us all!

The Canal had never been so hard, really windy and choppy, there were plenty of capsizes and lots of concentrated looks as paddlers tried to stay focused on what was a tough paddle. Team ‘Dept26’ had the fastest split 45.30 with Simon fastest individual 52.11. Nigel however was looking strong and also paddled well 53.41 … so he went onto the run in the lead and maintained that to take the Honours! (also 1st Vet 50). The brothers were still neck and neck, but Chris’s being the faster runner took 2nd place. (1st Vet 40) Tommy Mathews running very well moved into 3rd, whilst Simon came 4th (2nd Vet 50).

dscf2829In the Ladies race Lucy Obolensky had the fastest swim 20.11, with Jacqueline Davies seconds behind 20.15. Jean Ashley was out in 3rd place. They remained in this order throughout the bike leg, Jacq and Jean both more experienced paddlers overtook Lucy, and Jacq remained in the lead, despite having a capsize at the turn buoy. Jean didn’t quite catch her on the kayak leg but had eaten into her lead just 30 seconds behind as they went onto the run. Jacq was running well but Jean had caught her up by the end of the canal and went on to enjoy the wild and windy run route to take the win! BQA members Mary White (amazing lady Vet 60) came in strong in 3rd place and Vicky Price having the bravest race of her life so far came just behind in 4th, we hope this is going to be her start of what’s going to be a ‘Quadrathlete in the Making’.


Every single person that finished deserves a mention, and many will have a story to tell, it was certainly one Bude we shall all remember, I think this is why this race is so special, it’s always challenging, you never quite know what the Cornish Coast will throw at you, and it always lives up to its Name …. AWESOME!

A Huge Big Thank-you To Simon and his Wonderful Team for Hosting The National Championships.  A massive thank-you to all the marshals, the Bude Surf lifeguards for looking after us and showing us the way! It was great to see plenty BQA members racing, plus all the other athletes and first-timers! Plus all the Teams and Pairs Entries … an excellent turnout. I hope you all enjoyed it and will be back to support Shoreline Extreme Sports for more fun next Year!

Congratulations to our BQA National Quadrathlon 2016 Champions


1st Nigel Unwin (1st Vet 50) – 2.51.20 (BQA)

2nd Chris Hammond (1st Vet 40) – 2.55.06

3rd Tommy Mathews (1st Senior) – 3.03.07

9th Sam Norton (1st Youth) – 3.18.08

11th John Kavanagh (1st Vet 60) – 3.21.02 (BQA)


1st Jean Ashley (1st Vet 50) – 3.30.07 (BQA)

2nd Jacqueline Davies (1st Vet 40) – 3.32.34 (BQA)

3rd Mary White (1st Vet 60) – 3.48.16 (BQA)

4th Victoria Price (1st Senior) – 3.49.41 (BQA)

Plus a special mention to all our other BQA Members … Well Done Everyone!

4th Simon Hammond (2nd Vet 50) – 3.03.13 (BQA Race Affiliation Organizer)

10th Nigel Crowe (3rd Vet 50) – 3.20.20

15th Cliff Odgers -3.32.14

18th Peter Chappill  – 3.38.34

20th Lance Ball – 3.47.41

22nd John Redmond – 4.02.45

Full Bude Results quadrathlon-results-2016


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Final Race BUDE! Trophy Results after 4 Races

I hope your looking forward to our final race this weekend Last but not least its our Awesome Foursome Quad NATIONAL Championships – 24th September This is one of our longest running established Quadrathlons, this race in Bude never ceases to amaze me, I have raced it in all weathers ….  it is always a brilliant exciting and challenging race to end the season! Starting in the sea, there’s plenty of hills, a historic canal and amazing coastal views … it’s one of those addictive races that keeps drawing you back. The race is on a Saturday so plenty of time for sun, sand and surf too! Make sure your at our National Championships … National Trophy Prizes will be awarded to BQA Members …  Get your entry in and I will see you in Bude!


Nigel Unwin 2016 BQA Champion

Nigel Unwin 2016 BQA Champion


The coastal run course

The Latest Trophy Results after 4 races, are done big thanks to John Kavanagh for compiling  the Results, … its certainly hotting up with the final race coming up on Saturday!

Just a couple of Rules – Please Remember you have to be a BQA 2016 member to qualify for the Trophy/Prizes (to clarify, members are marked with a ‘Y’ in the first column). If an Age Grouper takes the Overall Prize, the age group prize will role down to the next Quarathlete in their age group. You must have done 3 races to qualify for a Trophy/Prize.

Trophy Results after 4 Races bqa-trophy-2016_12-1

Good Luck Everyone this weekend, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the National Championships in Bude, we might be in for some surf!! The Trophy Prizes will be presented! Saturday Racing, so plenty of time to celebrate on Saturday and surf on Sunday!!

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Dyffryn Conwy Mountain Challenge, the view from first timer Lance!

BQA Member Lance Ball has done us this account of the race, it was his first Conwy Race he has shared his story and hopefully it will inspire you all!

It may be the middle of September but we were to be graced with a glorious day ahead. As we picked up our kayaks in the car park, competitors were taking thermal tops off and were applying last minute sun cream ….  maybe I should have brought some!

dscf2796The tidal flow in the middle of the estuary could easily be seen from the bank travelling at a fast pace to help us upstream. Having sought advice beforehand, I decided not to use my flat water racer, but instead, play it safe and borrow a friends stable sea kayak.  I was one of the first onto the water at 11am to paddle down to the start and get a feel for this kayak that I hadn’t used before. The start was at a bank near to Conwy Castle. The bank was smooth except for a tiny small jagged part which I spotted and thought would make a good point to hold on to whilst waiting around. Unfortunately it was a bit too jagged and I cut my finger on it. Not the best way to start my race.

Everyone was making light hearted banter and it was clear that this race appealed to a friendly bunch of athletes.

At 11:30 we were off. I was initially boxed in, but quite happy as that just gave me more people to potentially draft. I was never going to be near the front, there were some seriously good paddlers taking part. Everyone appeared to set off at a fair rate of knots. As the fastest paddlers pulled away into the distance, I fell in behind a middle group of paddlers that were generally quicker than me, but by putting a large amount of effort in I was just able to keep up with them. I’d get in their wake as much as possible, but it wasn’t easy staying there. With no skeg or rudder I found it difficult in the current to stay on the back of them. Now and again I got dropped, but continually tried options to get back behind them. Sometimes by looking for a faster way around a bend, sometimes making the most of the wave created by the passing safety boat. Often by sheer bursts of effort. I knew that if I didn’t keep up, that I would quickly get left behind if paddling on my own. The fast tidal flow was great for assisting us to the end, but I found the conditions hard work.

I covered about 80% of the kayak leg before I started to get dropped and just couldn’t keep up any longer. The person ahead was pulling away and over the next 5 minutes just increased their gap considerably. Then suddenly I started to catch them very quickly. As I started to overtake, they commented that they must have something caught on their rudder as they were hardly moving any faster than the flow.

I stopped and pulled in behind them to have a look. They appeared to be dragging an entire hedge through the water behind them. I cleared the debris off and they were very grateful, telling me to stick in their wake and that we would both make up for lost time. I stuck with them to the finish of the kayak leg and as a result, I probably finished quicker than if I hadn’t had stopped at all.

A very quick drink and a few jelly babies and I was off on the run. Total time for the 13mile kayak plus transition 1hr 11min 14secs. (Compared to the overall winner who took 52min 3secs.)

lanceConsidering how much effort I had put in on the kayak, I felt pretty good starting the run. It’s always the discipline that I’m happiest in. After crossing the road, the path became very steep, so then it was just a hard walk most of the way until the flattish track that leads to the reservoir. Once on this track I got into a rhythm running alongside someone wearing an Eryri Harriers top. We chatted and swapped stories. I know Eryri runners like their fell races, so thought that I couldn’t be doing too badly if I was managing to keep up with one of them.

I only momentarily stopped at the check point before the reservoir, for a very quick gulp of the water on offer, grabbed a few more jelly babies and continued at the same pace to the reservoir.

Just after the reservoir I overtook a few competitors but the path wasn’t so defined. I ended up trudging through rough areas a little off the ideal track. Not good since debris was now going into my shoes and making progress uncomfortable. However I wasn’t going to slow down and I found myself behind someone who appeared to be quick and knew exactly where they were going. I stayed on their heels putting all effort into staying right behind them rather than needing to think where I was going. Together we overtook quite a number on the way down.

Into transition at the centre grounds it was a relief to get to the end of the run. Having decided not to wear socks, to speed up transitions, I’d got blisters and both my Achilles were extremely sore and bleeding. 12km fell run time 1hr 42min 56 secs (Overall winner took 1hr 22min 57secs)

I got the debris out of the shoes and briefly washed my Achilles before setting off on the bike. How I wished that I’d have left some socks in transition just in case, but too late now.

After a brief road section we turned onto a very steep section up towards the Marin Trail. I had made a mistake on which bike to take, having opted for a rather heavy dual suspension 29er rather than my much lighter hardtail. I didn’t know what the course would be like so opted for safety and comfort rather than all out speed. The extra weight was going to be detrimental going up these hills.

All was going o.k. as I continued up the wide, fairly smooth forest type paths when suddenly as I changed gear, the chain came off and my derailleur went into my spokes. A slight problem I thought as I put the chain back on, but no, it wasn’t slight. I couldn’t get the derailleur and chain to move. Several people went past and we exchanged comments about how the race was going. One of them thought that there might be a check point further up where there may just possibly be someone who might be able to help. So I decided to carry on pushing the bike up the hill.

After several minutes I made it to the point where the first technical trail started. Unfortunately there was no checkpoint here and no-one to be seen, so thought that my race was finished. However I wasn’t going to give up just yet. I emptied what tools I had onto the floor, grabbed something to eat and drink and tried what I could to un-jam the derailleur. Unfortunately, the bracket holding the derailleur had bent and it wasn’t going to be fixable there. Several more competitors went past and asked if I needed anything, but unsurprisingly no-one had a large vice and a big hammer in their back packs.










After what seemed like an eternity, I managed to get the derailleur to at least be in a position where it gave me one single gear. I couldn’t even use the front sprockets to provide a second ratio, since even that slight movement caused problems, so that was it, I had one gear and I was going to finish on that, even if that meant pushing it up the hills. I commenced on the next technical section and the gear that I did have at least seemed to be suitable to make reasonable progress.

I made it to the checkpoint and had a brief chat with the marshal who wished me luck in getting to the end with the problems I had. One of the competitors encouraged me by suggesting that we were now at one of the highest points, so most of the course would now be downhill at least. They were certainly correct and I made the most of the downhill sections, keeping my speed up on the technical sections, so as not to lose too much time.

On the last uphill section, I was pushing the bike along, when I came across a fellow competitor half sitting and half lying on the path. He looked in some pain and said that he was having severe cramp. I stopped and grabbed each of his legs in turn to massage their calf muscles and stretch his tendons. Then passed him some drink and an energy gel. Meanwhile another competitor went past joking that they were a tortoise but destined to beat the hare’s in this race. The person appeared to be recovering and told me that after this last hill we were on, it was then all downhill. That was great to here, I knew that I could finish now, as once I had pushed my bike to the top, I could always freewheel to the end if I really had to.

I really enjoyed the last section, knowing that I would now make it to the end, I could enjoy each small jump along the trail, the banked bends and the final descent through patches of water. When I crossed the finishing line it wasn’t so much a relief as wishing the downhill trail continued a bit further, as long as there were no more up hills! 19 km bike leg time 1hr 48min 35secs (overall winner took 1hr 5min 37secs)

Overall finishing time 4hrs 42min 45secs (overall winner took 3hrs 20min, 37secs)

Lance’s Summary below, truly describes the essence of this Race. Once again a big Thank-you on behalf of the BQA to ‘Ellie Salisbury’  and all involved, I’m sure there are so many more stories being shared!  (Jean)

‘What a fantastic race …. It’s tough, but wow what a day! The organisers and marshals were fabulous. It can’t be easy putting together a race like this, especially where the start is so far away from the end and sections of it are away from civilisation. Then there are the competitors who were all so friendly no matter how tough the race became. 

We appear to be at a time where dozens and dozens of commercialised races are appearing that make vast profits for the organisers because people are happy to pay big sums to join large crowds and get muddy in a field.

But then there are unique races like the Dyffryn Conwy Mountain Challenge. Unheard of by most. Put on by a group of dedicated people for a particular type of individual. This is the first time that I have taken part in this race. Despite the blisters, cuts, sores, aches, pains and sunburn, I certainly intend to be back to take part again. Just next time with a sleeker kayak, lighter bike and definitely a pair of socks.

Thanks to everyone involved in making this event happen’.



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