Montgomery Canal Triathlon 2018

This was just a great warm up to our Quadrathlon season, and a perfect day out down the Historic Canal. I have done this event 5 times now and have really enjoyed the challenge, its great pre-race training and a good opportunity to support the Montgomery Canal Trust. We were blessed with a beautiful day, no wind and blue bird skies. I had hoped to crack the 4 hour mark this year … but just missed it by a couple of minuits!

240 athletes/fundraisers started the journey to bike, run/walk and then kayak the 35miles following the tow path of the Montgomery Canal. The journey starts in Newtown and finished in Lower Frankton, running along the tow path and in the canal all the way 17miles biking, 11miles running, and 7 miles of kayaking/canoeing, with the majority using Canadian Canoes (in pairs). The more competitive ones amongst us start first at 8.30 (in groups of 6), leaving the ones taking it ‘a bit less competitive’ to start at a more steady pace! I must say if I’d of seen the Tea, Cakes and sandwiches at the transition areas I might of been persuaded to take my time, but there were plenty at the finish too!

The race is extremely well organized and the marshals very supportive all the way, it is a beautiful canal and a real pleasure to support ‘The Friends of the Montgomery Canal Trust’ in helping them raise money to help restore this historic canal! #bike17run11kayak7miles

Montgomery Canal Triathlon 2018

This is a great warm up to our Quadrathlon season if you fancy a day out down the Montgomery Canal. This Triathlon is a Superb Charity Event, in its 7th year and it takes place on Saturday, 19th May 2018. I have done this event 4 times now and have really enjoyed the challenge, its great pre-race training and a good opportunity to support the Montgomery Canal Trust.

About 220 athletes/fundraisers start the journey to bike, run/walk and then kayak the 35miles following the tow path of the Montgomery Canal. The journey starts in Newtown and finished in Lower Frankton, 17miles M.T. BIKing, 11miles X.C. running, and 7 miles of kayaking/canoeing, with the majority using Canadian Canoes (in pairs). The more competitive ones amongst us start first at 8.30 (in groups of 6), leaving the ones taking it ‘a bit less competitive’ to start at a more steady pace! I must say if I’d of seen the Tea, Cakes and sandwiches at the transition areas I might of been persuaded to take my time! It really is worth saving the date! 

The format is the same as for the past 3 years, along 35 miles of the Canal, entrants can attempt any or all of the three sections, individuals pairs or teams are all welcome.
CYCLING 17 miles from Newtown to Pool Quay.
WALKING 11 miles from Pool Quay to Morton.
CANOEING 7 miles from Morton to Lower Frankton.


This is an endurance event, not a race and is a great day out for families with children as well as experienced triathletes. All entrants who complete a section will receive a commemorative medallion made from local slate.

Entry forms are available at  Montgomery Triathleaflet 2018 or Poster Montgomery TriathPoster 2018

The closing date for entries is 5th May 2018 and the email address is                             Maggie Ellis, Triathlon Entry Coordinator & Friends of the Montgomery Canal

 The Triathlon – is organised in support of the restoration of the canal – which has reached an exciting stage. The section currently under restoration to Crickheath in Shropshire is now fully funded following an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund and, whilst that project is still ongoing, new works have started on the section between Crickheath and Llanymynech in Powys: In July, volunteers cleared over 1,100 tons of material of a former railway embankment blocking the canal at Pant (making the towpath much easier for the Triathlon). The next major obstacle is Schoolhouse Bridge near Pant, the last ‘dropped’ bridge in Shropshire blocking the canal’s route to the Welsh border. Plans to rebuild this bridge are well progressed and a major fund-raising campaign was launched earlier this year. We were able to pledge £1,500 from the 2017 Triathlon towards it and are hoping to raise much more next year.

Many entrants raise funds for their chosen charities through taking part in the Triathlon. If you would like to raise funds for the restoration, you can download a ‘Restore The Montgomery Canal’ sponsorship form which will be available shortly at

We hope you’ll be able to enter our Event and please contact me if you need any more information
Maggie Ellis
Triathlon Entry Coordinator   
Friends of the Montgomery Canal

Norfolk Superhero Race Report 2017

Post Superhero Event

It was only the weekend we had been waiting for all year and here it was, forecast was good, no wind, no rain and maybe a little too much sun.  Riddy had done her back in dancing in heels the previous Saturday and Head Marshall Cath was on crutches with a shattered hip. Luckily Jess had rung round and we had the best set up to a Superhero ever. As per usual, the RUDD MARQUEE boys, Peter, Cliff, Seany and John all had their tops off and by Thursday the Marquee was up, ANTON WIMMER  had bought in the drinks, PHIL ELLIS had set up the WATER (Thank Goodness – never so much needed by so few for so long!) and bought the Monster Superhero Bar that lives in a barn, ALEC LOCHORE had set up the transition zone and and the flags were flying against a blue sky and a green marsh.

We also had extra help from ‘Super Steward’ WILL GARNETT, who was shimmying up tent poles to attach ADNAMS banners,  VICKI RINGER  setting up the bar, LUCY BIRKBECK doing all the heavy carrying round the office, SARAH GREEN dropping in prizes for the HOLKHAM COUNTRY FAIR, stayed and ended up unloading 98 kayaks with NIALL who had just popped in to show his face. MARK LAPPING, PHIL ELLIS and SIMON WILSON STEPHENS were out marking the course and everything was feeling calm. CHARLES and BRYGIDA BOURNE of URBAN ARMOUR, our wonderful  medal sponsors even treated us to a delicious HERO pub take out.

Friday check in and the rumours were flying around… Was Niall really doing the superhero again, and who is this Alan Hill bloke….? Apparently it was going to hit 30 degrees on Saturday at about 2pm when everyone was on the run. What colour are the t-shirts this year? Who had got last minute places from the waiting list… there were two new Brothers whose name began with B, someone said they were from Yorkshire?  Were the red and white kayaks faster or slower than the others?  One of our sponsors couldn’t make it to the safety briefing so we worked out which was last years winning kayak from the curled up old stickers and baggsed it for him.  That caused quite a bit of consternation. Bikes and Ironman t-shirts were being openly paraded through the field. There was the sound of annual superhero friends greeting each other, ALGY’S POPCORN being scoffed and PINK LADIES taking scissors to their t-shirts, obviously wary of suntan lines.

CAPTAIN MARTYN FLITCROFT treated us to an excellent safety briefing, stressing the importance of hydration and common sense and MARK AND SIMON gave us all a good chat about sandbar tactics on the swim and outlined the importance of comradeship. Delicious carb loading supper prepared by SARA STOCKS of GREAT GRANOLA, who we are so pleased to get to help us with our food every year, as this is the only event she caters for. (Lucky us) Lots of new faces both amongst the marshals and competitors meant we were looking at the biggest event we had ever staged happening and we couldn’t wait.  We are always so happy to welcome new people to the superhero, but we also realise that the same people returning every year gives us that unique atmosphere that is always commented on. (We are thinking of bringing out a 10 year t-shirt so do get in touch anyone who wants and deserves one.)
We woke up in our Jess-painted bespoke pink, blue and star painted caravan to an even hotter morning than anticipated. A later start due to the tide meant Marshall safety briefing and bacon butties started at 8.30. When ‘tags out’ opened in HQ at 9.00, the field came alive to the smell of sun cream, fear and rubber.  DANNY and his mate from HOLKHAM were there on parking, TRI HARDER were in the field (even bringing a wetsuit for Nic Bizley who had forgotten his), FAT BIRDS were sorting out bikes, IAN WILLIAMSON and the massage crew had set up their tent. The boat marshals started turning up, always a good sign as it means the tide is coming in. Huge thanks to our new boat marshals, ROGER and ASH as well as SIMON, KEVIN, JIM and the ever loyal PETER BECK.
The walking party set off slowly in the sunshine, past the lovely marshals on the wall.  The boats were loaded with competitors and slowly Gun Hill became not just a place for nesting terns (thanks for not disturbing them) but for massing superheroes. A nice man from NATURAL ENGLAND  came to make sure we were all alright. Looking back to shore we could see the Lowland rescue boats, visible against the groynes and slight sandbar shadow, the tide was still coming in but it was never going to be a big one. ROLAND BEWICK’S FAKENHAM CANOE CLUB and NORTH NORFOLK RNLI PADDLE BOARDERS led by Liam were perfectly positioned on the beach when the call came through that the RNLI INSHORE LIFEBOAT was in the channel. We were were all ready to go, including JIM WHITESIDE and LOWLAND RESCUE. Someone hadn’t got a wetsuit , Stafford Proctor had a spare one, Someone hadn’t bought their goggles, Robert Gurney had some spare ones, photos were taken, bags stashed. The lifeguards formed a funnel and the count took place… 195!  Someone hadn’t made it to the start but it didn’t matter – The competitors dove into the water at 11.15.
Ideal swimming conditions on top of the water but maybe not enough water below meant we had a lovely calm CHEQUERS INN swim leg with absolutely no panicking swimmers and a wonderfully controlled escort of safety craft. Despite the fact that a lot of competitors could be seen walking the straightest line, it showed that it paid to stay in the channel, as this year, Abbie Thorrington set a new course record of 14:48.  Sam ‘shoulders’ Kendrick, last year’s paddle boarder leader, was on her tail but just could not catch her with 15:23. Second and third for the girls was Eve Dewsnap with 19:29 and Rachel Symington, our own swim coach with 19:59. Second and third for the boys were Tom Vickery with 15:51 and Rob Lines with 15:54. Pretty impressive.
We think we might have quite a lot of video footage on the LIVING LEADER kayak leg of PETE NAYLOR’s old teammate  from last year, Ben Jackson, as he was operating the drone camera of DRIFT MEDIA  alongside PAUL JOY which was up above you a lot of the time. Several kayaks went into the water backwards but the marshals did a wonderful job of creating a funnel of pink for ease of launching. All the kayaks turned at the right place, there was the usual scrum to get over the bank, and the short course was won by Lucy and Harry Hitchcock with a time of 36:30, followed by Saya Sheridan and Nicholas Bertrand 37:46, and Diane Swanepole and Rob Lines in hot pursuit with 38:39.  The long course obviously took a longer time with Dan Guppy and Simon Riches clocked round in 49:05, Paul Forster and Tom Vickery in 49.29 and Lex Brun and Matt Noble-Clarke squeaking third with 49.33.
Back in the field the marshals were working hard with James Holden and Stuart Cameron especially taking kayaks on the run from you all and stacking them all up in the trailers, whilst simultaneously directing spectators and beaming happily. The marshals were numerous, cheerful calm and strong throughout and that is what makes the superhero such a unique event in the triathlon and endurance racing world. You don’t get such great marshals everywhere apparently.
By the time the BARRATT & COOKE bike leg started, the day was getting hot. A lot of water was being taken by the competitors from all the marshal points. We were ready for you, water was moved around the course by our excellent NORFOLK AND SUFFOLK 4×4 boys and on the back leg of the course chilled bottles of water were being delivered personally by HQ.  Niall McCallum’s watch apparently beeped every 15 minutes; whereupon he would feed his partner, Alan Hill energy snacks or empty water bottles down him, this caused great hilarity of all surrounding them. Sadly the bike was calamitous for some, with Dylan Bogg and Roger Canham having a inter-team collision with each other on a corner, and poor Roger came away with a broken collar bone. Emma Littmoden came off at Sandringham and need 15 stitches (sorry, by the prize giving we had exaggerated that up to 17) in her shoulder. Finally, Ant Ringer came a cropper on the cattle grid and also broke his collar bone. Ow Ow Ow… we hope you are all making a good recovery.  David Horton Fawkes and Ben Hunter Watts proved that two surnames are better than one, when they won the bike leg with a time of 2:05:45. Jamie Carter and Andy Nunn came second with a time of 2:06:02 and Robert Gurney and Tim Hansell came third with 2:06:20. Well done to you all. That is always a contentious leg, well fought over.
The paramedics were busy dealing with the bike falls, so we were lucky to have amongst our marshal team, several other medical professionals, including, DI BLACK, KAREN SNOOK and TIM MORTON all of whom voluntarily stepped up to the challenge of keeping you safe; being alert to your physical and mental state and stepping in when required. Thank you to them and to you for heeding their advice. We had also trained up 12 of our marshals as first aiders on a course run by MARTYN FLITCROFT back in May for which we are very grateful. Good job none of them were required when Clare Birch got shot at whilst on her bike past Sandringham by someone shooting pigeons. Literally a piece of shot hit her face! She says she is going to dine out on that story.
So to the HOLKHAM run, it is often dispiriting for those runners to be leaving the field only to find the crowd has their backs to them as they have spotted the lead runners already coming back across the marsh having completed the epic last leg.  So how marvellous to have the GRESHAM’S Band powering through some very uplifting music which was floating out across the village.  Water that had been left in transition boxes for this final stage was by now at almost egg boiling temperatures, so it was wonderful to have jugs of cold water and more bottles available at bottom gate as dehydration would have been a bad move at this stage. big disappointment was felt to anyone who left their partner on the run, usual suspects guilty again. The conditions we had on Saturday were just the time when it is important to stick together, the buddy system which Simon talked about in a ‘mental health’ situation was just as relevant on the beach.  (We will not be inviting anyone back in 2018 who left their partner on the beach.) But luckily our true stalwart marshals were there for them, equipped with sun cream, bananas, cheers and even a fancy dress outfit or two. (What happens in the woods stays in the woods so we are told.) Our trailing pair of runners were given two bottles of chilled water at every checkpoint, which they found miraculous, as the temperature had indeed soared. A special mention to Ladies Marshall prize winners SAM GURNEY and VICKI RINGER who were at the beach outpost. Luckily though, there was wind on the Sahara straight and it was blowing right in your faces. The race for 1st place was tight, tighter than anyone wanted, wrong turns, lost partners, mirages in the desert – it was all happening out on the beach. The winners of the fastest run were Andrew Nunn and Jamie Carter with a time of 1:09:45, 2nd in the run leg were Simon Able and John O’Neal  and third were Lex Brun and Matt Noble-Clark with 1:13:26. Last year’ previous winner with Niall, DAVE WALKER came and was the medal giver as you all came over the finish line as Superheroes and were rewarded with VITACOCO
Ian Williamson and his massage team were having to work hard as the day was still hot.  The RQ CAPITAL ‘champions supper’ was delicious with GRAVES HOG ROAST and the usual scrum of extra Supper ticket administration.  BEN ZAVEN CRANE bought the party to the marquee with his eclectic and spot on prize giving sound track.
Mark and Simon did a great job of the speeches, the stories came out of the missing partners, the puncture repairers, and the new friends made along the way. The Lord Nelson Trophy had passed on to new hands, Niall has stepped away from his unbroken line of wins. The Ormegoddon Boys, Chris Langlois and Jon Holt had bought a special Guernsey bottle of Gin to hand on as the Spirit prize to the newly voted favourites, who had won the hearts of the marshals and competitors for taking part in the event in the true spirit of the Superhero.

To Be Advised        Jamie Carter & Andrew Nunn        4:33:57

Ugly Five Zero        Matthew Noble Clark & Lex Brun        4:34:29

Cold Chips n Dip        Simon Riches & Dan Guppy            4:37:29



No Payne No Gain    Matt Payne & Sheila Oxtoby            4:42:23

Small and Hall        Nick Littmoden & Frankie Hall        4:59:23

Tri Harder            Ben Walker & Eve Dewsnap             5:06:23



In Preparation         Emily Lochore & Nicky Knowles         5:16:09

The Brunettes         Emma Lloyd-Davies & Abbie Brun        5:34:08

Science Friction        Rebecca Hornby & Abbie Conway        6:04:38



Blood Sweat & Beers    Sam Kingston & Tim Murdoch        5:13:31

Beer Brothers        Philip & Martin Beer                5:17:52

Zimmer of Hope        Will & James Acworth                5:25:50



Cold Chips n Dip        Simon Riches & Dan Guppy            4:37:29



Cheese Crumpets    Tiffany Turner & Matt Turner-Jarvis        5:42:53



Young Guns        Oliver Jurascheck & Jack Pearce        6:25:39



Moobs Like Jagger    Mark Widdowson & James McIntosh    7:39:13



Boys               James Holden & Stuart Cameron

Ladies             Vicki Ringer & Samantha Gurney

Our results are all posted on RESULTS BASE

Then all decorum went out of the window – tables were dragged outside for the view of the flags on the marsh, the pink ladies were back behind the bar, crutches were being raised above the dance floor and the teenagers were night swimming in the creek. The ‘Charles Miller Rose’ moment came at 2pm, after the gate crashers were ousted, Superhero hats were awarded to the special clearer uppers and a translator was required in order for us to communicate with pink lady Matthew. It was the latest after party we have ever had and did we mention your t-shirt s GLOW IN THE DARK! You have all been marvellous and posted all your photos on Instagram and Facebook – Thank you for your messages, we really appreciate them and will try, in the next few days, to pass as many as possible on to the PINK LADIES.
The great fact of it was, that we all had a lot of fun, even if it didn’t feel like it at the time.  It was a hot, gruelling, some say the hardest Superhero yet, some didn’t make it, but all of those who tried, all of those that did – and those that helped make it happen for everyone else, are all Superheroes.
In order for us to keep helping people, keeping that Superhero spirit alive: please could you keep fundraising, passing on those well wishers sponsorship to the following fund. The Norfolk Superhero Foundation, raising money for small local Mental Health and Well Being charities.

Here is our Virgin Money Giving page link:

Or you can send us a cheque paid out to
“Norfolk Community foundation’
c/o Norfolk Superhero Challenge,
Painswhin Farm,
NR21 7BZ

And to end it all and to say thank you to you all for all your brilliant enthusiasm and thanks – have a little look at the video DRIFT MEDIA has put together for us.

P.S. We have got the date for next year and its the 16th June 2018, which is a BIG tide, but ‘shhhhhhhh!’ don’t tell anyone else, otherwise how are we going to fit you all in?

P.P.S. There are masses of photos on Facebook and Instagram do have a look – Click on the buttons below to bring them up and contact JEZ BATCH, our marvellous photographer, if you want any copies of this fantastic photos.

2016 Norfolk Superhero Challenge Race

The BQA support this amazing Charity Quadrathlon ‘The Norfolk Superhero Challenge’. A huge Congratulations to them in their 10th year for raising in excess of £60,000 for the EAST ANGLIAN AIR AMBULANCE a superb effort from all the organizers, marshals and competitors alike!

Jess and Riddy, the main organizers wish to thank all involved, it sounds like they had an amazing weekend! Hears their thank-you and some of the lovely comments about this amazing race ….

‘You are just too numerous to thank individually but each and every one of your is a Superhero, and deserves a medal yourselves. As we always say we REALLY COULDN’T do it without you. From the Superhero field to the parking to the water safety team to the music makers to the litter pickers and water carriers, to the bar staff and pink ladies to the boat men to the DJ……..from the skip to the walkie talkies to the kayaks to the bar buckets…………… you see a huge team who all work together so fabulously and help us make the Norfolk Superhero a day to remember for everyone. Below are just a few of the comments that have been whizzing in to us that we wanted to share with you – so you know how simply FABULOUS you all are. Facebook has also been buzzing with excitement and messages of thanks to the pink ladies!’

“We just wanted to say a massive thank you for an incredible day! The best weather, the slickest organisation, the most fab pink ladies, the least pain and our fastest ever time. I know you weren’t in charge of all those things but all of them had a part to pay in what is such an incredibly special event and the only one we would ever get out of bed to do!”

“I could go on for hours about how it has enriched all of our lives.”

It was a great weekend from every possible perspective. Healthy, fun-filled, family-friendly, sun-drenched, and beer-quenched

The organisation of the event is superb and that is a credit to everyone involved

You really do an amazing job, along with all your pink ladies and the weather really made it this year as well.

I think?… I speak for us all when I say it was the most enjoyable endurance event we have ever taken part in, the feelings as we crossed the line after a year of training and elation we simply want to bottle.

You must be so pleased with how everything turned out over the weekend…I’ve never been to an event that has so much soul!! It was such a treat and honour to be there and support after hearing so much about it over the past few years.

What a fantastic day, sorry we were so long, you again did a great job, beautiful weather, wonderful organisation, friendly enthusiastic helpful pink ladies,

A huge thank you to you both for yet another fabulous Norfolk Super Hero. It is like no other event, so friendly, relaxed, fun, beautiful and tough all at the same time.
We have had another wonderful year pulling everything together and are so enriched by having you all as part of our lives. A few points to mention below……

Results, Photos and Details can be found on the Website


The 10th year of the Norfolk Superhero landed bang in the middle of the weirdest weekend in English politics. Luckily, there was a great big impenetrable bubble of happiness engulfing JUSTIN DOWLEY’s field and the outer marsh of Burnham Overy Staithe, that meant that the sun shone all weekend and nothing else mattered.

We were able to unload the RAT RACE kayaks with ROB AITKEN and his super family at 11.30pm on Thursday night between 2 huge rainstorms. Friday afternoon check in radiated Pinkness from the HQ tent which blocked all dark vibes. This was going to be an epic event.  MUSKETEER  EVENTS Flags were flying against a blue, blue sky and the transition zone was beautifully marked out by their very smart posts and rope. PHIL ELLIS in his role as First plumber had re-erected the competitor shower. SIMON WILSON STEPHENS, PHIL ELLIS, WILLIAM GARNETT and MARK LAPPING had marked out the kayak and cycle course. The ADNAMS GHOST SHIP bar was ably manned by, disappointedly injured competitor, TOM MARRIOTT for whom we were doubly indebted as he gave us the first taste of MARSTONS delicious WAINWRIGHT in the East.   Again ANTON WIMMER  of the KINGS HEAD  at Bawburgh  organized the whole bar situation and  set up up.  TYRRELLS crisps were stacked on the bar. We were ready to go.

DANDIS competitor t-shirts looked great on you all, as you rocked that ‘Ibiza vibe’ at check in.  SARA STOCKS of BONALLACK not only stocked your goodie bags with amazing granola squares but fed you all super duper pasta supper and salad. Poor RACHEL who burnt her arm whilst in the kitchen was one of the few casualties OLI KROL of PRO EVENT MEDICAL  had all weekend. Lovely NORFOLK CORDIAL’s  delicious apple juice was in the marshalls bags and it was great to have back our usual incredible checking in team who had you all SPORTS STICKS tattooed and stickered up well before the safety briefing, led by our very own MARVELLOUS MARTYN FLITCROFT.  In fact the last competitor seen drinking in the field was JAMES LAPPING and he was tucked up in his tent by 9.30. The same could not be said for the water marshalls, JIM WHITESIDE and SAM KENDRICK, who were busy navigating the swim course for familiarisation reasons or really just to go and gaze at the amazing sunset.

Saturday 25th June started as it meant to carry on, a strangely calm and gloriously sunny dawn. Our parking marshalls, HOLKHAMS very own DANNY and his friend, look splendid in their policeman outfits and even made road closures easy to handle. The boatmen and women all (nearly) turned up on time, walkers set off happily and a couple of teams even took their own boat out to the start.  Thanks to BEN on BILLYWITCH, PETER BECK, THE MACLEANS, TARA D-H and PETER BICKELL. As well, The RNLI INSHORE life boat, LOWLAND RESCUE (with him off the telly PAUL CHAMBERLAIN) and the FAKENAHM CANOE CLUB were all out on the water to ensure your safety.  STORMY SAM KENDRICK and his RNLI PADDLE BOARDERS helped us funnel you through the always scary head count and the incomparable JERRY PHILIPPI set you all off at 9:13.58 am.  The CHEQUERS INN AT THORNHAM swim had begun. Whoever was standing next to ABBIE ‘the fish’ THORRINGTON should have held on, as she set this year’s fastest time with an incredible 15.45 for the mile swim!

As soon as you were turned around in the transition zone it was out again with your trusty partner, some with a longer wait than others (ABBIE THE FISH and JAMES HADDOW!) The COVERIS kayak leg meant 2 courses, a shorter course for any boat with a women in it, which was well marshalled by in inimitable PETER BICKELL, at times I believe wearing a pink wig?? TARA D-H ably marshalled the unluckier mens turn. Heroic tales from the marsh bank came to our ears with ANTON WIMMER and JASON SNOOK (Jaws) helping carry kayaks over the storm wall. Awesome work boys.  The start boat under instructions of KEVIN our cameraman for this year (we missed you Ben and Pete of SCHOOLHOUSE DIGITAL xx) was in the melee at one point but luckily our fabulous tiller woman LUCY BIRKBECK was unflappable.
Winners of the short course with 34.59 were EMILY LOCHORE and RACHEL SYMINGTON. Winners of the long course with 44.47 were NIALL McCALLUM and DAVE WALKER – get used to those names…

However, as we say – its all about the bike. And this is, after all, the BARRATT & COOK bike, so it was rather marvellous to watch so many extremely competitive people surge out of the field and out of our hair at HQ, oh, for all of 1 hour 59 minutes! NEW COURSE RECORD ALERT  – Outrageous behaviour NIALL McCALLUM and DAVE WALKER (I may start using short hand, and yes you can call him ‘Neil’ or Niall). Using our new improved route avoiding Burnham Market and the opportunity to shout at slow shoppers to ‘get out of the way’ but also missing the opportunity to pass the medal sponsor CHARLES BOURN’S gorgeous jewellery shop URBAN ARMOUR (sponsors of the medals). JIM WHITESIDE and his 4×4 SUPPORT were on the course all day keeping us informed of progress. Marshalls were hydrating you with BOOKER’s donated water, whizzing  BARSBY bananas through the air at you and shouting you on with encouraging noises. Despite our warning s of gravel and terrible roads PETER FLETT of FAT BIRDS didn’t have that many punctures to repair which is great but I believe poor JAMES LAPPING still got 5 on his own. Thanks to the SEXTON family for getting the roads swept at South Creake.  The LYNN ARMS at SYDERSTONE also put on a party that I think went on long after you had all swept past.

If it’s all about the bike for the competitors – for the marshalls it is all about the run! The HOLKHAM run was taking place over midday and it seemed that the East Anglian Air Ambulance may have been cloud seeding inland as we were enjoying uninterrupted sunshine. Again can we thank MATTHEW CLIFFORD, SARAH SHAPEERO and WENDY UTTING for their unending enthusiasm and original ideas as marshalls to keep us all highly amused.  This year was the turn of Lady Anne’s Drive to be hosting a Mexican themed tequila party, replete with fancy dress and I had fallen for the decoy of the pink curly wig on the water leg!  There was a lot of position changing amongst the front runners on the marsh and this is where the most intense sun tanning took place. Tan lines were properly razor sharp and usually racer back, especially in the case of WILL BARRATT who impressed the office with his sunburn so much on Monday morning that we got an extra donation for the EAAA for his trouble (thanks Will M). HUGH SOMERLEYTON having separated from his previous partner due to lack of running pace teamed up with MATT GINGELL , previous winner to form the dream team not realising that Matt had not followed the diet schedule and …. ended up divorcing him also.

The fiddly-dee-dee band of PETE ALLISON, was a moving feast on the hard at the Finish line alongside the URBAN ARMOUR medals and VITA COCO. The cry went up at 10 past 1, that figures had been spotted on the marsh. Our upcoming band of junior marshalls including ALEYSHA UTTING, OLLY BEER and MARY CORY WRIGHT were wonderful and in all the right places at all the right times. Medals were held out ready…. no way… it wasn’t – NIALL MCCALLUM & DAVE WALKER again! Textbook.

Prizegiving and Supper just hummed by with delicious GRAVES Norfolk hog roast and SARA STOCKS BONALLACK’s super healthy salads and unctuous chocolate brownies.  The EAAA’s wonderful thank you speech made us realise how hard you had all worked at raising money for the baby ventilators and we would especially like to thank you you GOLDEN TICKET holders.  You are all on the invite list for next year! (Especially you TEAM FINISH & BLONDE AMBITION who raised over £8,000).  SIMON WILSON STEPHENS and MARK LAPPING ’s excellent speeches summed it all up – the disqualifications, the thanks, the camaraderie, the history, the winners. However another superhero was born that night and he wears purple, rocks peroxide hair and goes by he name of BEN ZAVEN-CRANE, Norfolk DJ extraordinaire! That party was worthy of 210 years of Superhero and it finished bang on 12 midnight people of Burnham Overy Staithe. Dancing mentions must go to BILLY CARLE, OLI PUGH and DYLAN BOGG.

Our thanks also to the morning  folk, you guys that come and help us clear up – ANTON WIMMER and JASON SNOOK, you are always awesome at removing all that left over red wine we order in! The RUDD MARQUEE band of boys are always welcome and do an amazing  job. SARAH GAY FLETCHER and WILL GARNET – looking great with the bin bags, obviously PHIL ELLIS and THE FINALLY FIRST duo of SIMON and MARK – THANK YOU for all your support during our mild ‘living it – breathing it’ hysterics! Thank you also to the SUN for shining all weekend.

See you all next year for the 11th (my lucky number) Norfolk Superhero. Look out on our brilliant website that MARCUS HAWKINS does at BINARY DRIVE for photos, video and information.

But most importantly, those 176 of you who made it back, having completed the race.  Massive congratulations to you all.

And so to the Prizes,
with Champagne kindly donated by WILLIAM MASON FINE WINES and ADNAMS

Abbie Thorrington – 15.45
Tom Vickery – 17.08

NO PUNCTURES PLEASE – Rachel Symington and Emily Lochore 34.55

OH SO SHELLFISH – Niall McCallum & Dave Walker 44.45

OH SO SHELLFISH – Niall McCallum & Dave Walker 1.59

OH SO SHELLFISH – Niall McCallum & Dave Walker 1.04

OH SO SHELLFISH – Niall McCallum & Dave Walker 4.10.41

PURELY FOR THE MUD  – Saya Sheridan & Nicholas Bertrand 4.49.47

NO PUNCTURES PLEASE – Emily Lochore and Rachel Symington 4.54.08

MARMOTTE – Jamie Carter and Andy Nunn 4.33.08

ONE LORD LEICS  – Tom Leicester and Geoffrey Garfoot
(awarded falsely, it turns out) 5.07.00
WEST END BOYS – Aidan Bailey & Chris Parker
(faster, but hadn’t ticked the box) 5.00.25

HITCHCOCK – THRILLER – Harry Hitchcock and Damaris Hitchcock – 5.20.28

ORMERGEDDON – Stephen Langlois and John Holt 5.37.06
special mentions to so many others – we love you all…

LOOSE HEAD & BLINDSIDE – Ross Haddow and James Haddow 7.02.20

Boat Marshall – Peter Bickell
Pink Marshalls – Jerry Phillippi and Tom Marriott
Long Service – Vicky Ringer, Jayne Bewick, Wendy Utting and Sarah Shapeero

SMILEY PRIZE – not given on the night but discussed at length by marshalls at the bar later…
– Alex Gladstone and Tim Stone


Montgomery Canal Triathlon 2016

The Montgomery Canal Triathlon is a Superb Charity Triathlon, on 7th May, 220 athletes/fundraisers started the journey to bike, run or walk and kayak 35miles following the tow path of the Montgomery Canal. We started in Newtown and finished in Lower Frankton, 17miles MT BIKing, 11miles XC running and 7 miles of kayaking/canoeing, with the majority using Canadian Canoes (in pairs). The more competitive ones amongst us started first at 8.30 (in groups of 6), leaving the ones taking it ‘a bit less competitive’ to start a little less frantic! I must say if I’d of seen the Tea, Cakes and sandwiches at the transition areas I might of been persuaded to take my time!

There were about 6 of us battling it out at the front, with 2 bikers getting in just under the hour, 4 of us came in about 8 mins later, but I soon find myself on my own leaving transition, with my energy gel … whilst the others were eating the first cake of the day!

It was a lovely run, a bit lonely but lots of wild flowers and lambs along the way, I got into a good rhythm … and hoped I would see the runner in front! But he was long gone, I got to the kayak transition and my ‘Team Support Ashley’ said ‘he’s 20 mins ahead paddling a sea kayak … you’ve got a lot to do….?’ Well ‘Never say Never’ I just had to paddle and portage the locks as fast as possible! 4.5 miles done, I got to Shropshire Paddlesports Club House, there was some very welcome encouragement as some paddlers shouted ‘he’s about 3 mins in front’, I could just about see the blue sea kayak, so that was like dangling a carrot … finally I caught him up with 2 miles to go! His kayak was heavy especially at the portages … so he had struggled to get up speed, so it had slowed him down … just a bit!

He did pick up my beautiful pink K1 at the finish, he smiled and said ‘I’ll be back next year with a new kayak!’

Finally it was time for Tea, sandwiches and huge homemade cakes, there was an even bigger selection at the end! I’m not sure if I’d of stopped at the transitions for cake .. I’d of made it to the finish the cakes were scrumptious! It really was a great event, and certainly a good training session, they raised plenty of money for Montgomery Canal Funds and various charities. Everyone finished and all enjoyed their journeys!

I must say a Huge Well Done to BQA Quadrathlete Lance Ball who did the whole race with his young daughter Hermione, she did really well and overtook plenty of teams along the way … ‘A Quadrathlete in the making, Well done Hermione .. a great effort!’







I did take some time to spread the ‘Word of Quadrathlon’ and hopefully we will get a few more recruits, great to see Mark Rydon racing again after his first Quadrathlon in Shrewsbury last season, I think he’s on the look out for a fast kayak too!

A special mention to Peter and Judith Richards and The Friends of the Montgomey Canal, ‘A Big Thank-you to you and all your wonderful marshals, time checkers, kayak hire teams, and the kitchen staff … who made our day a Brilliant one!!! Your Team worked so hard all day to put on a superb event, I hope you have made a good amount for your Canal Funds, so you can keep moving your Canal Project forwards ….. I look forward to seeing you all again next year!

We should certainly have more races like this, and I might just stop for cake next time!!


A Very Long, Long Distance Quad Bonkers Bash 2015!

1 man, 4410 KM, 1 heck of a Challenge!

Some of you may of heard the interview with Richard Brash last Friday on Radio 2’s Simon Mayo’s show, well this is the Quadrathlete enthusiast Richard Brash who is currently attempting to circumnavigate the UK in 28 days, he will be running, cycling, swimming and kayaking everyday with just three rest days.

Richard left Bournemouth Pier on Saturday 4th July and is presently on day 4th where he will finish in Burnham. Any local or social media support you can give along the route for the next 25 days would be greatly appreciated.

Please find the links to Richards FB page, if you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me on 01442 507311. We’re really happy to be joined by RNLI man, Alex Wade who will be doing the cycling with Richard and Dave. It’s really good to have people along to join the riding etc, so please if you live along the route and you’re a looney – or if you know one – please connect us up!
Richard B

Pepper Foundation

Richard H

Best wishes
Diane Butler

Channel Swim Relay 2015

BQA Member Tim Down is due to take part in a Channel swim relay this coming September, unfortunately he has had a couple of late withdrawals from his team and they are now down to two which isn’t enough given our capabilities. This means that we are now urgently looking for 2-3 more swimmers to join us at late notice.

The details…

Our booked window is from 19th-26th September, we are free to go at any time during this period although as it is very much a weather dependent event we should take advantage of the earliest opportunity. This is a week of neap tides which present the most favourable conditions.

The form of the swim is – no thermal protection apart from a single swim cap plus standard traditional swim togs. Definitely no wetsuits or anything remotely resembling one. Each swimmer swims for an hour at a time in rotation so if there is a team of four it is one hour swimming, three hours off. With a team of mixed ability, able to average between them 1.7 – 1.8 mph the swim might take between 13 – 15 hours depending on conditions so each swimmer in a team of four might expect 3 or 4 stints, in a team of 5 that is likely to reduce to 3.

The cost of the swim is a total of £2,600 for the pilot boat, plus registration fees and incidentals. Approximately £1,500 of the cost of the boat has already been raised so any new swimmer joining would be expected to pay or raise money for their share of the remaining cost of the pilot boat – this is likely to be in the region of £200-300.

We are raising money for the international disability charity Motivation a September slot the sea is likely to be at its warmest and so represents a wonderful opportunity to take part in a very big adventure!

All the best Thanks … Tim Down

It there are any BQA members that want to join him message me ‘Jean Ashley’ and I will let you have his phone number. There aren’t many opportunities to swim the Channel and someone out there might just be interested!

Norfolk Superhero Quadrathlon 2014

Another fantastic year for the Norfolk Superhero Quadrathlon, The Charity Race had 170 competitors they all went out and came back in fantastic style! They have raised over £40,000 for Nelsons Journey which is AMAZING!

The BQA would like to send our congratulations to Jess, Riddy, and the whole Norkolf Superhero Team,  what a brilliant event, superbly organized and it gets booked up every year … so if you fancy the challenge in 2015 keep posted to their website, as to when the entries open!

The Race is SWIM – 1 mile from Gun Hill to the Quay at Burnham Overy Staith (on incoming tide), followed by a KAYAK – 4 miles through Creeks of Burnham Overy Staith. Then a CYCLE – 45 miles circular route on North Norfolk’s scenic roadsand finally a RUN – 8 miles accross tracks, sand mud and marsh!


Website for further intormation Norfolksuperhero

Norfolk Super Heros 2013

Can we just get one thing out of the way first, after that race…. We are definitely organising the Norfolk Superhero Challenge again in 2014!

Thank you to everyone for another simply amazing year, the best bit of all was that the conditions were so very, very perfect on race day and so very sunny in all the photos and so very good for all our tan lines that there is no question that the Superhero Challenge won’t happen again.

After a showery but happy safety briefing (thank you for your tranquillity Martyn) on the Friday night, the long awaited day was upon us, with a much more civilised start time. Our favourite new competitor was the sun, a first timer I think, and our least favourite from previous years, the wind, forgot to enter or it’s cheque got lost in the post this year, and did not take part, which was very pleasing.

When all were assembled on the beach the great excitement was that the sea was calm, flat and really quite warm. After a quick photocall from Harry Cory-Wright and a head count for the record, the gun went off at 10.00. A rather lovely ritual was noted to have resurfaced, someone… (we don’t know who) had bought a nip of Nelson’s Blood (was it you Bruce?) to toast the challenge, as had been done in previous years. Whoever you were, thank you – let’s bring it back! Our swim sponsor, Fenmarc’s MD, Richard Anderson even took to the water to really submerge himself in the event and for that we applaud him. Good luck in your 1st Ironman this week.

That lovely, flat sea soon turned in to a frenzy of thrashing limbs as large middle aged rubber clad people desperately clawed themselves off the beach in order to follow that smooth arrow head to the first buoy. The tip of that arrow head turned out to be last year’s swim champion again, Abbie Thorrington with an improved time of 15.17! That amazing time however, was less than a minute ahead of the men’s winner, Rob Lines who had a time of 16.09.

The field slowly emptied of kayaks with some partners waiting almost 9 minutes for their partners. We were less bunched than in previous years and the long string of kayaks seemed to surge like an eager parade of rubber ducks along the creek, over and up the bank, and re-entering the sea with varying degrees of success. Yet again the splendid floating office of David and Pixie was marshalling the point of the ladies turn, this year not wafting bacon sandwich smells across the marsh as breakfast was obviously earlier. There, from an oystercatcher’s view you would have seen a lovely peel off for all rubber ducks with ladies steering them to the right, whilst those poor boys took the left turn round the long course. A special mention to Lisa Hurrell and Chris Ford, who were one of the teams representing Paragon Print and Packaging (Britain’s premier packaging company), who have always been our wonderful kayak sponsor, who didn’t realise there is a front end and a back end to a kayak.

The winners of the short course kayak, were David Horton-Fawkes and Paula Lawn who swept round beautifully in a sweet time of 35.58. The winners of the long course…… and this is quite contentious, but looking through photographic evidence – we got the result wrong! Whilst our timing systems shows one result, visual recall shows another. Duncan Backus and his West Country based new ringer partner who has recently kayaked around Britain (very fast) Andy Mullins are our official winners! For some reason, Duncan and Andy’s time is wrong and they beat Mark and James Lapping by 45 seconds. Apologies for this. Mark is donating a kayak trophy – up for grabs next year. I feel a great kayak race coming on next year for the mens.

Happily this year, this previously stressful transition from kayak to bike was not marred by hyperthermia or exhaustion, as the conditions were by now calm and getting warmer with the sun burning through.

On to the bike, how much more fun it is doing a 45 mile course with a full field of competitors than training through that boring, wet, cold Spring we had! Our thanks go to Barratt and Cooke – Norwich Stockbrokers, our new sponsor of the cycle with William Barratt taking part in his first excellent attempt. Fat Birds were luckily with us again in the field and on the course this year for all bike mishaps however big or small. I, in particular, thank the F1 style maintenance dudes, for refitting a spare bike of theirs with the pedals and bottle holders off mine which were about the only thing I hadn’t broken in a foolish slip on the road at the start. Peter Flett, of Fat Birds, having pointed out the exciting new double click paddles for gear changes (still not sure about that, was it 1 for up and 2 for down?) went off round the course to mend a puncture for our rivals in the Lady Hamilton as well, not so pleased about that!

We had a new amazing race record, fastest ever P.B.s from most of our ‘elite’ crew. Will Burnham Overy Staithe be given a new status and reclassified as part of the top 3 racing locations in the world – to the list of those volcanic, tropical climes of Hawaii and Lanzarote with perfect conditions, let us add, Burham Overy Staithe? 2012 Lord Nelson winners, Dan Pilling and Nick Toolan reckon they took 10 minutes of their bike time and still didn’t win! WHAT?

Simon Thompson’s well researched enormous pothole had been filled in by the unsung hero Phil Ellis in the pre race build up – thank you both of you. The Norfolk and Suffolk 4×4 response team led by Jim Whiteside were ever present. The whole bike ride, was beautiful, with the dog roses flowering in the hedgerow, the smell of elderflower on the air and Robert Gurney shouting out split times from the verge. Holkham looked gorgeous, beautifully mown and visibility was excellent at the obelisk turn which did not claim any riders thanks to the excellent marshalling by 2 former competitors, Thomas Courthauld, and Matt Moxon and last years winning marshalls pair, Jerry Phillipi and Alge Williams. However all could not be perfect and we sadly had one bad accident with Robert Miller suffering a broken collar bone after a fall off his bike. All our love goes out to you Robert. Also a race losing puncture for one team, Mark Harrod and Abbie Thorrington, who showed great grace and joined the party as VIP medal distributers – having never suffered any such upsets through several Ironmen and other triathlons.

So the winners of the bike with an outrageously fast, surely never to be beaten time, were Niall McCallum and Iain Wilson with a time of 2.07.05. Second were last years winners, 50 seconds behind! All our previous champions were up there within a couple of minutes of each other. The bike is where this race is won.

Finally, the run. Could there have been a more stunning spot to have been in the whole world? Maddy, our mermaid haired marshall who normally defies rain and wind, was embracing the rays of the sun amongst the nudists. Thank you again to Holkham who have once again sponsored our run leg. A special mention to Paul Fletcher, one of our Zimmer crew who overtook his way along the beach picking off his rivals from the bike, how very satisfying that must have been.

Frozen ribena and champagne was available at the mouth of the marsh from the popular marshall crew of Rachel, Matt and Matthew. Special mention from the marshalls goes to Barney Kauffman’s butt cheeks, we do not have the exact details presently behind this story, but Barney, it is a pleasure to have you onboard. The sea was glinting and the sand was harder than usual thanks to Friday’s rain. Even Jess was not panic-ing about the height of the water. The day was perfect. Obviously a few knees blew up, they always do. Some people had very little energy left but the smiles as you came over the line said it all. The fastest run time was achieved by Roger Canhan and Johnny Bland, 1.08.35, an astounding time from Johnny who was apparently the last man in the field on the Friday night drinking beer and playing football with his boys.

Only one more injury occurred on the day, Jess twisted her ankle in a rabbit hole dance floor injury. Thank you to Richard Shaw of Tapping House for his excellent description of the wonderful work that they do and to Simon Wilson-Stephens and Mark Lapping for steering us through the highs and the lows of the day during the speeches, and of course for coming up with this lunatic riddled event.

And so to the overall winners – which were all of us for being a part of it.

For full results

2013 Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon

The Artemis Great Kindrochit Quadrathlon will be in its 13th year in 2013 (hopefully not unlucky for us as it also takes place on the 13th of the month!)  It’s a quadrathlon with a bit of a twist, including a fish & chip stop along the way, slicing a watermelon in half with a sword to stop the clock and the most spectacular fireworks display to finish the evening off!  There’s certainly a competitive side to some of the participants but for many, the main aim is to get through the day in one piece.

We’re keen to spread the net and get word out to as many quadrathletes as possible at our event, join us for one of Scotland’s toughest one-day events and an unforgettable weekend in the spectacular Scottish Highlands.  The Quad is an exhilarating test of stamina, strength and fitness, combining swimming, walking/running, kayaking and cycling.  The challenge will take teams in, over and around Loch Tay, including the summits of the Ben Lawers range.  For those who wish to join in the fun of the weekend but don’t fancy all four disciplines there is an exciting new relay team option.  Celebrate your achievement on the banks of Loch Tay with a real Scottish knees up, complete with feast, ceilidh and fireworks.  Why not make a weekend of it and bring family and friends along to support you in your quest to complete the 2013 Quad.

Swim – 0.8 mile
Run/Walk – 15 miles (including 7 munros)
Kayak – 7 miles
Cycle – 34 miles

For more information visit Artemis Great Kindrochit. Quadrathlon
Or contact – Fiona Kirkwood, Event Manager
WildFox Events, Kindrochit, Ardtalnaig, By Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2HX

T: 01567 820 409
M: 07742 052 154