The BQA would like to say ‘A huge thank you to Lincsquad for all the hard work they put into getting this race to take place, it was certainly challenging with so many restrictions having to be enforced. Throughout the planning there was always a possibility of a last minute cancellation, but despite this being in the back of everyone’s mind the Lincsquad Committee pulled out all the stops ‘in true Lincsquad Style‘ and everyone had a fantastic day!
I have been sent 2 great Race Reports, from 2 of our ever supportive BQA Members, thanks to John Kavanagh and Peter Chappill.
John’s Report: It was lovely to be back racing again and renewing friendships between competitors that have not been able to meet up for over a year.
Brigg in Lincolnshire is the usual venue for the opening race of the GBR season. This year it was also a World Cup race, although under the current circumstances no overseas athletes were able to take part. Because the race numbers were expected to be lower than usual, the organisers (Lincsquad) added a triathlon to the quad, which doubled the number of entries. The other changes imposed by the COVID conditions were to reduce the swim distance from 1500m to 800m as many would have had little opportunity for swim training; the bike route (32km) was changed to a single lap but slightly shorter than the 2 laps of recent years; the 7km kayak route was unchanged from last year; and the 10km run route was changed to a single out and back lap, avoiding the town centre.
The start was staggered, with two athletes going off at 30s intervals. The start order was determined by predicted swim times with fastest setting off first. In the Men’s race Steve Clark and Mark Walsh were closely matched in the swim with Michael Mason over a minute behind. Mark was fastest in the bike leg, but Steve had lost some time while Michael moved up into second. The kayak section was decisive, Michael was fastest by far and built up a 6 minute advantage, Steve had closed the gap on Mark and was only 30 second behind. Michael extended his lead on the run, while Steve moved up into second place.
In the Women’s race, the lead was similarly exchanged during the course of the event. Sallie Joseph and Helen Adams set off together on the swim. Helen came out in first place by over a minute, while Helen Bainbridge, who started much later, was second Lady swimmer. Thereafter, the battle for to top place was between Sallie and Helen Adams. Sallie was almost 2 minutes ahead after the bike but Helen Adams was much faster on the kayak and established a 10 minute lead. A super run from Sallie allowed her to regain first place which she held onto by the small margin of 14 seconds.
The race was held in wonderful weather and Lincsquad put on a very well run event. Their marshals, as ever were terrific, efficient, friendly and encouraging. Many thanks to the organisers for putting the event on, especially under the current circumstance where COVID rules and advice are changing so frequently and unpredictably.
Pete’s Report: The Bomber 2021 – New Beginnings. We took some time to think of those who could not be with us.
The priority is to thank all those people involved in the behind the scenes of all events. If you have only ever taken part then this year set aside some time working with those who spend many hours ensuring that the day happens. Planning, typing, printing, equipment procurement, setting up, marshalling, signage, timing, coordinating all the support agencies, dealing with issues on the day, and clearing up.
This year has been particularly testing, the theme quickly became NEW.
The registration, briefing, transition, start, routes, and addition of a triathlon, to accommodate those who haven’t quite developed into a proper athlete yet, were all NEW. Closer liaison with national governing bodies and hoping for a period of stability were at the forefront with the possibility of a last minute cancellation on everyone’s mind. Despite this the planning continued.
We all arrived social distanced at the swim start. Starting in pairs at 30 second intervals seemed very relaxed compared to the usual chaos. First time participants enjoyed this experience as did I. Anyone who has been kicked, punched, and swum over at a mass start will appreciate the difference. Having recently experienced the wettest weather in Wales on record at the training camp with ice over 500m above sea level, all four seasons every hour of every day, the peace and calm was a welcomed change. The bonus was that the river temperature here felt tropical. The NEW shorter swim felt the same distance too me, lack of available training opportunities a reasonable excuse.
The NEW one lap bike course had brutal climbs for us Lincolnshire folk, for those from Wales or Bude they were mere speed bumps. The light wind helped to ease the pain. The spanner in the works was a temporary road work section which disappeared immediately after the event had finished, bad timing. There was space and an air of calm in the transition area.
The NEW kayak route, for the fully fledged athletes only, the triathlon people went on their run. This route utilises the island system and has bends and curves which is more scenic than the straight river out and back route and I couldn’t see how far I was behind the others. The sun came out and things warmed up. The river was flat calm. No excuses available today.
The NEW run route utilised a tow path along the river bank. The old hands might remember it as a single mud track with nettles. Today it is a hard surface designated cycle route some 6 feet wide. This part requires a lot of mental toughness due to the fact that it was hot, and it is straight enough to see all the other runners heading back towards you. The finish line as always was a welcome site even without the support of a crowd. My customary stand in the cold water while eating my free banana gave me chance to reflect on what had been a great day. To actually be with other likeminded people made a refreshing change.
No presentations or tee shirt tour this year.
Thanks again to all those who devoted time too ensuring this event happened and I hope it lifted the spirits, and gave a NEW focus for training for everyone who participated.
BQA Results BQA trophy 2021
WQF Results WQF World Cup 2021