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Liverpool Tri race report (Sunday 14th August) – Race Report by Shaun Dowling



Liverpool Tri race report - Sunday 14th August

Race Report by Shaun Dowling




The British Championships were again held in the iconic setting of Liverpool docks. Many stories have passed into club folklore due to previous editions of this race being held in either cracking fast or monsoon conditions. Nonetheless, several club members have raced here before and it was their encouragement which led me to step far out of my comfort zone and pitch myself against some of the best triathletes around...and the jellyfish.


I wasn't alone either. Dave Dillon-Thiselton and Trycha Darling joined me in the standard races, whilst Ellie Farrow competed in the junior elite series and Harry LeLeu joined a stellar field for the main event.  We will all have our own personal stories to tell, but as a report to guide future entires or otherwise, I hope the following helps other club members.


My previous experience of a British Triathlon event was Leeds, one of the ITU WTS events recently bought out by Ironman.  For the age-groupers it was the worst organised triathlon in history and you will have heard many of the stories coming out of that chaotic shambles. The difference here in Liverpool could not have been starker.  Excellent pre-race admin and organisation; easy registration and racking; and a clear, smooth operation throughout.


The water didn't look quite as clear the day before as I recce'd it and saw two bin liners emptying their contents in the final straight. Still, the debris may have given the jellyfish more to concern themselves with than my toes on race day so it may have been a blessing. Yes, the jellyfish are plentiful - tiny, but plentiful, and not really an issue once you get used to the unusual feeling of 'catch'ing them.  As many of you know, I have really had to work hard over the past two years to get my swimming up to anywhere near scratch, especially my open water swimming, but I loved every minute of this swim.  Pontoon start, two turns and into a really long straight swim before the final turn. If I can enjoy a swim, anyone can!


Once out of the water, up the steps, and into the reasonably lengthy transition (definitely not Arundel!) it is staging out onto a fast, flat bike route. A bit narrow at times, but otherwise a beaut of a leg on closed roads. The dead turns caused a few people some issues, but I think that was my first triathlon spent entirely in the big chain ring.


Onto the run and another fast, flat leg. A few more dead turns to navigate but this was my favourite part of the race. Seeing so many of the better athletes and younger ones from earlier waves racing their second lap was incredible. Some seriously impressive athletes tore up the course as us huffed and puffers chugged away in rueful admiration.


But that said, as with most triathlons I have completed, the inclusive nature of the field was a credit to the full range of somatotypes, ages and BMIs. Despite it being the British Champs, it is an open event and all the better for that in my opinion. Competers, AG aspirants, and completers alike rubbed shoulders with the best amateurs in the sport as well as the Paralympic athletes having their last outing before Rio.


All in all, a superb weekend culminating in a really enjoyable race that I would heartily recommend.




Overall Pos. Bib no. Participant  Category Club  Finish time 
31/116 74 Harry Leleu -   59:23:00
Overall Pos. Bib no. Participant  Category Club  Finish time 
79/80 214 Ellie Farrow - South Central academy 45:59:00
Overall Pos. Bib no. Participant  Category Club  Finish time 
248/851 1158 David Dillon Thiselton (M) 30-34 CWTC 2:20:36
310/851 1481 Shaun Dowling (M) 45-49 CWTC 2:23:53
727/851 2041 Trycha Darling (F) 55-59 CWTC 2:57:19