Steyning AC hit Nottingham!!!

Graham Parsons
September06/ 2012

The Bank Holiday weekend saw Holmepierpoint, Nottingham host the National Club Relay Championships 2012 – of which, the ‘finely honed’ athletes from Steyning AC took part, as follows:-

Collage by: Adrian

The Teams

Joan, painstakingly, selected and balanced a fearsome array of talent to produce the following teams:-

Team 1 2 3 4
SacRacers Simon Turk Carol Killick Lee Oxley Mark Ansell
Cool De Sac Joan Lennon Amanda Oxley Julia Downes Ruth Saunders
Ran Sac Mark Tyler Phil Saunders Moyra Amess Pete Lane
Ran Sons Jon Brook Adrian Brown Graham Parsons Frank Todd

Race Format

The race format was slightly different to normal relays, in so far as, all members of the team had to complete the swim before moving onto the next discipline – i.e. all had to do the swim, in waves of 1st swimmer, 2nd, 3rd & 4th before tagging each other (by handing a rubber band over) with the 4th swimmer handing over to the 1st competitor, now changed and waiting in transition to commence the bike and the process followed on to the run.
The first transition area was for the swim and 1st bike out; the second transition was for the bike in/out and 1st runner out before a final transition area for runners only. These transition areas were located in different places – just to make life interesting!!!!
This effectively allowed plenty of time between each discipline for each competitor to change and or set up in readiness for the subsequent bike/run transitions – even allowing sufficient time in between to consume copious amounts of tea or coffee and some even venturing for a bacon sarny!!! All perfectly legitimate carbo loading techniques, however, it was noted that some seemed to excel in this department.
Whilst it was nice to grab a breather in between disciplines for a chat and sarny (whoops) it did allow the dreaded cool down periods which made hitting the bike and run a bit tough, before getting things warmed up and moving again!!!

The Race

First to kick off was Team SacRacers of Simon, Carol, Lee and Mark who completed the course in a respectful 3hours 55 mins with some fine performances from all including young Carol leading a group of three cyclists who tucked in behind her on the windward leg!!!! Shame on you don’t you know drafting is illegal!!!! Simon and Lee put in some fine run performances and our new man Mark complimented the team admirably with solid bike and run times.
The afternoon saw a further two teams do battle – enter Team’ Cool de Sac’ comprising Joan, Amanda, Julia and Ruth and Team ‘Ran Sac’ comprising Mark, Phil, Moyra and Pete who completed the course in 4 hours 17mins and 3hours 50mins, respectively.
Without question the girls certainly put in some consistent performances and bearing in mind Joan, Amanda and Ruth were all carrying injuries they still delivered excellent times and to pick one outstanding performance above another would be unfair but… risk of any matrimonial disquiet it might be worth mentioning Amanda’s bike times!!! Young Julia braved an open water swim and then withstood a squall of hurricane proportions before Ruth delivered a closing run at the finish that was greeted by the announcer saying how easy she was making it look and ought to go around again! Joan delivered a total performance, as ever, including doing battle as 1st swimmer!!!
Whilst all this was going on Team Ran Sac were also in full flow with Mark producing fine performances across all disciplines and no less was to follow from Phil, Moyra and Pete. It is worth mentioning that Phil (Ruth’s hubby) has never done an open water swim – after all it is only the Nationals!!! – then proceeded to annihilate the bike discipline on a borrowed bike!!!! Rumour has it – that particular bike, is now for sale, considered ‘too slow’ by the current owner!!! Moyra, as ever, delivered her usual high performance despite minimal training and a somewhat less than peaceful night sleep!! Pete was lucky enough to be out in the squall on the bike and sadly we missed this sterling performance as we were all hanging on for dear life in one of the trade stands – sales were down despite a full tent of rain soaked punters. However, Pete stole the show with a fabulous blast down the home straight and through the finish tunnel heavily cheered on by the massing crowds.
Next up were the ‘old boys’ Team SacSons, on Sunday morning, comprising Jon, Adrian, Graham and Frank in a time of 3 hours 56 mins including the time of a’ bonus’ lap!!! Jon braved the swim despite a dodgy ear and then proceeded to lead the team around the race complete with tight hamstrings. Adrian was next out the blocks and like Moyra delivered superb ‘expected’ performances. How could Graham and Frank follow that!!! Well they did; in fact, they had too being 3 & 4!! – although, Graham still working on his numeracy skills completed 4 of the 3 laps on the cycle leaving Frank with a wall to climb to pull back the time lost – he cheerily greeted Graham in transitions with ‘you did 4 laps ***************’ !!!! Not put off Frank closed the SAC account with a final blast past adoring fans to the Finish.

In summary

Racing aside – the atmosphere of the campsite was quite special and facilities ranged from a single one man tent through to Glamping extraordinaire (care of Phil and Ruth) – showering is negotiable!!
The site, food and shopping facilities where excellent – although we understand that Mark’s ‘nearest shopping’ phone App is actually to be renamed ‘furthest pub’ App!!!
The boys and honoury member ‘Bob’ faces were a ‘picture’ post- race day and had clearly found a good shop!!
Other high points – ‘the light show’ provided by Moyra, Lee and Amanda – don’t ya just luv camping  I don’t think anyone noticed the rain.

This is a fabulous venue and event and the emphasis was on ‘enjoying it’ regardless of times or placings and without question Steyning AC certainly achieved that and with some impressive performances from one and all.
HUGE thanks must go to Joan who was’ brave’ enough to organise us all and for drawing our attention to this race – it really is a ‘must do’ event for Steyning and hopefully next year we can go mob handed with many teams!!!

Graham Parsons
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