Worcester Triathlon Club was founded in 1989. Despite struggling in the early years it has evolved into one of the more successful clubs in the country. The club is controlled by an ever expanding committee of active, dedicated members who have progressively improved the quality of the race programme. Travis Melville, Phil Jenkins, Norman Henderson, Brian Pilcher, Dave Hope, and Mike Isitt have all taken on the arduous task of organising the club’s race programme in the past and deserve praise for their efforts. Mike Isitt also negotiated sponsorship from local Mercedes-Benz dealership, Stirling of Worcester Ltd, which provided much needed funding for club kit and race support.
On the competitive side, despite most members being recreational Triathletes, the club has had more than it’s share of high-fliers in all age groups. Ceris Gilfillan won a silver medal in the 1997 European Duathlon Championships and at the tender age of 17 beat some of the countries top senior ladies when she won first place in a UK Grand Prix event. She is now concentrating on cycling. After winning year 2000 national Time Trial she was selected for the Olympics in Sydney. Jonathan Stedman too has become an outstanding Junior, now at Nottingham university.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Bet Collins won the ladies over-60 World Championships in Manchester in 1993. Bob Kelsall took the bronze medal in the European Triathlon Championships in the same year. Maureen Burrows, Ros Townsend-Hope and Bet Collins joined Bob as National Champions the following year. Maureen has since won the bronze medal at the 1999 World Championships in Montreal, a silver in the 2002 European Championships in Hungary, and Les Bailey a silver at the 2001 European Duathlon.
All those mentioned above have represented Great Britain in competitions around the world, as have Karen Metcalfe, Jon Smith, James Gilfillan, Dave Hope, Amanda Farrell, Phil Jenkins, Stacey Robinson, Les Bailey, Phil Pollard, Ros Townsend-Hope, and Gail Flanaghan.
Members compete in all types of events including Aquathlon, Duathlon, Triathlon, Ironman and Quadrathlon both in the UK and overseas. The Club often manages to field several teams at the National Club Relays, at which the lady vets won their category in 1998, 1999, and 2000. The Club itself hosts 4 races a year at different venues. [In the past it had put on as many as 7 events in one year.]
Members try to train together, usually in several small groups. The biggest communal training session we have is for swimming. The sessions are mainly held at Worcester’s RNIB College which provides the club with excellent facilities and enables all the club members to train together as a group. The Club also has a top quality former International as Swimming Coach, Arran Stevens, who assists all Triathletes, improving the good and helping the novices.
Several members are also members of St. John’s and Sevale Cycling Clubs who host regular weekly Time Trials throughout the Summer which aid Triathlon Training. Worcester Athletic Club also provides a good background for running training. Some members also represent that Club at cross-country, track-and-field, and road-running events. For the more relaxed triathletes, Worcester Joggers has provided more sociable training for many years.
Although triathletes do not have much spare time, the club does organise the occasional social event particularly after the local races including an evening out near Christmas after the Winter Aquathlon.
The Club has had members ranging from the age of under 12 to over 70. Age seems to be immaterial when training together. The youngsters help the older members when it comes to sprints and although we actually race in categories, age does not seem to create a barrier. Many of the more senior members act as an inspiration to the youngsters. The club has created an atmosphere where whole families join in and participate even if they do not actually race. They help with races, refreshments, and general support. Indeed the club would not survive without these people.
The club is keen to welcome new members whether they be complete novices, internationals, or spectators. Anyone requiring information regarding membership please contact any member of the committee.