Jul 042012

It has been a busy couple of weekends for Worcester Triathlon Club members racing at home in the Club’s headline triathlon event of the season The Top Barn Triathlons and abroad in the first Iron Tour Triathlon series event held for a number of years on the Island of Elba off the west Coast of Italy.

Michelle Parsons racing for Team Tri UK competed in both events but was in fine form yet again on Italian soil by finishing second overall in the Iron Tour Series, a competition which comprises three open water sprint triathlons and one open water aquathon in four days of consecutive racing.  Not renowned for her strong swimming, it was a battle ever race for Michelle to recover the deficit she accumulated on the 750 metre swim element of the races, over the following 20km bike and 5km run sections.  Each day the race venue changed location to a different part of the island and the competitors collected points for their finishing places adding up to overall series position.  Michelle was second in each of the sprint triathlons and third in the aquathon giving her second position overall.  A tremendous result given the amount of swimming involved.

Returning to the colder climate of the UK she decided to enter the inaugural ‘triple sprint distance’ triathlon at Top Barn Activity Centre.  This was the first of three triathlon races held to start on Sunday morning and the lake temperature was nearer 16 degrees than the 21 degrees sea temperature experienced in Italy!

The Triple sprint comprised three laps of the 750 metre course in the lake at Top Barn making a total distance of 2,250 metres followed by three laps of the undulating 28km bike course, again making 84km in total and finishing with three laps of the 5km run course.  With only a small entry Michelle was competing against her male counterparts for the honours and she was pleased to exit the swim in 5th position in a time of 47 minutes and 19 seconds.  Her club mate Danny Harris making his debut in a longer distanced triathlon was first out of the water in 44 minutes and 23 seconds so had almost a three minute lead going in the bike section.  Harris, who has been training hard in readiness for an Iron distanced event in August, showed good strength on the bike to stretch his lead over Michelle but also over former club mate Kevin May now racing for Tri Team Glos.  Danny, from Evesham, finished the bike in a very respectable 2 hours and 24 minutes and 54 seconds and now led his nearest chaser by almost 8 minutes.  He held out strong on the 15km run to come home in a total time of 4 hours 22 minutes and 3 seconds.  Meanwhile behind Michelle had moved into 3rd place overall on the bike and she also held strong on the run to finish in a total time of 4.45.47.

Fellow team mate Andy Day finished in 6th place in 4.57.20 never really recovering from the cold lake swim start.

In the double Sprint race which started at 7,45am it was again a Worcester Tri Club member leading the way out of the 1500 metre swim.  Johnny Stephens emerged in first position in just over 22 minutes.  Unfortunately he couldn’t maintain his lead and finished in fourth place overall in a time of 2 hours 54 minutes and 2 seconds.  The overall winner was Richard Lomas in a time of 2.44.04.

Richard Gourlay also from Worcester Tri Club worked his way up to 7th with a time of 2.58.04.  the female winner was Debbie Cooper from Coventry Cycle Centre in 3.11.59.

The final race to start was the sprint event comprising just one lap of the swim (750 metres) one lap of the bike course (28Km) and one lap of the run (5km).

The overall winners were Damian Littlewood from Tri First in 1.18.06 and Jacqui Phillips from TRIKS in 1.32.10.

Worcester Tri Club managed to take the honours in the team event in a time of 1.27.24 with a team made up of Gavin Vickers (swim), Kirk Denton (bike) and David Jubb (run).

Other members results were:

Daniel Geisler 3rd 1.23.46

Neill Crump 7th 1.24.19

Paul Scriven 9th 1.25.07

Mark Elliott 3rd male vet 50, 1.35.49

Richard Price 30th overall 1.38.46

And one member of the newly formed Evesham Vale Triathletes Club, Paul Fensome put in a good performance to finish in a respectable time 1.49.55

Jun 182012

Well done to everyone who competed in Top Barn yesterday. It was a great day at a smashing venue and there was some great racing at the Sprint, the Relay, Double and inaugural running of the Triple.

Race results are available on Stuweb Race Timings website and we will publish details here shortly too. We know there are several eroneuos results and these are being sent to Stuweb for correction as they are discovered.

A big thank you to USN, Xterra and Top Barn Activity Centre for assisting us on and in advance of the event. The Xterra wetsuit prize for the quickest swims were won by Johnny Stephens for the double (22m11s) and provisionally for the Sprint by Damo Littlewood (still sorting this one with Stuweb but his swim looked to be 11m39s).

We would like to thank everyone for supporting the race, we hope you enjoyed the day.

A big thank you must also be made to our marshals at Worcester Tri Club for manning the event and making it possible, we really could not put on these events without all your help. Thanks to your families for supporting you too, enjoy Summer and good luck in your training and racing!

I have uploaded some photos to the Worcester Tri Club Facebook page and will shortly add some to the Top_Barn_Tri twitter account. They show the venue looking stunning, everyone looking really happy and they reflect what a great day it was. If you have any other photos to add don’t be shy, let’s add them as it can be a really good way of sharing news and advertising the event for future years.

We look forward to seeing you again at Droitwich for our pool Sprint on July 29th and in 2013!


Worcester Tri Club



I have uploaded some photos to the Worcester Tri Club Facebook page and will shortly add some to the Top_Barn_Tri twitter account. They show the venue looking stunning, everyone looking really happy and they reflect what a great day it was. If you have any other photos to add don’t be shy, let’s add them as it can be a really good way of sharing news and advertising the event for future years.

Many thanks again from everyone on the committee, we really could not put on these events without all your help. Thanks to your families for supporting you too, enjoy Summer and good luck in your training and racing!

Apr 232012

Worcester Triathlon Club are very excited that XTERRA Wetsuits will again be sponsoring the 2012 Top Barn Triathlons in what promises to be the biggest and best Top Barn yet. We have increased entries this year up to 350 to try and make sure all those on the waiting list are not disappointed.

Xterra will be providing WTC member discounts as well as Race prizes in the form of wetsuits from their Vortex range either for winners of selected races or for parts of the races (i.e. first out of the water – to be confirmed by WTC nearer the time).

Xterra Wetsuits global management have kept the prices for 2012 in line with last years which we know their customers will be very pleased about. For details of the range of Xterra wetsuits check out www.xterrawetsuits.co.uk. For enquiries, sizing, orders, etc please contact enquiries@xterrawetsuits.co.uk.

We at WTC are really excited by Xterra coming on board again as it gives additional focus to the first discipline for those who are more at home in the water than on the bike or their feet!

This builds on the success of 2011 when Xterra provided two wetsuit vouchers which were awarded to the overall Male and Female winners of the Double Race, Paula and Luke Moseley, from Climb on Bikes (Hereford). Luke is very pleased with his Xterra suit and says “… I love it – best suit I’ve had.  It fits like a glove and swims brilliantly. I would recommend it.  I’m happy for you to quote me on that”. Enough said!

Just as a reminder, entries are open at Entry Central.com – click

here to enter the Top Barn Sprint


click here to enter the Double

See you soon, enjoy your training!

Gav Vickers, Race Director – Top Barn Triathlons, Worcester Tri Club

Mar 272012

It was a great day overall for the Worcester Tri Club Team. The weather was very kind to us and the race was run in lovely sunshine. There were a few WTC team racing today including my two main rivals Danny Harris and Iain Jennings (Jenno) and also the legend that is Michelle Parsons.

The race started and Jenno, Danny and three others bounced off up the road, with me running on my own about 50 metres behind. If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that you have to run at your own pace and I often reel ‘em in as the race goes on. I caught and passed one lad but the other four seemed quite comfortable out in front and probably had 75 metres on me going into T-one.
I have been practising my T-one and jumping on my bike whilst shoes are attached to it. This paid off and I was quicker than usual out of T-one. The four guys were still ahead up the road but within sight. I wasn’t worried and settled into my TT position. I wasn’t sure how strong the legs were as I didn’t feel like the power/speed had returned yet. I often find this is the case early season and I seem to get quicker/stronger as the season goes on.
It was a 2 lap bike leg and just as I was finishing the first lap I caught one of the four guys ahead. No disrespect but I didn’t think he was a cyclist when I saw him running so I half expected to reel him in. Setting out on lap two I saw that the three guys in front hadn’t got any further away and that I was feeling quite good and into my rhythm. About half way round I had caught them up. A quick breather and then I went past them and was surprised they didn’t stay with me.
At this point I must admit I was beginning to think I might actually win this and how much time did I need to have into T2 to hold off these young whippets for the 2nd run. But then within a quarter of that lap I suddenly noticed Danny edging up to me and then the other 2. Damn!!
Coming into T2 Ii was 2nd behind the only non WTC guy with us. Another quick change and I came out of T2 just behind Jenno. It was at this point I expected to see Jenno bounce off like Bambi into the distance to claim his first win of the season and then I’d be blown out trying to attempt to stay with the other two in an attempt to challenge for a podium position.
Imagine my slight delight but also genuine sadness for Jenno when as I caught up with him he told me that he had cramp in both his calves. “Didn’t you drink on the bike?” I asked “NO” was Jenno’s reply “JENNO YOU MUPPET!” was mine.
So there I was one and a half miles left and in the lead. Legs feeling quite good as it happens. I don’t look behind as there’s no point unless it’s near the end and then you can see if you’ve got to attempt a sprint. Before that there’s nothing you can really do if someone’s closing in on you. They’re going to be working very hard to get back to you, so you hope you have a kick at the end to pull away again.
As I’m running up to the u-turn point I can suddenly hear the sound of footsteps behind me. As I round the cones I see Danny hot on my heels with Jenno not too far behind (obviously the cramp had gone) So we’re now WTC 1,2,3 on the road and not much further behind is the stealth-like figure of Michelle. Danny comes past me and I can’t sit on his heels and he pulls away slightly. I don’t look back to see where the other two are, I just focus on my target ahead!
As we turn the corner with about 200 metres to go i hear the marshal shout “Well done its between you two now”. I decide to look back to check and realise he’s right; Jenno and the other lad are not within catching distance now. Can I kick and get up to Danny??  I make an effort and see that I’m gaining and as we turn right into the finish I’m on his heels. I generally have a good kick/sprint and can hammer it from about 150 metres out so I was slightly confident.
Danny glances behind and kicks, I kick and we’re both going for it. But then I have nothing left. Danny still powering away takes a well-deserved victory.  I raise my hands and clap him as he crosses the finish line four seconds in front of me. Jenno comes over next and it is indeed a 1,2,3 for WTC and Michelle finishes 6th overall and first lady.
The celebrations are short-lived when we hear that two WTC guys have been given a two minute penalty for drafting. I think back and know that I was only actually with the other three in the last quarter of the second lap, but did I draft at any point then?? I didn’t think so, but who knows. A short time later we hear that it was Danny and Jenno who were given the drafting penalty. Both were gutted and we raise the point that all three were together for both laps so if anything they should all have been penalised. How can that be fair??  It is a hard rule to follow, especially on the open road!!

So by default (as Michelle was amused to tell me) I had won,  The man in black promoted to 2nd, Danny 3rd and Jenno 4th. I was embarrassed to collect the prize and take the honours. But as I stated to Danny and Jenno, we all knew how the race had gone and that Danny had beaten me fair and square in the sprint!

We also won the first team prize. So £20 and 2 bottles of wine for my morning’s efforts

Andy Day

Dec 102011

With great regret we have made the decision to cancel the
Droitwich Aquathlon due to insufficient entries. We will be reviewing the
future viability of this race. Please do look out for our other
races which have always been very popular.

Nov 122011

The USN Nutrition Centre as seen at Dorney Lake

We have been working hard behind the scenes to get the Top Barn Triathlons ready for 2012 and it goes live TONIGHT at 6pm, at www.entrycentral.com (search for ‘Worcester’).

We have booked the Top Barn Activity Centre for Sunday 24th June 2012 and we have exclusive use of the facilities for the afternoon before and the morning of the race. We will be working closely with the Centre to make sure the race runs as smoothly as possible and we get the most out of their considerable facilities. We have also secured the venue for another 3 years, ensuring this very popular race stays firmly on the race calendar for years to come.

We are also very excited to announce that USN (Ultimate Sports Nutrition) – an international brand offering energy, endurance and nutrition products will be supporting the race in 2012. They will have a team of staff and their branded mobile education centre on site (as seen in the photo above) to provide advice during the event and will also help out with goodie bags and water stations. They may even bring some of their USN sponsored athletes to compete in the race!

We are also talking to Scimitar Sports Clothing about supplying the event t-shirts again and XTERRA wetsuits about further sponsorship and will hope to update you on these soon.

We are keeping the course the same as previous years, subject to approval from the council highways and police departments so the course will be there to test yourself against the recent race winners and your own previous personal bests! Given the success of recent years the committee have also agreed that we can make the race slightly larger so we will be requesting permission for 375-400 entries for 2012. This might mean we will need more marshalling help from the Worcester Tri Club members but given this race is our biggest, most prestigious and most complicated to organise hopefully they will agree that it is well worth being a part of!

We will also be offering an early-bird discount  of £5 for anyone who enters the race before 15th January 2012.

We will update you when the race goes live, look out for us in 220 Magazine and follow us on Twitter @Top_Barn_Tri.

More to come soon, enjoy your training!

Gav Vickers, Race Director, Top Barn Triathlons

Aug 012011

Results are up on Stuweb. Congratulations to our own Iain Jennings for a fine overall victory, David Jubb fastest junior and Paul Scriven also in the top ten giving us the team prize.

Jun 282011

Hello and a quick update regarding Sunday’s races.

The Sprint results have now been published on Stuweb and we are aware there are still a couple of eroneous results. If you have a problem with your race splits (with the exception of not being quick enough on the day – we can’t help there!) please make yourself known and we will try and get it resolved by our race timers.

There are several prize winners who were not present at prize-giving and we need to send cheques to. These will be sent out in the next week and we will also publish a full list of results soon.

For those that live in and around Worcester the Evening News is running a report either today (Tuesday 28th) or tomorrow so please look out for it. Tri247 and 220 may also publish reports and we will let you know when this happens.

Lost property – there are several items which haev been reported lost. If you have any lost property or accidentally picked up something that wasn’t yours please drop me a line on gavin_j_vickers@hotmail.com and we will try and re-unite you.

Thanks to everyone for their positive (and negative feedback) about the day – it is always welcome and we need it to help improving the race each year. The biggest change this year was the longer times between the different waves so we would be interested in how you thought this went.

Thanks to everyone who followed the race count-down on Twitter@top_barn_tri – was this helpful on the lead-up to the race?

Gav Vickers, Race Director, Top Barn Triathlons