Nov 25

Winter(ton) CX is here

Cyclocross isnt new in Lincsquad. If you look through the archives there have been occasional forays plus the Youth Academy have put on several Youth CX races and sessions over the years. Recently Mark Clements Pam Challen and Pete Gossop have been racing in the Lincolnshire Cyclocross League and this year several others have thrown their hat into the ring. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 13

Hills, Mud and Cake at Scunthorpe XC

Sunday 11th November saw Lincsquad out in force for Scunthorpe AC’s annual cross country at Quibell Park. For some members it was their first every foray into cross country, and others hadn’t run XC snce their school days.

Club members approached the start line with varying levels of enthusiasm and confidence, but the team spirit shown was phenomenal from beginning to end. We cheered, we ate cake, we laughed, nobody cried (at least I’m fairly certain they didn’t), and a good day was had by all.

Well done to everybody who took part. Special mention to Ben Goodhand, Freddie Gibbs and Alfie Whittaker, for being second team home in the U11 Boys race, and also to Cathy Walsh for the leaps and bounds (pun intended) that she’s made in her running, and for tackling that brutal course in fine style.

If you missed this hill-slogging, tussock -jumping, cake-eating extravaganza then Barton Open XC is in January.

Nov 10

Lincsquad Keyo Brigg Bomber 2019 to be Quadrathlon Middle Distance World Champs!

So the cat was out of the bag recently and we can now offically confirm Lincsquad will host the 2019 Middle Distance Quadrathlon World Championship.

Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 25

Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley deep enough for Dan. TriX Half 2018

It all started seeing Coach Clark dominate the triathlon X and wondering if I could even contemplate half the distance and attempting to finish the toughest half iron distance triathlon in the world. I also felt as though I wanted to push myself this year at this distance and do something that genuinely scared the living heck out of me. I would later find out it did.

After a few conversation with my uncle saying he was wanting to give it a go. I continued to talk with Steve in regards whether I had the talent and ability to give it a stab… he replied

“yes sure I believe you can so get it entered.”

So with the coaches wise words and blessing I went and entered the event with around 8 months to prepare.

So the training for this epic and scary adventure began. Plenty of rides out with the dream team (Gemma and Craig Scott) as they prepare for there ironman UK debut. A lot of solo rides out in the tough winds and hill rep after rep mansgate claxby and a lot of reps in the Wolds. Its strange once you get cracking up the climbs you begin to enjoy the pain the comes with it as it symbolises achievement and a small success and a step forward and times up and down come down.

Turbo sessions are tough but when you have an amazing group around you each Thursday evening the scotter church with the pastor Mr turbo Cannings with his whistle, Christmas songs, super relevant and relatable 1 hour sessions it seems that little easier to make progress.

The winter months dragged on and progress was on the up. April was here the best month of the year for me. Training camp 14 days of eat sleep and breath training. The coaches Steve, Dean and Dave did and incredible job. Very good sessions every day lots and miles,smiles and climbs. Big shout out to my fellow 2weeker champions Jon Veall and Pete Tindell for the company and the recover rides.

So as the days, weeks, months, training sessions and races past by the big day approached and the magnitude of the challenge of what I had set myself became more and more menacing.

Flash forward to 28th of September. Its massage day to get my legs pummelled by Emma Davis who is a super star, keeping my body supple during the brutal training blocks.

Saturday 29th September my birthday turning 27 and nerves at an all time high I have all my bags packed into the car the bike, transition bag, wetsuit, trial bag you name it it was all packed.  The long drive to the lake district began and 164miles and 4 hours of driving later I pull up to my hotel the Ambleside Salutation. Only a mile from race start line and transition.

After registering and collecting our numbers and having our mandatory kit bags checked we went back and to the hotel dinner ate and constantly checked the weather forecast. All looks well for the morning , a little cold but what can I expect from the lakes. Al least it be dry right… more on that later.

Well this is it race morning did I sleep? Well not a lot. The first time ive not slept well for a race in all the time ive been racing. Ate half of my porridge pot and a couple coffees. Gathered all my bags and my bike from my car and met my uncle in the cold and dark car at half past 6. Few words were spoken – its race day so what can we both expect.

Steady ride down to the start and time to begin the whole racking we’ve all been through so many times before.Thats it no going back now the wetsuit is on double capped walking to the race brief to begin the race at 8am.

Race brief done swim course was changed from a 2 lap small lap to a larger 1 lap route and a water temp of just 13.8 degrees.  Cant be that bad right?? In the water we all went… tentatively may I add with a few ooos and ahhhs along the way.

The horn blares though the air and that’s it go go go.

Set off near the front in the middle heading got the light on the boat. Sighting and breathing im seeing everyone on my left. OK set a rhythm like I have in training feeling comfortably UN-comfortable. People on the left… people on the left …people on the left… people….where the hell they go? I look up and find a group in front and slightly to the inside line of me of about half a dozen. I quickly made an effort for 200m to get on terms then recover. I Made my way around them and dropped in to jump to the chase group of around four guys. This group was hard to catch and as I made the last turn to come back to shore I still hadn’t caught this group. At this point negative thoughts started going through my head. I was so cold I wanted out. As I looked back I couldn’t see the group I’d dropped so I knew I needed to push on. Maybe 500 meters from the end I caught the group and hung on started kicking to try stay warm and get ready to run out of the lake. Glanced at the watch which  was 32mins. I later found out the official time was 27mins and placed 13th out the water, I was very pleased with that.

Swim done felt pretty good but it was so so cold. Got to my bike I felt as though I had about 8 pints of cider I was so dizzy I sat down to get my socks on and shoes. Stood up jersey on and gillet thought about arm warmers but it was raining so no chance of being able to get them on so ran out of T1 jumped on and began the bike section with the rain coming down.

1 mile done then BOOM 20 % kirkstone pass (the struggle) legs still cold not been on the bike 5 minutes and im already climbing. Going to be a long day. Managed to climb at the same speed as another chap and we had a chat between very deep breaths up the top. One out of six climbs done.

Knowing nutrition was going to be key today forced a bar down with a swig of drink and got my head down. Few rollers and the next climb was in front of me wall end climb 25% but now warmed up I could push on that bit more and enjoyed the climb more than the struggle even if it was steeper.

Heading back to T2 with the first and easiest loop completed  and knowing id be back on the main road plus people going to be watching as I pass transition to head out to the bigger climbing section I click through the gears and get the arms on the bars and time trial my way though, well warmed me up a little.

Right its now time to dig in wrynose pass next I see Grimsbys own Les Thompson behind me as we began the 20% climb. Crunch through the gears pedal stroke by pedal stroke we climb to the top Les had a tumble at the top checked on him, he said he was OK. I deceded the wet side of  wrynose pass and recover through the valley before I climb up the west side of harknott.

Hardknott in front of me within 100 meters of the climb I was in my easiest gear and stood up pushing hard my rear wheel spun and I hit the deck. Bottle flew out rolling down Les caught it and brought it back to me. With a grazed knee and substantial pain in my right wrist I walked up the climb and descended to head out onto the out and back section before climbing again. As I was descending I notice my front wheel was rubbing on the pads. I tried to correct it but was no good. I later found that I had damaged the rim it had rippled and distorted as it over heated coming off hardknott 1st time.

They say it would be easy section to recover and get ready for the way home. But the section was just as demanding with tough rollers and now not being able to stand and put a lot of weight on my wrist without great deal of pain. After descending there was a traffic jam on a narrow section with kit cars and a Nissan gtr. All of us racers had to brake rather abruptly, get off get out bikes held above our heads and walk between the cars. That was a good twist cyclo-cross, didn’t sign up for this.

On way back seeing other riders shouting encouragement and my uncle just descended harknott as I was on the way back over with 2 climbs to go. The road was so steep starting from the famous red phone box and over the cattle grid. Digging deep I rode the first few corners before thinking I need to be smart and ride with my head rather then letting pride getting in the way. I unclipped and walked till the road levelled off to a mear 7% and rode until the road kicked up into the hardest part of the course the pitches of 33%. walking over the crest of the steepest paved road in the UK I jumped back on the bike descended the very wet and oil covered road. Very scary decent and a few squeekly bum moments I was down safe just one more climb.

Wrynose east ive ridden before I put the pain behind me and pushed on and climbed it all. Lovely climb if it was dry but the views were just amazing. Last decent and its a flat 6 miles home.

Homeward bound. Right thinking back to all the lincsquad time trials when you’re hurting after making the turn. I bring back the thoughts of what I have to do. Big ring get aero, drink whatever I had left to get me back. Push push push.

Thats it I made it back to T2. I see the familiar face of tri camper Siobhan o Brien from Doncaster. I get my gillet off,  my shoes are changed, run pack and run gloves on with pain rushing though my right wrist as I pulled it on. Quick chat hearing that it was so cold at the top it may get shortened followed by an emotional hug from my friend and off I went

Im running… running me. How the hell do my legs feel so good to run after putting them though all that. Its flat for the first 2 and a half miles the turning right past drywall hall up and steep incline. The leader was on his way back as I was starting the climb.

After the steep path you enter a small wooded area and the huge nab scar in front you and a rocky staircase with not a single step the same or the same direction. Some points using my hands to help me get up through the rocks. it was so hot climbing to the first summit. It flattens a little with rocks and ruts all over. I stop and pull out a fleece top out from my bag as the higher and higher I get the colder and colder the air becomes.

The wind it getting stronger and stronger the higher I climb I look back and I see the huge rain clouds heading this way and the views over each side of the trial were just amazing. I was thinking on some of the trails one wrong step I could trip and fall hundreds of feet down the side of this mountain. So with that there was a sharp down hill I began to run more when the opportunity showed itself.

Cramp struck and threw me the the ground few runners ran to me to make sure I was OK. I had to have a minute have some food and water from my bag. Get up carried on. I was around 2 miles from the summit as the ran came. It began to get heavier as I got closer to the summit. As I got to the 2nd to last summit there was a little tent, so I thought that’s it but nope one more peak and a small incline to go. 1 mile.

The waterproof jacket came out as I climbed the last large incline. No longer to feel my fingers so walking up a mountain like a moody teenage round tesco on a Sunday.

Finally I see the little red flags that say that there is 400m to the summit. A small orange tent I came to with a chap hiding from the wind and rain shouts out for my number and if  was OK. Confirming my number and my condition was OK I headed back down. I took a good look around and could see the trail winding on the ridge of the mountain, thinking ive just come up there. The views were just amazing, hard to absorb as I was concerned where I was putting my feet.

This is it way back spirits lifted as homeward bound I began to run down the rain stopped same placed it started so the waterproof came off and back into the bag it went.

More steep climbing and sharp descents. I remembered I still had my cycle jersey on so reached in and behold…. a snickers never eaten on so fast. The sun came out as I was 4 miles from home so I knew it was only 1 and half miles of trail left before I was back on the road.

Began to run and trying to keep up with another racer he was a very good runner we helped each other off the mountain I had a couple of trip and falls one on grass falling on my wrist and one with only 40 meters from the bottom of the mountain.

Checked in with the Marshall at the base of the trail and made it into the road. Adopted the run walk stratagy and I was less then 2 miles from the finish. I was running low on energy moral was getting low legs were heavy and sore from cramp.

Thoughts were bouncing through my head I knew what I had to think of, one of them was all the good running I had done in racing and training up and down hills and all the speed work. The other was a memory from supporting at ironman Bolton when I ran with Craig after him finishing went to find Gemma to see her home. So if she can get though her huge achievement and pain and negative thoughts I can get through this next 2 miles. If not shed shout at me telling me to run.

Running into the town of ambleside it all came to me I was 300m from the finish I couldn’t believe I was going to finish hold the pain and emotion back I pushed on as fast as my body would carry me….

Done I crossed the finish line the medal hanging heavy around my neck as I completed the toughest half iron distance triathlon in the world.

It took me a few weeks to think whether id return to it or not but once id been to hospital and found id broken my scaphoid bone in my right wrist and required surgery I knew I needed to go back for redemption.

I could not have done this race without the ongoing support and encouragement from Mr Steve Clark and all the people that I have trained with other the past year. All the people that believed in me and encouraged me thought this journey. Thank you so much. Big thanks to my family for the support wouldn’t be here without any of you.

Oct 25

Rachel Brothwell Ironman Barcalona 2018…what were you thinking?

I still can’t answer that question….

From starting Couch25k in March 2105 my only plan was to get fit. After suffering a mini stroke in October 2014 and following a 6 month recovery I decided I needed to get off my backside and do something.

So how did I get from ‘I need to get fit’ to ‘I am an Ironman????’.

Well Kerry Padley has to take at least 70% of the responsibility for this. Having only wanting to run the Scunthorpe 10k in an hour, she then talked me into doing a duathlon. A couple of training sessions later she thought it then appropriate to persuade me into a triathlon.

‘Never swam in my life’ were the words I said, to which Kerry responded ‘You have 8 weeks to learn mate’. Oh brilliant. So off I went to the pods to have adult swimming lessons. So three sprint triathlons, an attempted half iron distance later and nothing since September 2016, we are now in October 2017. With my finger hovering over the ipad not sure what I am doing when I press Pay Now. That’s it I’m now entered for Ironman Barcelona 2018. My partner Steve had already entered as had Ric, Emma and Stuart. Training commences now.

Setbacks with injury had been my biggest problem with training since Brigg sprint in 2016. It seemed endless one after the other. After what seemed forever and with the help of Andy Coulson I began to make progress. On to my first race, Outlaw Half. Well not much of a race. Should have been a DNS not DNF. Knocked out in the water after 150m. Gutted. It took me some time to refocus on the bigger picture. My biggest problem was getting back in the water which did prove difficult but I began to settle back into my training. Being self coached I had to discipline myself to do the training. I knew what I had to do to get me to the start line.

Wow 12 months goes so fast….

Barcelona Ironman 2018…. so excited now. When Ironman roll in town they declare a party. What a fabulous environment to be in. Everything from registration to start line was so well planned. Never experienced anything like it in my life. After registering and collecting kit we proceed to the expo. OMG I am going to be spending a fortune in here. Bikes racked on the Saturday along with bike and run changing bags. No nerves or anything just excitement.

My only goal was to make the cut offs and finish the race.

Race day…

Where did the storm come from? Can you believe it. We pick an Ironman that has reasonable weather all year round and race day comes there’s a monster brewing. Absolutely poured it down from 7am. It was a wet, windy and cool on the 1 mile walk to transition and the start line. Everything was soaking. I decided beforehand that I would have full kit change in transitions. I had no pressure on myself to be the fastest so I could take my time.

Changed into swim gear and wetsuit on. Walking down to the beach to get into our swim pens we caught a glimpse of the sea. Oh my days. The storm had caused a 5ft swell. Not only was it going to be a rough swim but getting into the water itself was going to be problematic. I kept calm. Stood with Emma and Steve. We decided to tag on the back of the 1.05 swimmers hoping for a bit of drag, Ha jokes on us. Hugs and kisses and we were off. Rolling start was brilliant and I hope they introduce this in all races. It was only 4 people every 5 seconds which helped with entering the water massively. I quickly got into my rhythm. I had previously been advised by Mr Cannings to stay slightly out wide as to avoid being hit. Invaluable advice. The swell was immense. I don’t mind the choppy water but this was something else. I had entered the water at the same time as Steve and Emma but had no idea where they were. The current constantly pulling you was tough to swim in but it was the same for all of us. The second buoy came fairly quickly, 100m to the next buoy and then two laps of Hatfield lake to get home.

Just get out the swim, that’s all I kept telling myself.

The last 1600m were mental. We were being constantly pushed towards the shore and fighting against the waves. All technique out of the window this was just survival now. I could hear the music and compere on shore and so I hadn’t far to go now. Getting out will be easier than getting in I thought. Hell no, took me 3 attempts to catch a wave in. Running up the beach I had no idea what time I’d done or anything. Stopped my watch as I entered the tent 1.17. Perfect! So pleased with that time considering the condition of the swim.

I grabbed my bike bag and headed for the changing room. Full change. Full bike kit. I wanted to be comfortable. Never ridden 112 miles on the bike and certainly not in one go. Transition is fairly long from swim exit to bike exit. I just took my time. No point in me rushing I had over 6.5 hours on the bike to do. Undulating with 2 climbs is how I would describe this course. There’s is nothing flat about it what so ever. Others would disagree. First 3km were slow as we had to be sat up on our bikes. It was a very tricky road, very narrow with lots of hazards. DQ for anyone seen on aero bars. Out into the main part of the race. Road surface was fab until the rain came and it came. Caused minor flooding on the flat part of the road, even the pro leader came off on the wet surface at a roundabout.

I did the first climb not far into the bike and it turned out to be the longest drag ever. Chuff me. Even when I saw the 500m to turnaround point sign I thought they had got their measurements wrong…lol. I saw Steve coming down as I was going up so relieved he’d had a good swim. Back down was a headwind all the way so little respite as I had to keep peddling. Descending down I saw Stuart coming up. I shouted ‘why are you behind me?’. As he came down the hill he passed me saying he struggled in the swim. Well he wasn’t struggling on the bike that’s for sure.

As I was descending down my alarm seemed to constantly go off every 10 minutes to drink and then every half hour to eat. Let the first feed station go and continued to next. Got off stretched my legs, refilled my water bottles and went for a wee.All good. Long straight road back to half distance. That’s when I heard them. Faith and Paul. Stuarts’ sister and brother in law had flown out to support him. We had met a couple of days earlier for a practice swim and they became our unofficial photographers and vocal supporters for the day. Screaming my name as I went up the drag, round the circle and back down for the second half. Their voices certainly lifted me.

Second lap was identical to the first albeit a little slower. I knew I had made the cut off with plenty of time to spare so began to steady myself knowing I had a marathon to do shortly. Skipped the first feed station again as I had enough fuel and fluid to get me through to the next. Once again I saw Stuart, Emma and Steve on the bike, hadn’t seen Ric but told myself he’s a beast on the bike he will be long gone. Yelled and gave them a wave. Brilliant that I had seen them. Second feed station came quickly, stopped again and followed exactly what I did the first time.

Had a really good feeling from then on. I was 27 miles from transition.

Wow 5 ½ hours had gone so quickly. I felt myself smile. I was loving it. I had the last of my food before heading back into Calella. Support crew were on hand, well I say that. 8 floors up in Stuarts’ hotel, recharging phone and camera batteries etc.. I hear my name been screamed from the balcony. What a lifting sound that was. I was almost home.As I arrived in transition the sun decided to come out. I grabbed my run bag and went into the changing room, all change into run gear. I had my run bottle and food in pockets and I’m off for the longest run I have done.

The sun felt fab. Having mostly rained on the bike it was very welcome. Before I was even past 1K I heard the familiar ‘Rachel’ being screamed by Paul and Faith. Happy smiles, so pleased to get off the bike and in plenty of time. First 2K was mainly acclimatising my legs to the run. Little loop took me past the entrance to the red carpet, only 3 big laps to go. As I ran past I heard an unfamiliar voice shouting me, looked up to see Ric. Chatted for a couple of seconds to make sure he was ok before leaving to continue my run.

Three big, boring loops to go. 10K in felt nice and steady. Found my 11min/mile pace quickly and promised myself every aid station I must walk, take on water and food then go again. Just after 10k the storm arrived again and it absolutely poured it down and it didnt stop. First lap seem to go quick. Crossed paths with Emma and Stuart and shouted well done to them. Hadn’t seen Steve but thought he will be around somewhere. In my head I’d promised myself the next time I got to Ric’s position I can have a biscuit. Just another little goal to aim for. Second lap came and went. Stopped again at Ric, ate my biscuits and also took the little stones out of my shoes. new I needed to as I knew I had another 8 miles to go and didn’t want to cause myself any problems. The rain just didn’t stop and as the sun set over the ocean the temperature began drop and rapidly. As I approached the far end turnaround point I was 7K from home. 7K was nothing on a normal day. I began to get tired. I wasn’t particularly losing energy, as I knew I had fuelled correctly, I was just tired. It had been a long day from the 5am wake up call and now I was on the home straight. It still continued to bucket it down. I could hear the music in the distance. Not far. Saw the lights I knew I was nearly there.

Omg I’ve nearly done it. I’m nearly there. Kept repeating those words over and over. I ran towards the expo and saw the 42K sign, just a bit more. I passed people coming the other way, they had another lap to go. I wasn’t last and I was heading down the red carpet. To be honest the last stretch was all a bit of a blur. All I could see was the finish. No celebration as I crossed the line, just a hand over my mouth, dumbstruck as to what I had just achieved.

Time meant nothing to me. My goal was to meet the cut offs and finish. Steve met me on the finish line. He had waited around until I came in. I was so elated.

That’s it. I AM AN IRONMAN. I couldn’t be prouder of myself.





I loved every minute of it. Will I do another one? HELL NO.

I have nothing more to prove to myself. I just did it and that’s what it was all about.


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