Apr 11

Jessica’s Race Debut at Scampton Junior Duathlon

JessicaMy First Race – By Jessica Stewart, aged 7.

It was the morning of my first duathlon and I was very excited. We packed the car and set off to Scampton. The race was on the RAF base and we had to go past a red arrow, two tanks and two bombs.

I had to register and get a number on my hand, two numbers to fasten to my t-shirt and one for my bike. I also had to put a timing chip onto my left ankle and I got a t-shirt.

We were waiting outside and it was really rainy, cold and windy. I was so cold and could not feel my fingers. I then had to practice the bike route and about 100 people cycled together and it was a little scary. I then had to put my bike in transition. It was so cold now and I was crying and did not want to do the race anymore.

It was then time to go to the start line and they did some warm ups with us. Then it was time to run, I wasn’t sure where to go, so I stayed at the back. When it was time to get on my bike, my fingers were so cold I couldn’t fasten my helmet, so I had to get a Marshall to help me. The bike race went really quick, but again I couldn’t take my helmet off when we finished, so I had to wait for help. I set off on the second run and it was easier than the first and I went past some people.

I was then given a shiny new medal!

I then went and got a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream to warm me up.

I came eighth overall out of seventeen and was the fourth girl in a time of 10 minutes 35 seconds.

I really enjoyed it in the end and I am looking forward to my next one at Wakefield. Hopefully it will be warmer.

Apr 03

An Interview with Lincsquad’s Matt Porter.

An Interview with Lincsquad’s Matt Porter.

Matt Porter, has been a member of Lincsquad for six years and has been instrumental in the organisation of the annual Paul Kirk Sportive and raising thousands of pounds for charities in the process. Matt recently set up a series of Sportives in the area including the Flat N Fast 100 (Thorne), the Ross Tiger 100(Grimsby) and the Trent Valley 100(Gainsborough). I think you get the gist, If they have ‘100’ in the title, they’re going to be tough! Big thanks to Matt for finding the time for this interview. He’s had a testing week! When we caught up with him. His engine had just ‘blown’ whilst carrying out Risk Assessments for a Sportive, hopefully this didn’t cloud his answers too much.

Details of the above sportives can be found at http://www.sportivehq.com/

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Matt with one of his two children, fearless daughter Camille. A Sports adventurer in the making.

 

Matt, give us a quick insight in to how you started off fund raising for charities?

I’ve been Involved in charity cycling for 11 years, since I started cycling. My first year of cycling I was invited to join the Scunthorpe Treaderz and ride a charity ride of 450 miles in 5 days, I trained hard and completed it which wasn’t bad for someone who had been a 20 a day smoker up till 9 months previous. I also got loads of sponsorship that year as I don’t think many people believed I could manage it! I continued as one of several key players in the Scunthorpe Treaderz, riding and raising approximately £6k per year for local charities.

That’s an impressive amount. What do you find the most rewarding in what some would see as a thankless task?

I love handing over cash to charities! It’s not the smiley face in the paper that I enjoy, it’s the knowing in your heart that you have made a difference. The most rewarding moment of that time for me was after a double coast to coast in 4 days, riding back into St. Luke’s School in Scunthorpe and getting cheered in by all the kids, no feeling like it! After 5 years with the Treaderz we came to a natural end, people get tired of sponsoring the same people every year, so it does get difficult. It was at this point where I thought that a sportive would be a better way to fund raise and this is where my involvement with Lincsquad started.

Matt, as you’re the first person to feature in these interviews you’ll find there’ll be some random questions fired your way……..

What’s your proudest Sporting achievement?

My proudest sporting achievement and event organiser moment is one in the same. It was the Scunthorpe Treaderz ride from Scunthorpe to Wootton Bassett in a day. 186 miles ridden, event director, cycled the route with everyone whilst on hands free mobile directing the event and support vehicles/staff. Sometimes I do doubt my sanity, we managed it but that last 40 miles on the Fosse Way nearly killed me, I thought those hills would never end!

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Matt and the Treaderz setting off from Scunthorpe to Wooton Bassett, a 186 mile epic.

 Favourite film?

That really is a difficult one, like music, it depends what mood you are in, I do like a lot of Coen Brothers films, if I had to pin in down to which one I’d say ‘Burn after Reading’ but then again I do like a lot of films that Johhny Depp is in, ‘Fear and loathing in Las Vegas’ being a favourite of his acting performances.

An easier question then? What’s the worst, most frustrating part about organising these events (engines blowing up aside!)?

The hardest part about being an event organizer is being ‘at work’ 24/7, I get calls constantly, especially in the run up to events but at the end of the day, I do the events because I enjoy it and I have a very understanding wife, who has at times done support roles at some of the events, without her support I would struggle.

What’s your favourite, Kayak, Swim, Cycle or Run?

My sporting preference which most of you would guess is cycling but a close second to that is open water swimming. My favourite ride of all time would be on one of the Treaderz tours, ‘Five Countries in 4 Days’. We stayed near Bastogne in Houffalize, Belgium. One of the days we rode from Houffalize, through Liege towards Masstricht. It was basically like riding the Liege – Bastogne – Liege, the toughest days cycling ever, some of those hills, especially the one out of Liege were enough to make grown men cry! We did it finishing on the usual 5km downhill back into Houffalize to be greeted by a local carnival, it was a great atmosphere, we just hit the bars straight away.

Sporting hero/inspiration?

I don’t actually have a sporting hero or otherwise, I don’t really ‘do’ celebrities of any kind, I normally have to ask my wife ‘who’s that?’ a lot of the time. A lifetime inspiration for me would be my father, he’s had a terminal illness for 30 years but always maintained a positive attitude and never complained, if I have a hero in life, it’s him.

Best advice received and by whom.?

The best advice I’ve received is ‘ You can achieve anything you put your mind to’ by my mum Elinor, it can be applied and works for anything. If I were to pass on my pearls of wisdom to my children it would be to never give up, whatever you’re doing. (Elinor, Matt’s mum is known to most as being our Timekeeper [as well as many more roles] and friendly face at the Lincsquad TT series).

Dream job?

My dream job, would be having my own company as a cycling event organiser. There’s no point having dreams unless you’re going to chase them, you only live once! I feel very passionate about the Paul Kirk Sportive, after 5 years it is a very polished event with quite a unique atmosphere on the day which gets better every year, whatever crazy weather we get! It’s this passion that has driven me to start my own events company Sportive HQ. I aim to use Sportive HQ to fund more charity events. I’m hoping that if I make  enough profit in 2015 I will be able to fund an event for 50 cyclists, collectively raising £25k for a local charity.

Three dream dinner guests?

Russell Brand as I love his use of the English language and I do think he’s very funny. Michael Palin, his travels and way of telling a story would have me enthralled for hours. I would like to stray from the realm of comedians for my last guest but I am unable, comedians are possibly the most important people in life. My last guest would be Stephen Fry, again his use of language is phenomenal and I just find him so funny.

Something not many of us know about you?

Not many people know that in a past job, I was given the task one day of looking after Bruce Jones (Les Battersby in Coronation Street), it wasn’t a pleasant day and I didn’t like him, there aren’t many people in life I don’t like, he was one of them.

Most treasured sporting possession?

My most treasured sporting possession has got to be my bike, I only have one but we have been through a lot together!

Favourite meal?

My favourite meal would be Red Snapper in Thai red curry with sticky rice and a large Singha beer, sat in my favourite bar Salad Hut on Haad Salad beach Koh Phangan, Thailand, a place I long to go back to with my wife and children, we spent our honeymoon there.

Greeted at Wooton Bassett by the Mayor.

Greeted at Wooton Bassett by the Mayor.

 

Mar 27

Strong Performances at Clumber Park Duathlon.

Clumber Park Duathlon.

Lincsquad’s Jordan Skelly, enjoying a purple patch, put in another strong performance in the ‘Classic distance’ at the Clumber Park Duathlon. His second place overall at the Gainsborough 10K was bettered this weekend by winning his Age group and automatically qualifying for a GB spot. OTCF coached Jordan was joined on the dais by fellow Squadder and second placed Dan Guerrero (DA coaching) proving the Club is performing at the highest levels.jordan

Mark York, also enjoying some of the best form of his life secured a 5th place in his age group. Close on Mark’s heels were Phil Gibbs and Sheehan Quirke both finishing a creditable 8th place and Rick Newell (24th) in their respective and highly competitive age groups.

Mark Gollings & Dave Milton had to put this one down to experience as they found they were not on their own to fall foul of some strict rulings.

The hotly contested ‘Sprint distance’ saw Lincsquad also heavily represented.

Andy Holt was first home for the Club and narrowly missed out on a podium place. A 4th place in his Age group being testament to some serious winter training and suggests there’s even more to come.

The Club’s youngest representative and another future Hall of Famer, Ben Baugh found himself in a close tussle with Andy. Ben finished 7th in his AG and 35th overall having just one other competitor separating the Lincsquad pair. Mark Padley, without his swim advantage still had a creditable race finishing 291st in a field nearing 500 finishers.
The sprint race attracted a number of the Club’s ladies. Starting this season where she finished off last, Ruth Wilson once again featured in the medals. Second place in her age group cementing another GB qualification. Despite not having the best week leading up to it Jane Taylor, with new wheels, pulled off an excellent 7th place in her category. Jane was closely followed by another great Lincsquad performance in Suzanne Szenher who took the next available age group position.

samSam Ritson found a late night at the Rugby and an early morning rise a recipe for last minute panic preparation. This event, already on next season’s calendar proves Sam wasn’t deterred and raced hard to 13th place in her age group.

Our Monday night favourite track coach, Jacqui Saxon, enjoyed the lumpy run course to also finish 13th in her age group topping off a successful event for the Lincsquad team.

 

Mar 12

Jane Joins 2000 runners at Harewood 10K

Harewood 10k

The 8th of March saw the start of my season with the Age UK Harewood House 10k. It looked as if I might miss the event as we hit gridlock some way from the entrance to the house. Interest was provided during the hold up by Evans Ride It participants heading in the opposite direction – all ages, shapes, sizes and bike types. In the end we debauched from the car in good time only to find that the start was to be delayed by 15 mins.

Jane Taylor
There was a good turn out with nearly 2000 runners taking part. The course was almost entirely off road and very scenic. The down side to this, of course, is that running with lots of people over roughish footing is tricky as the bodies in front of you obscure the upcoming pitfalls. Weaving through the field also meant running on loose/sinky ground or through branches. Most irritating were my laces undoing and having lots of people I’d just overtaken trotting past me as I retied them. And then there were hills. The most notable was a steep incline from around 7.5 to 8.5 K. Lots of people were walking up this and those who ran up were celebrating at the top as if they’d just won.
I was happy to finish feeling strong and having enjoyed the run. Time not great 52:11 but a good outing and an excellent event. The course is most attractive and gives plenty of opportunities for spectators to watch their loved ones panting and puffing along. Or you may have a supporter who prefers to listen to Australia v Sri Lanka ODI in the car.

Mar 08

Team GBer Amy G’s gale force Dambuster duathlon

Amy GLooking for an early start to the race season I found the 
Dambuster Duathlon at the scenic Rutland Water location as a 
good opportunity to dust the winter blues off.
However there is a good reason why racing early in March is 
not advised as even the weatherman spent all week saying how
 mild it was going to be he also mentioned the predicted 20mph
 winds.
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