Progress of the LIP demolition as at 23/10:
Almost two years after it shut its doors, demolition of the International Pool has finally started. I'm not sure why it's taken so long - apart from briefly hosting a strange art exhibition, the building has been unused and presumably costing money for security and basic maintenance. Anyway, it won't be a Leeds landmark/eyesore for much longer, as these pictures show:
A few of our lot participated in this year's Great North Swim, which took place over the weekend of 12th/13th September and which involves swimming a mile across Windermere. It's a massive event, with something like five thousand people taking part this year. They were certainly fortunate with the weather (sunny and warm), particularly considering how it had been all the way through July and August. Pride of place performance wise goes to Kyran Parker who was a fantastic 6th overall, and first in his category. Also first in his category was Stuart Hoyle (he's a bit older then Kyran and so is in a different age group). Second in her category was Julie Bennett (or Julie Hoyle as she now is), only beaten by top open water swimmer Nuala Muir-Cochrane. Andrew Sainsbury finished in a creditable 83rd overall, good going for someone not known for his stamina. Bringing up the rear amongst our lot was Kim Broughton, who reckons she would have finished in a much faster time if only she could have managed to keep going in a straight line!
|| Age Group & Gender|
Some of our swimmers competed in Ironman UK in Bolton. The bike leg was especially tough thanks to a hilly course and strong winds. First home of our lot was Paul Freeman in under eleven and a half hours. Best performance though was probably Steve Kelly who came third in his age group, largely as a result of a phenomenal run. Richard Lawrance was doing his third Ironman of the year (South Africa and Switzerland already completed), and as usual he did a good swim and bike and then died on the run! Ashley Buck and Lisa Foreman were both taking part in their first ever Ironman, and both put in solid performances. Lisa can certainly be very satisfied with sixth in her age group.
|| Cat Pos|
The same weekend Monique Hollinshead was doing a Enduroman Double Iron UK (that's right, a double Ironman!). Not only was she the first female finisher and 9th overall out of 46, she also managed to knock 50 minutes off her previous year's time, coming home in 27 hours 46 minutes. An amazing performance! You can read Monique's account of the event here.
The next weekend Simon Ward was in Norway competing in the Norseman Xtreme Ironman. While the bike course was tougher than Bolton, the 'Xtreme' refers mainly to the run, which starts at sea level and finishes at a height of over 6000', with a total of around 11000' of ascent altogether! The runs times reflect the difficulty of the course, with no one getting under 4 hours 20; Simon's time was 7:02:40, and his overall time was 15:48:44, which put him 116th out of the 216 finishers.
Quite a lot of our swimmers competed in the South Yorkshires gala at Ponds Forge. There were some excellent performances, some of them expected and some of them not so expected. In fact, some people surprised themselves with how fast they were! Click on 'Results' for a link to the gala results.
Here's a report on the 2Swim4Life event courtesy of Lisa:
"The five Leeds swimmers who recently took part in 2swim4life at High Wycombe swam an aproximate collective 88 miles, before being defeated by the chlorine, which during the daytime had actually formed a weird fog on the surface of the pool.
Dusan was the only one of us to swim 24 miles with many others coming extremely close, including Kimberley at 20 miles and Cat and Richard just behind. I made 10 of my 12 miles before not being able to breathe!
Highlights of the event included swimming to Prodigy at 4am, Cat and Kimberley's dressing gowns, Richards diving and ridiculous happiness throughout, and Dusan's determination to carry on...whatever! Oh and also the journey home in swimwear much to the delight of the service station customers.
Watch out for next year's challenge - there's talk of it being in a heated Lido, summer time, in order to overcome the chlorine issues.
Collectively the entire 2swim4life group swam, 372 miles and to date over £23,000 has been raised for the charity Action Duchenne."
No less than five of our swimmers will be taking part in a mega-marathon swim in October. The event is 2Swim4Life, and each swimmer will be swimming one mile every hour for 24 hours. It sounds absolutely horrendous to me! It's all in aid of the charity Action Duchenne and their quest to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The five who have volunteered or have been talked into taking part are Richard Lawrance (Ironman, so shouldn't be short of stamina), Lisa Stansbie (hasn't been swimming long and is currently carrying a shoulder injury, so will find it doubly difficult), Dusan Svoboda (mad Czech with plenty of energy, not sure about the stamina though), Cat Reed (also doing the Leeds Half Marathon in September) and Kim Broughton (lots of experience of marathon drinking sessions, which may help).
If anyone would like to sponsor any (or all!) of the five then they can do so via the 2Swim4Life site (click on 'Swimmers' at the top).
Well, Leeds International Pool closed its doors for the last time on Sunday 21st October after just over 40 years. The last Masters session was held the previous day. There was quite a good turn-out, including a few people who'd come along specially for the occasion. We finished off with some silly relays and coach Alan handed out chocolates to the best performers. And everyone else. If you click on the photo to the right you'll get a full screen version. If you can face it.
As most people will no doubt be aware, there have been a few teething problems with the new pool at South Leeds. After some uncertainty it opened on schedule, but with not quite everything fully functional. The booms that can be raised and lowered to convert the pool from 50m to three smaller pools were playing up and so we had to swim short course for the first couple of weeks. On top of that the bottom of the diving pool disintegrated and still hasn't been sorted out at the time of writing 3 weeks later. Then there was the day that there was no hot water in the showers, just to make us feel at home as some people commented....
Actually getting to and from the pool hasn't proved to be quite as bad as some of us feared. It helps that there's a new road that can make a big difference depending on where you're coming from. Unfortunately though it's not shown on any maps yet, and it's not signposted. The links below should help though.
Driving route from/to M621 south and M1
Driving route from/to M621 north and city centre
Not long now! The latest info is that the new pool will be opening at the end of next month - LIP is scheduled to close on 21st October, then the new pool opens a week later. The reason for the gap is staff training. Just in case you don't know where the new pool is even after all this time, click here for a map.
As everyone knows, the location of the pool isn't that fantastic. In fact it's a nightmare for anyone without a car. The situation will improve shortly though with the introduction of a new bus service (no 76) between the city centre and South Leeds Stadium. It's not going to be that much of a service though - it only runs once an hour, the first bus out of town during the week isn't until 10 to 8, and there's no service at all on a Sunday! Click here for a timetable (ta to Flipper Girl for this info).
Incidentally, for anyone that's heard about the University's plans to build a pool and is wondering what the latest is, the project is definitely going ahead. Construction is due to start next year, with completion expected in 2009. Whether or not the public will be able to use the pool has still to be decided. However, the pool is supposedly going to open at 6.30, and they're hardly likely to get many (or any!) students in at that time of the day, so they as well allow the public in. Anyway, you can read up on the project here.
On the first day of the month Claire Moore did a sponsored swim in Wast Water to raise money for WaterAid. I'll let Claire take up the story.
"Just before 12 noon on Saturday, in very un-summery weather, I successfully completed my first swim marathon, a 5000m swim across the length of Wast Water. Needless to say I'm very pleased! The water was cold (15.3 degrees to be precise), the weather was crap (couldn't even see the end of the lake) but aided by my support team (Hillary, Matt and Gary), I completed the swim in a fantastic time of 1 hour 57 minutes (30 mins quicker than expected). For those in any doubt, there are some photos below as proof / for comedy value. Thank you to everyone who has helped me train for this, especially my coach Fiona and everyone at the Leeds Masters and Leeds & Bradford Tri club, and my support team on the day. A massive thank you also to everyone who has parted with hard earned cash to sponsor me, I have now raised over £1200 to help WaterAid provide water, sanitation and hygiene education to people like those I met in India who need our help. It's still not too late to sponsor me, the web page will be open for a few weeks. It's http://www.justgiving.com/wastwater_thebigswim"
It was a fantastic effort by Claire, especially considering it's not that long since she took up swimming. I'm not sure if she'll be doing a repeat performance any time soon though - she's heading to Australia at the end of the month and won't be back for a couple of years, if ever! Incidentally, you can read all about Claire's trip to India last year here.
A few of our swimmers (current and ex) competed in Ironman Canada in Penticton. Star performer was Steve Hobson, who produced a lifetime best time and finished a very creditable 296th overall. Richard Lawrance (currently residing in Canada, but returning to Leeds next month) also put in a pb; his run was especially impressive. Simon Ward was first of our lot out of the water (all those Saturday morning sessions paid off then), and he also did a decent bike, but then his legs let him down on the run; understandable though considering he hadn't run more than 8 miles for years because of injury. Ben Bigglestone and Fiona Hoare didn't manage to finish.
Mark Turton's made various changes to his Monday night session at east Leeds. Here's what he has to say about it:
1. There is to be a price increase from the 20.2.06 to £4.00 per session.
2. A new session has been started for the more advanced swimmers in the group at 7pm to 8pm Mondays. This will give more water space to all swimmers in both sessions and improve swimmer to coach ratios. The new session will do approx 2700 to 3400 metres per session. All other swimmers will swim at the regular time of 8pm to 9pm. If you're not sure which session to swim in contact me on 07919 446445.
Another new arrival. Jo Bishop's had a little (well, not so little really) girl. This is what Jo has to say about it:
"Just to let you know I'm still alive and kicking. I had my baby on 23rd August, a whole two weeks late! She (Evie Rose) was a whopping 9 pounds 12 ounces and took under 3 hours to come from start to finish! Needless to say I feel like Wonderwoman. Will be back swimming as soon as I can as I've got a bit of a tummy to work on."
Jo and partner Andrew already have one daughter Kizzie, who was 3 in July.
More Ironman competitors! This time in Canada (Penticton to be precise). Results were a bit mixed, but pride of place has to go to Ben Bigglestone for finishing 21st overall. Apparently Ben is now based near Seattle, which means the race was virtually on his doorstep, but it's only a couple of months since he did some Saturday morning sessions with us. Obviously those sessions must have made a difference! Fiona Hoare also put in a good performance, as did Steve Hobson. Not faring quite so well were Andy Idle, who was seriously affected by acute dehydration on the run, and Simon Ward who didn't finish because of an achilles problem. Patrick Berkhold's swim and run were good, but he was let down by his bike time.
Richard Lawrance competed in his first Ironman at Sherborne, Dorset. He managed to get under 12 hours and was 279th out of over 1100 finishers, which is pretty impressive for a first-timer, especially considering that he punctured twice on the bike. Also competing were Helen MacVicker and Dion Harrison. Helen as ever put in a good performance and finished first in her age group. Dion managed to pace it much better than last time out in Lanzarote (see further down the page).
Lyn Hughes missed this year's trip to Club La Santa to run in the 'Coca Cola Zero Rock n Roll' marathon in San Diego on June 4th. His time of 3.10.15 was a lifetime best, and he was the 196th finisher out of 17,000. As he did in Miami last year, Lyn showed how fit he is by doing a negative split - 1.36 and 1.34. Bearing in mind that he's also got great stamina when he swims, I reckon it's time he went for an Ironman....
Click here for the results, or here for photos of Lyn.
At least three people who swim or used to swim with us competed in the Lanzarote Ironman on May 21st. Conditions were quite tough - windy and fairly hot. Andy Jackson, who swam regularly in the mornings until a few months back, did really well. He was 69th overall, and the 4th Brit home. He missed out on getting under 11 hours by a mere 22 seconds! His run was especially impressive - 3 hrs 49 was over an hour and a half faster than he did in Hawaii last year (see below). Dion Harrison (trains with us when he's in Leeds, usually wears a Dundee swim hat), was next home in just under 12 and a half hours. His swim was fantastic (10th out the water!), his bike steady, but then he died on the run. Perhaps he needs to get some tips off Andy. Andy Idle had a reasonable swim and bike. He felt really good starting the run, and went through the first 10k in about 55 minutes. But soon after that he started throwing up for some unknown reason. He kept on going for a bit, but he wasn't able to keep anything down. He knew that the only way he'd get to the finish would be to walk, and he couldn't see the point, so he called it a day to save himself for Ironman Canada in 10 weeks.
| Andy J
| Andy I
We've had people swimming, biking and running in some exotic places these past few weeks. First up was Lyn Hughes in the Victoria (British Columbia) marathon on 10th. He finished in a very impressive time of 3:18, which is a personal best. And just in case you don't believe it, there are some photos of him crossing the line here. Next up was the Hawaii Ironman on 16th. Hawaii is the world's top ironman event, and just qualifying for it is an achievement. It's therefore pretty amazing that no less than three people who swim with us were there. Andy Jackson did well on the swim and bike, but then died on the run. He was overtaken by Ben Bigglestone, who eventually finished 20 minutes ahead of him. But they were both well beaten by Hawaii 'veteran' Helen MacVicker. Also competing was Peter Mathieson from the White Rose club in York, who several of you will know from the Club La Santa trips. Anyway, this is how they all got on:
Full results are available here. Click here to read Ben's account of his preparation and race.
September 11th/12th was a busy weekend for triathlons. Paul Freeman (30th in 4.33), Patrick Berkhold (59th in 4.47) and Richard Lawrance (127th in 5.06) competed in the Vitruvian Half-Ironman at Rutland Water on the Saturday, while Jo Bishop came a very creditable 69th (1.14) in the Ilkley Tri on the Sunday. Full results are available via these links:
Congratulations to Gill (aka Flipper Girl) and husband Kevin on the birth of daughter Jessica Elizabeth at 5.16pm on Wednesday 4th. Mother and baby are both doing well and were home the next day. Gill says that she hopes to be down at Masters one Saturday in a few weeks time. In the meantime, here's a few pics:
It's a bit late, but I've just come across Helen MacVicker's account of her experience in the Hawaii Ironman last year. Click here to read what she had to say. The full results for UK competitors are here.
Fiona Hoare competed in the Lanzarote Ironman on Cup Final day. She finished in 12 and a half hours and was the second British female home. Well done Fiona! And this was despite her being pretty ill on the run. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say she was in a fairly bad way by the finish. You can check out the full results here.
Andy Idle's got yet another new email address. It's firstname.lastname@example.org. Plus his 25 pool is finished. He's also added some extra accommodation to the house so he's now all geared up to welcoming anyone that wants to go over for some training or even just for a holiday. His rates are very reasonable - about 12 quid a night. You can see what the place is like at www.idlebreaks.com.
Lyn Hughes ran the Miami 'Tropical' Marathon on 31st Jan. He finished in a very respectable 3.26.10. He actually managed to do a negative split (1.46/1.40), which takes some doing in a marathon. Some people might say that he must have set off too slow. But considering that he was running in foreign country with a different climate, at a silly start time (6.00!), and probably suffering from jet-lag, I think he can be excused for taking the first half very steady.
Well, the 'For Sale' signs have gone up at the International Pool. There's been a lot of uncertainty over the future of the pool for a couple of years, so at least we know now. There's a newsletter thing available at the pool that gives more info. Basically, as expected, there's going to be a new pool built at South Leeds Stadium. It should be ready sometime in 2006. The International Pool will be in operation until the new pool opens. The council are currently looking at 'pay and swim' options in the city centre as South Leeds is clearly no use for the many people who work in the city centre and like to swim before work or at lunchtimes. Precisely where that leaves Masters training remains to be seen. I can see the morning and lunchtime sessions being scrapped. Perhaps they'll be replaced with less convenient evening sessions. It could be make or break for Masters swimming in Leeds. Anyway, you can read the entire newsletter here.
The big 200m fly challenge took place on the last morning training session before Christmas. Contrary to all expectations, both participants turned up. In the end it wasn't as close as we anticipated due to Twinny unexpectedly not wearing his flippers. Jim won comfortably in about 3.30, Twinny was around 25 seconds behind. Of course, if it hadn't have been for the mouthful halfway down the third length Twinny would have won easily! Anyway, if you've got a fast internet connection you can download a video clip of the 'highlights' here (it's best if you right click, then 'Save as', then play).
He's done it again! Dave Emerson lowered his six week old British record in the 50 freestyle at the South Yorkshires meet at Sheffield. His time was an incredible 24.87.
Dave Emerson produced some tremendous performances at the Nationals at Sheffield. He won the 50m freestyle in 25.03, which is a British record for his age group (40-44 - I don't remember him telling us he'd turned 40!). It goes without saying that he also broke the British record in both his fly events. He won the 50 in 26.21, and won the 100 by quite a margin in 58.56. All the results are available on-line - click on Results for a link.
Andy Idle paid a couple of visits to the pool at the start of the month. He was over for a week for "a mixture of business and pleasure". Apparently the 3 lane 25m pool he's having built at his place in Spain is coming along nicely. When it and the new accommodation are finished he's going to be running training camps for swimmers and triathletes.
A few of our swimmers competed in the Ripon triathlon recently. Douggie Hart deserves a mention for being first out of the water at the end of the swim. In the end it didn't do him much good though - stomach cramps in the later stages meant he couldn't run properly. Other people that took part were Richard Lawrence, Paul Freeman and Alan Judd (used to train with us, but not for a while). Jim Atkinson was one of the last finishers, not helped by very slow transitions and time penalties for helmet and race number violations! Also competing were quite a few of the White Rose triathletes who've been to La Santa with us. Anyway, you can look at the results for yourself here.
Andy Idle did pretty well in Ironman Lanzarote. Apparently conditions were really difficult - windy and hot - which caused times to be generally slow. Andy finished the swim first in his age group. He then had problems with his back on the bike ride. He couldn’t use his arms to pull on the handlebars, so he had to rely on leg power. As a result his legs had gone by the time he came to do the run. Andy's splits were:
You can download the full results here.
Congratulations to those that competed in the Swim marathon (or Swimathon as it's now known) recently. Apparently the organisation left a lot to be desired and quite a bit of 'lane rage' ensued. But Martin Cody-Owen's efforts deserve a mention. He might not be thought of as being the fittest person around, but he entered the new 10k event. Rather him than me, but his splits and overall time were impressive:
Some of Martin's comments:
"In a nutshell, I would recommend it!"
"I felt a bit spaced out afterwards and kept to lemonade in the pub before returning home early - if I had started on the beers I would have had to be carried out!"
"Any takers for next year? You wimps?"
For anyone that doesn't know, Andy Idle has 'emigrated' to southern Spain. They've bought a place about 40 miles inland from Malaga. It's near to Villanueva del Rosario (map). He plans to build a small 25m pool, add some extra rooms, then open for business as a triathlon training camp.