Race Photos at: CharlesWhittonPhotography
“Thanks for organising an excellent race last Sunday. Although I suffered on the run
I really enjoyed it.
The marshalling was first class and there was a general feeling of friendliness
throughout the whole race.
This is how triathlons should be.”
TEN YEARS AGO saw the first running of the epic New Forest Middle Distance Triathlon and whilst the detail of the course has seen a few changes over the intervening years it remains a seriously
challenging undertaking: a stunningly beautiful course but not to be taken lightly!!
There have been epic duels along the way: James v Hywel (twice), Sophie v Emma, Owen winning by just ten seconds and always top, top racing at the front end of the field. But the race has always been about far more than the trophies. It has had a unique atmosphere of spirited camaraderie and mutual support with the real challenge being athlete v course!
This year’s edition was no exception.
It’s also fair to say that the previous nine editions, all organized by RaceNewForest Ltd, have also borne witness to the full range of late summer weather possibilities from dense fog to howling gales and freezing rain. This year saw the race take place in almost perfect conditions with clear blue skies and a gentle cooling breeze on the run……if a little chilly down at the Lake first thing..
The swim takes place at the scenic Ellingham Waterski lake and with the water temperature at 16 degrees plus, some 10 degrees warmer than the air temperature the competitors were more than happy to get their wetsuits on and get started.
James Travers was first out on to the bike in 29:13 with Robert Fryer less than 30 seconds behind. Less than 2 minutes down on the leader “uber biker” Clive Kennedy Burn lurked menacingly.
Amongst the ladies it was Jo Davis who seized an early initiative out of tT1 in 32:06 a couple of minutes ahead of a closely packed trio, Annie Frederick, Heather Booth and Frances Palmer.
The bike route has evolved over the years and now comprises two (and a bit) loops of the open Forest. Ponies , cattle and donkeys roam free and the rolling heathland course is always challenging without any individual “killer” hills. With the route passing Sandy Balls (T2) twice before turning in on the third lap it is also incredibly spectator friendly: noisy and really well supported for a low key event.
An easterly breeze gradually picked up during the next couple of hours which made the exposed section across Ocknell Plain increasingly tough for all making Clive’s 2:16:04 bike split all the more remarkable as he opened up an eleven minute lead over James Travers and Paul Lunn who had himself cycled particularly strongly.
The Ladies race was a far closer affair with Annie Frederick and Heather Booth still neck and neck, both posting bike splits in the 2:53’s to head out on to the run course with all to play for.
The run course is, to say the least, “challenging”: an out and back course, almost all off road on the Forestry tracks: always up and down. Hard enough when fresh but after a rolling bike course likely to seriously inconvenience anyone who’s not kept a bit in reserve!
Clive pulled out a 1:28:21 run split, Paul Lunn built on his excellent bike leg to seize second place whilst James slipped back a little but held on to third place ahead of Robert Fryer.
Annie Fredericks’s 1:49 was bettered only by Cathy Cook as he came home to claim her first overall victory ahead of Heather Booth and Jo Davies.
Behind the leaders finisher after finisher came home to the cheers of their families and the gathering crowds . So many smiles: so many stories. Ten years on: many changes…so much remains the same.
“I just wanted to say thanks for an amazing race on Sunday…You have the event completely right, well organised and the location distracts from the pain. From the friendly briefing getting the right atmosphere across to the finish and people looking after us. You guys do a great job….The swim was nice with the sunrise, bike was beautiful even with the wind and the run amazing - fortunately my coach warned me about it but its not as hard as the reputation which precedes it…I recall you saying the numbers are declining a bit but I hope they grow again!”
Roll on the next 10 years!!
Sunday 30th August at Lymington Sea Water Baths
Race Photos at: CharlesWhittonPhotography
Sunday 13th December, a 10mile trail run based on the ever poular Heartbreaker Half & Marathon course. Event supported by TAILWIND NUTRITION UK.
Downton Half Marathon - 29th Nov
Heartbreaker 10mile - 13th Dec 2015 *NEW RUNNING EVENT*
Heartbreaker Half & Marathon 28th Feb 2016
We’re pleased to be able to announce that ForestMan 2016 will take place on Sunday June 26th at Bucklers Hard, which has proved such a popular venue for our SwashBuckler Middle Distance Triathlon.
The event will be renamed THE GLADIATOR, Iron-distance Triathlon at Bucklers Hard. Named for the warship launched there in 1782.
Sandy Balls and Ellingham Lake have been fantastic hosts of the event over the years but with numbers declining over recent editions we felt it was time to freshen things up and to try and entice back a number of previous competitors to take on the new challenge.
Having spent the past few days working on the logistics of the courses I’m confident that we have come up with an event which will be even better than the current version.
The swim will take place in standing water at High Tide in the beautiful Beaulieu River.
The new bike course will incorporate sections of both the existing ForestMan and SwashBuckler routes and will be typical of the Forest: open heathland and rolling terrain along with quiet country lanes.
We’ve come up with a run route which will be four laps, passing through Bucklers Hard twice on each lap, making it extremely “spectator friendly”. Half on road, half well made tracks and considerably more “do-able” than the rugged terrain we have become used to on Hampton Ridge!! I’d go so far as to call it “flat and fast”…..!!
I’ll pop the Garmin traces up on the website over the next couple of days once I’ve ridden the bike route!!
Losing the split transition will simplify the logistics for competitors with no need for overnight bike racking or scope for misplaced RUN bags!
With “The Master Builder” hotel/pub on site and access to the venue’s excellent catering facilities, café etc we’ll be looking to recreate the finish line experience of Sandy Balls but at an iconic location which has always generated a fantastic atmosphere at previous RNF events.
We’ve always been really proud of the quality of ForestMan and hope that the change of venue along with a flatter run course will tempt back previous competitors and also persuade anyone who has previously been deterred by the old course’s fierce reputation to come and give us a try.
ENTRIES NOW LIVE! It sold out this year so don't delay & risk disappointment!
Tailored training plans specifically for Forestman, Bucklers Hard Sprint/Novice Tri & New Forest Middle Distance Tri are now available at https://www.myprocoach.net/new-forest-training-plans.html
The Training Plans are available through Training peaks Software and are priced at £20. Until Sunday 12th April use this 15% discount code for any of the 3 races mentioned: Forest2015
Back in summer 2013 we did our own quadrathlon from John O'Groats to Land's End taking in the longest lakes & highest mountains in between. It took 4 of us 10 days, here's the film to show how we got on: whole film on OTV PLAY on YouTube