A non-profit Hackney-based sports club is aiming to turn Olympic hopefuls into Olympic legends as the stars of the future warm up for London 2012.
London Fields Triathlon Club launched the London Fields Aquathlon on Sunday 3 October. This inaugural activity brought together multi-event athletics to London Fields for the first time. The 400m swim in London Fields Lido followed by a 5km run around London Fields, gave competitors the opportunity the combine the disciplines of swimming and running. The Aquathlon formed part of London Fields Triathlon Club’s plans to train athletes for the 2012 Olympics.
Formed almost exactly a year after a chance meeting between Chris Skinner and Guy Holbrow at London Fields Lido, the club is made up of an ambitious group of athletes dedicated to Olympic success. It holds well-coached sessions for these aspiring Olympic athletes; there were 20 members for the first endurance session and 150 are raring to go.
Skinner (now the club secretary) and Holbrow (club captain) hope that in two years’ time Hackney will be proudly flying the flag for our Olympic heroes. Holbrow says of the Aquathlon, “It was such a great opportunity for people who live in Hackney and beyond to get involved in sports in the run up to the Olympics. As a club we all enjoy participating in multi-events sports and to be given the opportunity to host our own event is an exciting opportunity.”
With the London Olympics just two years away, the swimmers, bikers and runners of Hackney are hungry for medals.
The Triathlon is one of the toughest, hardest and gruelling endurance events at the Olympics. Spread over specific time trials, it consists of an energy sapping 1.5km swim, an equally as demanding 40km bike ride and the ultimate test of stamina – a 10km run.
Though each of the sports that make up the triathlon has a lengthy pedigree, and historians trace their combination in a single event to France in the 1920s, the modern triathlon has its roots in 1974 California, when the sport we recognise today was ‘invented’.
Triathlon was first included in the Olympic repertoire at the Sydney Games in 2000, and has since been attracting some of the best all-round athletes – male and female alike – from across the world. The gruelling event tests endurance as well as sporting skill. Triathletes compete for the fastest overall completion of the three components of the race, including timed transitions from one segment of the competition to another.
Former Olympic swimmer Mark Foster has already laid the first tile for the Olympic Aquatics Centre as Hackney’s super athletes began gearing up for London 2012. The London Fields Triathlon Club is hoping that in two years the Aquatic Centre will provide a perfect training venue for Hackney’s long distance triathletes. 17,500 seats are now being fixed into place for the Aquatics Centre and the excitement is growing.
Update: Monday 11 October 2010
Over 50 local competitors took part in the inaugural London Fields Aquathlon on Sunday 3 October. The event, the first of its kind in Hackney, consisted of a 400m swim in London Fields Lido followed (immediately) by a 5k run around London Fields. A good crowd braved the weather to cheer on overall winner Danny Russell from Tri London who won with a total time of 22 mins 4 seconds.
Club secretary Chris Skinner said: “It was some sight seeing drenched people running around the park and I am delighted the event attracted people of all abilities, making it a competitive yet highly enjoyable day. Here’s to our second event!”
London Fields Aquathlon winners:
U30: Danny Russell _ Tri London (22.04)
U40: Felipe Elias – London Fields (25.41)
40+ Brian Longman – Tri Sport Epping (24.58)
U30: Alison McLean – London Fields (29.51)
U40: Natalie Snow – Tri Sport Epping (29.34)
40+ Andrea Sanders Reece – Mornington Chasers (29.05)
A full list of finishers can be found on the London Fields Triathlon website./ 5 October, 2010