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Bala Big Bash Sizzles in Sunshine

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The Sun Shone on the inaugural Bala Big Bash multisport event last weekend, where triathletes of all ages from across Wales and beyond showcased their skills in what was a great advert for multisport.

After 6 months of planning between Welsh Triathlon, Swim Wales, the Urdd and many local delivery and community partners, the first Bala Big Bash festival proved successful with approximately 700 athletes taking part across the whole weekend.

The event kicked off with the Bala Tristars event, which also doubled as the qualifier for the IRC championships at Mallory Park in September, as well as the Urdd’s Gemau Cymru Triathlon which formed part of their nationwide Multisport festival.

With the water temperature at a simmering just under 22 degrees for the tristars and the roads closed, the Tristars 1 kicked off proceedings. In a hotly contested first wave, It was Daniel Warrender of Cerist tri who pipped Gethin Griffith by 8 seconds following a time penalty, a dismount line discretion on the return of the bike leg. Iestyn Thomas from Denbighshire completed the podium coming in 20seconds behind the male leader. 

Denbighshire’s Josephine Hurst finished fastest overall in TS1 and took the top spot on the girls podium in a time of 19minutes 22 seconds. She was joined on the podium by team mate Lily Roberts who finished 1:15 down, followed in third by Celtic Tri’s Ella Harris following in a time of 20.49.

With places up for grabs in the Welsh IRC team, the racing in the TS2 and 3 categories intensified. Within TS2 Boys, TCW’s Tristyn James took the top podium spot in a time of 23.10, followed by namesake Ioan 43 seconds behind. After a slow swim, Ifan Bowen put in strong bike and run legs to claw back an overall 3rd position in a time of 24.28. Denbighshire’s Millie Hannant crossed the line first for the girls with a time of 23:50, followed closely Pembrokeshire’s Eleanor White and Denbighshire’s Madeline James, with TS2 girls series leader Anwen Nesham from Cardiff crossing a further 2mins behind overall following issues on the bike leg.

The TS3 boys race saw Pembrokeshire’s’ Liam Edwards took the honours from Triathlon Coaching Wales Luke Wyatt. Both boys will have the opportunity to represent Wales as first two across the line. Third place on the podium went to Tristars Conwy Cameron Shaw, with all athletes crossing 1minute 10 seconds apart. Within the female race, TCW’s Abigail Davies took the first over the line crossing in 29.53minutes. She was followed by Pembrokshire’s Megan Thomson and again, both girls will be invited to represent Wales at Mallory. TCWs Eve Hickman crossed the line in 3rd place a further 90 seconds behind Thomson.

Selection will now take place across the TS2 and TS3 ages amongst the WT performance staff and all athletes will be notified of their invites to Mallory in September. An updated Tristar table for the season so far can be found by clicking here

 

Bala Team Relays took over Saturday evening with team from the North and South going head to head. GOG-Tri, Cardiff Triathletes, Cardiff University and Wrexham Tri were the main victors on the evening across all categories with the awards being split 3-3 across the North and South. The beauty of the format kept the racing intense and everyone engaged as the change from the traditional swim-bike-run kept all participants active. The first team over the line from the starters horn was Cardiff University’s all male team, finishing in a time of 2hours, 19 minutes and 19 seconds. They were followed by Gog triathlons Mixed team who came in 3 minutes 15 behind closely followed a further seven seconds back by Cardiff Universities’ second male side. A full breakdown of results can be found by clicking here.

 

Sunday Morning began with the fourth stage of the Welsh Super Series, in what was not the biggest of fields, but certainly one of the strongest to date as the general classicisation begin to heat up with the accumulation of four scores now coming into play for some.

It was business as usual within the male race as Pembrokeshire’s Alex Matchett made it 4 from 4 in the male category, crossing the line in a total time of 1hour 46mins and 14 seconds. This cements his position at the top of the Male leader board with a current total of 533.63points, but giving the scoring system in place, there is still an outside chance of him being caught should the other front runners pull out some quick times at Tuska or Sandman.

Although second in the overall table, Pencoed Tri athlete Richard Dando cemented his place at the top of the Male 40 category, but lost time over the other front runners, with Chris Silver (1:46:43), Olly Simon (1:48:41) and Nathan Ford (1:51:49) mounting pressure on the impressive Matchett. With Alex now having completed all 4 events, his overall score could increase slightly, depending on the margins at the final two races. For Silver, Simon and Ford, they will eat into Matchett’ s overall score but need something special to overtake the Pembrokeshire flyer.

Within the female series, Vicky Johnston made it two wins from her last two races in a time of 2:02:34 and is slowly crawling up the general classification to 8th overall with a score of 252.80 from only two events. Overall classification leader Catherine Marks again delivered consistency and finished 5th overall in a time of 2:18:43, taking her overall points tally at the top to 462.84 points. Her closest rivals currently are Gillian Hopkins (440.34 points overall) who sits top of the Female 40 category and second overall having completed 4 events and Sian Williams in 3rd (435.01 points), again a Female 40 participant who have both completed 4 events. With the possibility of their scores improving slightly over the next two events, their stiffest challenges comes in the form of Katie Greenwood, 4th in Bala and 4th in the general classification on 350.12 points from three events, Emma Palfrey, who was back on the podium in 3rd place at Bala in a time of 2:13:39, again 5th in the GC with 347.94points from 3 events, and Johnston who needs to complete the final 2 events if she wants to compete for the overall lead. 2nd place on the podium at Bala went to Chester’s Claire Brown who produced an incredible performance to come from wave 2.

Updated leader boards from the super series can be found below.

 

Welsh Super Series – Overall Male Standings after stage 4

1

Alex Matchett

533.63 (4 events)

2

Richard Dando

467.19 (4 events)

3

Olly Simon

385.93 (3 events)

4

Nathan Ford

382.43 (3 events)

5

John Collier

355.18 (3 events)

6

Phillip Thomas

321.94 (3 events)

7

Jack Rees

321.40 (3 events)

8

Nigel Morse

319.85 (3 events)

9

Jamie Davies

316.60 (3 events)

10

Osian Wyn

315.40 (3 events)

 

Welsh Super Series – Overall Female Standings after stage 4

1

Catherine Marks

462.84 (4 events)

2

Gillian Hopkins

440.34 (4 events)

3

Sian Williams

435.01 (4 events)

4

Katie Greenwood

350.12 (3 events)

5

Emma Palfrey

347.94 (3 events)

6

Jasmine Bowyer

330.53 (3 events)

7

Vickie Woodsford

314.32 (3 events)

8

Vicky Johnston

252.80 (2 events)

9

Shona Bennett

215.44 (2 events)

10

Bryanie Allsworth

213.94 (2 events)

 

Welsh Super Series – Overall Male Age Group Categories – After Stage 4

Youth & junior

Nathanial Harries

115.78 (1 events)

Open

Alex Matchett

533.63 (4 events)

40-49

Richard Dando

467.19 (4 events)

50-59

Nigel Morse

319.85 (3 events)

60-69

Michael Battersby

295.02 (3 events)

70+

Glyn Williams

73.54 (1 events)

 

Welsh Super Series – Overall Female Age Group Categories – After Stage 4

Youth & junior

Eden Schiller

114.68 (1 events)

Open

Catherine Marks

462.84 (4 events)

40-49

Gillian Hopkins

440.34 (4 events)

50-59

Jennifer Aylward

188.44 (2 events)

60-69

Karen Munn

200.57 (2 events)

70-79

Sue Bathgate

99.33 (1 event)

 

Welsh Super Series – Overall Affiliated Clubs Standings after stage 4

1

Cardiff Triathlon Club

348.7

2

Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club

309.16

3

Celtic Tri

197.31

4

Pencoed Triathlon Club

183.08

5

Bynea CC

157.98

 

Welsh Super Series – Overall Non-Affiliated Clubs Standings after stage 4

1

West Coast Triathlon

222.01

2

Cardiff University

63.78

3

Dredgers

60.29

4

3M Gorseinon Road Runners

56.16

5

LegIT

53.85

 

A full updated Super Series list following stage 4 at Bala can be found here.

 

Welsh Triathlon would like to thank all participants for their involvement at the Bala Big Bash evet over the course of the weekend. It was the first collaborative delivery from Welsh Triathlon, Swim Wales and the Urdd and along with the venue and the weather proved to be a successful weekend. Welsh Triathlon would also like to openly thank all of the community groups which were involved in the consultation and delivery of the weekend, including Gwynedd County Council, Snowdonia National Park, the National Assembly, North Wales / TrawsCymru Highways, Lloyds Motors Machynlleth, Ysgol Y Berwyn, Penllyn Leisure Centre, Clwb Beicio’r Bala, Llanuwchlyn FC, Bala RFC, Raynet, Dusty Rhodes and the Bala Show crew, Bala chamber of commerce, Bala and Penllyn Rotary, Llanuwchlyn  Community Council, Bala Community Council, Bala Watersports, Bala Sailing Club

 

 

All individuals highlighted green are eligible for Super Series points as they are verified Welsh Triathlon / British Triathlon / Home Nations Members.

All race entries were sent to BTF HQ in Loughborough for verification prior to the event. If you are a member but are not highlighted, please contact Gareth Evans at Welsh Triathlon by emailing here, with a photographic copy of your membership card. Discrepancies may have occurred if you entered your details differently on the race entry portal to your membership application. This will not affect any points. All Participants have been awarded points regardless of their membership, only those with valid memberships have been /will be included throughout the series. You do not have to be a WT/BTF/HN member to contribute to your club score, but your club must be a Welsh Triathlon affiliated club prior to the event taking place. Non-Affiliated clubs may affiliate prior to any future event in the series. If you did not include your club name correctly on the entry portal, these results will not be reviewed or included retrospectively. If you have any concerns regarding future races, please contact each event organiser to confirm your details, not Welsh Triathlon.

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