Brecon Tri Newsletter

News 2021

Race report (Paul Wesley) – Storm The Castle Duathlon (race day 24/10/21)

Storm The Castle Duathlon

Storm The Castle Duathlon is held in Ludlow and consists of a 10km run, 33km cycle and a 5km run. The runs being a mix of road, trail and X-country. It's normally held in April but the race was delayed due to Covid. Registration, transition and race start was at Ludlow rugby club and everything was very well organised with the Marshall's all happy and helpful despite it being a cold autumn morning!

The first run started in waves and took you over Dinham bridge across the River Teme with the first few kilometres being fairly flat. However you soon hit the first sickener, the 'Lactic Ladder' which is a set of steps set into the side of a hill which takes you up onto a viewpoint. You cross over the hill and drop down onto the banks of the Teme, crossing back over the bridge and onto the next sickener 'The Wall'. This is the hill that runs up to Ludlow Castle. A quick circumvent of the castle and back down The Wall to start the second loop.

I'm pretty sure that the bike course was different from previous years as I don't remember it having so many long uphill drags on it! However, despite the drags and head wind the bike course is pretty quick with only one significant climb towards the end which led to a fast, technical 2 mile descent to the finish.

The final 5km was a bit cheeky with the lactic ladder being completed twice and the wall once. Normally you finish the race inside the castle but this year the finish was back at the rugby club.

The STC has a really nice medal and finishers Tshirt and a pecking order for the finishers which is emblazoned on the Tshirts. If you are a first time finisher you are classed as a Peasant, second time Knight, third time Baron or Baroness, fourth Duke or Dutchess, fifth King or Queen and six or more Legend! (Sam Carter is now a Baroness and I'm a Duke!) This is a great race which I highly recommend, 10th April 2022 is the date for the next one so get it in your diaries.

Race website

Race report (Laurence Snowden) – Ludlow Sprint Triathlon (race day 26/9/21)

Ludlow Sprint Triathlon

I guess it wasn't surprising that that my tri-suit didn't fit anymore, it had been nearly 19 years since it was last used on a Snowdon half iron-man. So it was with some trepidation I stood in budgie smugglers waiting to be taken poolside to the start of my Ludlow sprint tri. To be honest, overall, I had absolutely nothing to be trepid about. It was a fantastically organized day. No time pressures, no petty rules enforced and just a real lovely relaxed atmosphere with great comradery shown by fellow triathletes.

But like all things new or revisited with time, tri rules had changed and I got worried about bib numbers (front or back) and what to wear and in what order to don & doff my gear. I got paranoid about helmet rules and hence even had my cycle helmet on (making sure it was fastened up) before taking my bike off the car and wore it all the way up the path to the Ludlow sports centre Tri race HQ. Registration was painless, and I was able to rack my bike and layout my possessions out comfortably.

I went over to the swim pool, checking out the general race layout and was relieved to see the other early swim starters were like me in style (one up from doggy paddling). But, I had been doing a lot of Wild swimming this year from the prom, so my 400m swim (10mins 21sec) felt really easy. Whilst I conserved energy and alternated between breaststroke and free style lengths, on reflection I think I could have done it all free style.

Then came the daunting, confusing bit of Transition one. As I have nether problems I really do need padding and hence I need the protection of road cycling bib shorts (but I don't necessarily want to take my nappy running). So, on went running shorts, followed by a running vest (which got terribly tangled) then the bib shorts and finally (with pride) on went my Brecon Tri cycle top. T1 was 3 minutes 55secs (most of which was wincing about getting a stupid nylon vest over reluctantly wet skin).

The cycle was just fantastic and problem free. The route went close to where my dad was born (south Shrewsbury). My newly cleaned De Rosa with snub nosed seat did me proud. 25 Kms done in 57mins 14secs. Transition 2 was far shorter as I de-onioned myself and took off the bib shorts and cycle top (1min 28secs). The last bit then was a very uninteresting 6.2 km run up and down a major road (35mins 28secs). Through the finish and smiles all round. Just got to see Kate H briefly as she went into T1. Re-donned my cycle helmet (like a good boy) and pushed the bike back to the car-park. See you next year Ludlow, thank you it was a great event.

Now off to get all the stuff I should have had.....

Full Race Results
Other club members racing: Si Crowther, Nathan Goode, Kev Price, Robin Woods and Kate Hovers.

Autumn Track Training Resumes (posted 11/9/21)

Track Training
Track Training with Bob Smith and Builth Running Club

We are trying something new this autumn and joining forces with Builth Running Club.
We will be hiring Brecon Track, once a month, on the following Tuesdays for 1 hour, 6:30pm - 7:30pm:
14th September
12th October
9th November
7th December

Olympic athletics coach Bob Smith will be leading the sessions. Bob lives in Brecon and has been working with Builth Running Club for some time. His main focus though is elite, international athletes - but he makes time for us at no cost!!!!

Many of you will know members in Builth Running Club. They are an exceptionally friendly bunch, and, like us, are an all abilities club.

The sessions are FREE to Brecon Triathlon Club members and no booking is required. The floodlights will be on and the Pavilion will be in use too (toilet and changing facilities).

Please try and attend if at all possible.
Ultimately, the success of the club rests on members taking part in club activities!!

Club Hoodie Order (posted 31/8/21)

Our last Hoodie order was in 2020. We are getting ready to place a new order this autumn. The design is the same as last time. They will look similar to the above. These mock ups have been provided as a guide but subtle changes may be necessary for the final printing process. There are a total of 4 logos: each sleeve, chest and back. Club member Roger Hunter did the artwork.
No returns will be accepted - but there should be no problem for individuals to sell/exchange with other club members.
Costs will not be finalised until exact numbers are known but will be in the region of £35. Payment will be requested via bank transfer when the order and costs are finalised. Aiming to place the order within 2 weeks.
All orders via the club email address (sec@..........) following the instructions below.

Members need to make 2 choices: style, size.


1) Hoodie Style:
Style 1 - Black no zip

Style 2 - Red no zip

2) Hoodie Size:

Hoodie Slogan (on the back):
Don't drown, don't crash, don't walk.


To Order - Send in your choice via email (see our closed Facebook or Whatsapp groups for email address) stating Style, Size.

Club Coached Swim Sessions at Brecon Pool (posted 15/8/21)

Swim coaching
Coached swim sessions resume this September

Coached Swim Sessions start on September 17th, 2021.
Fridays 7.30-8.30pm for 12 sessions (ends 3/12/21). Each session will be for one hour and we will need to be poolside and ready to start at 7.25pm. There will be 4 lanes with slowest swimmers in the first lane, and more experienced in the last lane, so everyone will be training with swimmers of similar ability.

Brecon Triathlon Club membership is mandatory.
Minimum standard for these sessions is the ability to swim 200m front crawl non stop.

Pricing and Payment:
All 12 sessions £65.
Fee includes pool entry and coaching.
Payment will be by direct bank transfer only.
Now Fully Booked (2/9/21)

Members will be invited to book and pay via email, which will be sent out at the end of August.
Payment details will be in the email (BACS payment only).
We will need to break even. If bookings are low, the block will be cancelled and you will be refunded.

Track Training Block Completed (posted 13/8/21)

Track Training
Track Training

Final session of this summer's 11 week block of track training was delivered tonight. Thanks to all those that attended.
No more regular track sessions for a while now.
The focus this autumn switches to coached pool swimming.

Any ad hoc track/run sessions will be advertised on our closed Facebook and Whatsapp groups.

A block of track training will restart in the spring (2022) as a build up to the new race season.

Race report (Rob Horton) – Breca Gower Swim Run (race day 31/7/21)

Kirsty and Rob
Kirsty and Rob

The Gower peninsula was a fantastic setting for some challenging racing at Breca Gower 2021, with Brecon Tri Club well represented by two "Mr & Mrs" teams of Sam & Paul and Kirsty & Rob! Swim Run is an interesting sport (invented in Stockholm by a drunken challenge to a race across the archipelago). A race generally involves upwards of 10-20 transitions between short swim and run stages, swimming in trainers and running in wetsuits, in some amazing wild locations, with no limit on the number of pull buoys, paddles and other swim toys allowed.

After an exciting coach ride through narrow lanes from the race base at Mumbles to the start line at the lovely Oxwich Bay, a field of 270 lined up for the 20km "sprint" course (18km run + 2km swim) with a mixture of solo entries (new for this year) and teams of two. The full-length 43km course was unavailable this year due to Covid. The gun went and we were off on the first leg of our journey back to Mumbles, a 3km run across the beach.

Conveniently forgetting my (Rob's) lack of race fitness, we set off at a strong pace and entered the first swim in a good position, though well behind the leaders who had apparently set a 3:30/km pace across the wet sand. This first transition was when things began to unravel for us: having naively convinced ourselves that the sea state "didn't look too bad" from afar, despite being in the tail-end of Storm Evert, it looked much more menacing at close quarters with a big swell.

Paul and Sam
Paul and Sam

Having dived through the braking waves and attempted to follow the stream of swimmers towards the safety kayaks (intended to keep us from getting washed onto the rocky headlands we were swimming around), I quickly realised that this was very different to our swim at the Prom! After a bit of breaststroke, some gentle encouragement from Kirsty and asking myself "What would Rich do?", we eventually settled into the second half of the swim and finally dragged ourselves ashore at Three Cliffs Bay, glad to be back on dry land but having been passed by what felt like dozens of teams.

The second run was the main one at 8km, and started with a brutal climb up the sand dunes to reach the coastal trail. At this point my legs were regretting the strong start, while Kirsty was happily trotting off and chatting away. Again, we found our rhythm, tried to enjoy the scenery, overtook a number of teams and before too long were descending into the scenic Brandy Cove for the second swim to Caswell Bay. This went much better with slightly more sedate conditions, and while we were still losing places during the swim (especially to teams with hand paddles! A must have for next time), we managed to enjoy swimming in a pretty unique setting with the comfort of the excellent sea safety team in kayaks and the odd RIB.

Breca Swim Run
Breca Swim Run

The next couple of runs were shorter and flew by, broken up by another swim and body-surfing the waves into Langland Bay (while trying to avoid the submerged rocks). It was the start of the last swim (a scramble down to the rocky entrance) that we bumped into Sam and Paul! The last swim was almost pleasant, and then the final run took us up Mumbles Hill, we picked off a couple more teams during the run into Underhill Park (where the "surprise" extra lap of the park almost killed me).

Overall, it was a great day out and while our result might be nothing to write home about, the sea swimming was definitely a challenge, a learning experience and also good motivation to improve fitness before next year's Breca races in the Lake District and Loch Lomond!

Breca Swim Run website

Race report (Matt Brushett) – Snowman Legend (middle distance) (race day 1/8/21)

Matt Brushett
A legend! - Matt Brushett

So this was the B race that became the A race - never mind Ironman, today I was going to be a Snowman!

After a week of back troubles and not much sleep, I headed up to North Wales on the offchance I'd be in a state to race. It wasn't until the morning of the race, I miraculously felt good to go and as luck had it, my kit had arrived too thanks to my wife Delyth getting it all ready - she's a star!

The event base was Plas y Brenin outdoor centre in Capel Curig. As we all nervously walked along the edge of Llynnau Mymbyr to swim start, the stunning backdrop of the Snowdon horseshoe dominated the skyline, glowing in the low morning sun. I knew this was going to be an epic race in perfect conditions.

Swim (1900m)
The swim was carnage from the off. I struggled for space and to settle into a rhythym - plenty of leg pulls and bodies swimming across me. All went well until the turnaround point. Swimming on the return leg into the low morning sun was a nightmare - I had absolutely no clue where the buoys were! At one point a kayaker was screaming at me to stay left, just as I was about to plough into oncoming swimmers! It was a massive relief to finish the swim but I'd weirdly enjoyed the mayhem and my confidence started to grow that maybe I'd managed to get away injury free.

Bike (57 miles, 5500ft ascent)
After a stunning climb to Pen y Pass before the day trippers started their Snowdon climbs, it was a windy, technical descent into Llanberis surrounded by intimidating crags. After some tough climbs, I soaked up the rays along the beautiful flowing section past the Snowdon Ranger path and into Beddgelert. A small crowd had assembled there and some cowbells ringing got me slightly emotional - I realised how amazing it was to be back racing again after all the cancellations. Emotions in check, it was onto Blaenau Ffestiniog, then up and over the Crimea Pass. This was quite a struggle, but if my old van can get up it, surely I could! After an amazing eye watering descent it was a welcome relief to reach Betws Y Coed before returning to the mountain centre.

Run / walk / crawl (13 miles, 2788ft ascent)
Then onto the run, 13 miles of trail running, starting with an out and back up the Ogwen Valley before the ascent of Moel Siabod. I hadn't planned for how soul destroying the first section would be - running in the wrong direction from the mountain climb! On the return leg, Delyth greeted me with a whole crowd of strangers shouting my name - a bit embarrassing, but I loved it really! I was forced back to reality as the noise of the PA system disappeared behind me and the climb began.

It was a weird one psychologically, as you felt nothing but jealousy at the lucky ones on their return descent, as you forced your way up. I think most of us walked the ascent, but my heart rate told me I might as well have been running! From then it was just a case of sheer grit, along with some good camaraderie and much needed banter to reach the top.

Despite fatigue setting in and a demanding rocky, technical descent needing full focus, the turnaround was an amazing feeling of relief. I've never seen so many people faceplanting though - thankfully I wasn't one of them! It was great to exchange a few words of encouragement with John and Kate on my descent, although I felt really guilty knowing they were still in the pain cave on their way up!

The final finish chute was immense - a great atmosphere with music, crowds and beer flowing, and always nice when the announcer makes a big deal of namechecking you over the finish line.

You'll see me punching the air in the finish photo - that was me screaming "get in there!". I'm not usually one for over the top finish line celebrations - maybe it was me getting carried away with the Team GB Olympic success, but honestly, that's just how much this one meant to me.

Day Out with Pen Y Bont Triathlon Club from Bridgend (posted 31/7/21)

Track Training
Day out with Pen Y Bont

Fantastic day with Pen Y Bont Tri Club. Really great Club turnout even though it was a massive race weekend for us too. Many thanks to all involved:
Sarah Jane Hughes, Ann Davies, Laurence Snowden, Verena Zimmer, Stewart Webb, Catherine Etchell, Barbara Lilygreen, Ania Ciolek, Matt Kevern, Owen Bowers, Aled Edwards, Tom Banning.

Event web page here

Friday Night Track Training Now in Full Swing! (posted 7/5/21)

Track Training
Track Training

Track training is in full swing on Friday nights - come and join us!
Park at BLC car park and walk down to the track with your bike (saves reliance on BLC opening the track gate on time). Be at the Pavilion for 7.25pm. The Pavilion will not be in use though.
We'll take a group photo for registration purposes.
You will need:
- To be dressed to run (and keep warm). If wet, have a change of clothes handy.
- Bicycle Cycle helmet - no helmet, no ride!
- Trainers (we can't use cleats on the track)

Training Restart - Friday 30th April (posted 30/4/21)

Pen Y Fan
Litter Pick at Brecon Leisure Centre and Track

First club training session of the year tonight.
The Usk was 10.9 degrees so well done to all those that braved the water. Social 5K run along the river afterwards. Then on to a litter pick. A total of 8 bags of litter collected from the Leisure Centre and Track.
Great start to the year.

Meet next Friday at the track 7:30pm.

This Year's Brecon Sprint Triathlon is CANCELLED (posted 19/1/21)

Event cancelled
Brecon Sprint Triathlon 2021 is Cancelled

We are sad to announce that the Brecon Sprint Triathlon 2021 is cancelled.

Please go to the event web page for further details.

Club Affiliation Process Completed for 2021 (posted 11/1/21)

Welsh Triathlon affiliated club
Affiliated Club for 2021

Annual General Meeting Date for 2021 Confirmed (posted 1/1/21)

AGM 25th February
AGM Tuesday 19th January 2021

AGM Date: Tuesday, 19th January 2021 - 8:15pm
Email sent out 31/12/20 - you must confirm by return email.
A link will be sent to all members who confirm.

Merthyr Mermaid (posted 31/12/21)

Cath Pendleton
Available now on BBC iPlayer

Our very own Catherine Pendleton is still available on the BBC iPlayer.
"The Merthyr Mermaid"
We're proud to know her!