Glory for Bassetlaw from Big Ben to the mighty Alpe d’Huez -2017

Infamous for its stunning scenery and punishing climbs, the Alpe d’Huez is legendary amongst Tour de France riders past and present for its ability to test the strongest professional cyclists to their limits. At a distance of 115km along a formidable mountain climb of almost 11,000ft, the statistics are enough to prove that this is an eyewatering challenge for the strongest of iron legs.
Imagine making that climb after completing a 2.2km swim across Lake Verney and before tackling a 22km run across the peak of the mountain, 2000m above sea level. That is just what Bassetlaw Triathlon Club’s Gavin Toulson did when he completed the Alpe d’Huez long distance triathlon on 27th July.
Remarkably, just 10 weeks earlier, Gavin suffered a broken elbow and thumb and it was touch and go whether he would reach the start line. Gavin said, “I set myself this challenge for my 40th birthday as it was at the top of my bucket list. It was a beautiful race but so tough; an unforgettable experience”.
Completing the epic achievement in an incredible 10:02:23, Gavin joins the growing list of Bassetlaw Triathlon Club athletes who have seen success at home and abroad, in what has been an exceptional season for the club.
Closer to home, challenging weather conditions were no match for more of the club’s athletes, Yannie Duveen, Craig Mercer and Daniel Osborn, who raced in the Love to Tri AJ Bell London Triathlon Series on 22nd July.
At times, the athletes battled driving rain and high winds to complete slippery and waterlogged bike and run routes. Determination and resolve paid off however, with Yannie and Craig completing the Olympic distance race in 03:10:33 and 02:41 respectively while Daniel completed his sprint distance race in 01:32:11. Speaking after the event, Craig who also raced with his son said, “this was my first Olympic distance event so I was a bit apprehensive. The atmosphere was brilliant, all the way into London to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. An enjoyable experience. I can’t wait for the next one!”
The success continued on Sunday 30th July with Bassetlaw Triathlon Club members representing the club throughout Yorkshire and Cleveland.
Joan Kirkwood and Kevin Dunne once again delivered inspired performances at the Redcar Triathlon. Kevin finished in 01:17:13, while Joan finished in 01:43:47, taking third in her age group in the World Championship Qualifying event. In the meantime, Helen Crossley and Craig Reep both put in stellar performances at the Yorkshire Water Hull Triathlon, which saw Craig achieve an incredible 1:15:55 finish, while Helen took third female overall in 1:15:56.
Elsewhere, 12 year old Ned Spittlehouse and his 8 year old brother Harry were also in excellent form at the York Junior Triathlon. After completing his swim in blistering time, Ned battled his way through grueling headwinds to complete the 10.8km bike route before moving on to the run, finishing in an impressive 33:32. Inspired to triathlon by his older brother, Harry braved heavy rains to deliver a finish of 11:17 in his event. Keen to return to training to deliver an even faster result next year, it seems the young athletes could be as competitive as the Brownlees as it is Harry’s ambition to follow in his older brother’s footsteps as a member of Bassetlaw Triathlon Club.
Sunday 6th August will see the Bassetlaw Sprint Triathlon take place in Worksop. Now in its fifth successive year, the race promises to be the most successful to date. Starting with the 400m pool swim at BPL Valley Leisure Centre, athletes from the local area and further afield will cycle the 21km traffic managed route through Nottinghamshire into South Yorkshire, before completing the distance with a 5km run along the footpaths of Worksop.
Although entries for the event have now closed, you can still experience the thrill of the race as a spectator along the 26.4km route. The race starts at 8am and is set to continue throughout the morning, so why not come along and experience the excitement for yourself?
For more information about Bassetlaw Triathlon Club membership and training events, go online to or email
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Author: BassetlawTriAdmin

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