N1 Tri Club goes from strength to strength

PUBLISHED: 07:01 21 July 2015 | UPDATED: 07:01 21 July 2015

Vanessa Glynn Jones who is a GB age group athlete.

Vanessa Glynn Jones who is a GB age group athlete.


Triathlon is considered to be the fastest growing sport in the world right now, writes Steve Birley.

Here in East Devon we are fortunate enough to have a club – the N1 Tri Club – dedicated to the sport.

There are over 600 clubs now in the country with many more individual competing at events around the country without having attachment to a specific club. The N1 Tri Cluhb members will, this year, compete in events in as far flung places as New Zealand, France, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland and Hawaii.

There are two main strands of events. The International Triathlon Union (ITU) is for national athletes and this strand of the sport encompasses the Olympic games and the European and World Championships.

The second strand is the Ironman events which are usually either 70.3 miles in total or the full Ironman event which comprises of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle and a 26.2-mile run.

In Ironman races top end fully professional athletes race on same course at same time as the ‘punters’.

All races sell out within days of becoming available -usually around 2500 people in race. They are staged all over the world are amazingly ‘glitzy’ and well run and nearly always on closed roads.

Each year there is an Ironman World Championships held in Kona, Hawaii, in early October where those who have got on the podium at the various world venues compete at the big ‘show down’.

This year N1 Tri Club member Catherine Hilton is taking part in Hawaii. She qualified courtesy of a superb podium finish in Ironman Wales last year (one of the toughest race courses on the circuit).

In 2015 so far the Ni Tri Club has added two more names to its growing ‘Ironman Roll of Honour’.

Lucy le Coq an East Devon vet, working in New Zealand for a year, completed Ironman New Zealand and a local business owner Tony Spencer recently completed the very testing Ironman Nice in France.

There are no fewer than ten club members off to the Ironman Barcelona in early October.

The age range of the team is from 22 years upwards and three members are aged sixty plus and are in training for the event.

Dennis Elliott, of N1 Tri Club says: “Amongst the team set for Barcelona is the amazing 68-years young Vanessa Glyn Jones who is happy to let people know she recently overcame a visit from cancer. Vanessa is, like many other members also in a running club (Honiton in her case), is simply amazing when performing. It really is something to behold, to see the veteran athletes perform the way they do.”

Denis continues: “Two really important people have enabled our club to take giant steps forward. Karl Hodson, who joined our club around three years ago and he came to us having been the South West Time Trial Cycle champion on multiple occasions. He not only taught most of the club how to ride a bike properly, but installed a really professional atmosphere to our training. He also designed our much admired race kit too by the way. Garry Perratt (chairman of Axe Valley Runners), who so successfully organises the Grizzly event, is our race director and in my opinion without peer in the role.”

The N1 Tri Club uses the Westpoint Arena, Exeter, each Wednesday where they stage increasingly popular duathlon meetings (a cycle

The club host swim training at both Honiton and Sidmouth and there are structured sea swims on Monday and Friday nights at Sidmouth. There is also a full programme of training events each winter.

Dennis Elliott concludes: “In my younger days I played rugby and cricket and somehow, triathlon came knocking on my door a few years ago and I can honestly say it is an incredible sport. Our club has all ages, we are almost equally made up of men and women who train and race together and when we tire of one sport, two others are waiting. I can also say unequivocally that crossing the finishing line in an Ironman race is one for the most moving and uplifting experiences I have ever had”

To find out more about the N1 Tri Club visit www.n1tri.club

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