ITU World Long Distance Triathlon Championships: 30 August 2008

 Men and women:  Separate Other races:   

All runners

Pos arrow Name arrow Time arrow Cat arrow Club arrow
1 1 Paul Perry 6:57:23 M30-34 Serpentine
2 2 Andrew Harrison 7:26:21 M30-34 Serpentine
3 3 Julie Melville 7:30:24 F30-34 Serpentine
4 4 Michael Shaw 7:32:38 M30-34 Serpentine
5 5 Neil Melville 7:35:22 M40-44 Serpentine
6 6 Claire Diethe 7:47:21 F30-34 Serpentine
7 7 Josephine Perry 7:59:15 F30-34 Serpentine
8 8 Victoria Hampson 8:35:30 F30-34 Serpentine
9 9 Melissa Brand 8:39:12 F25-29 Serpentine


After experimenting with a double-Olympic-distance last year the ITU long course worlds returned to proper long course in Almere, Holland this weekend where it piggy-backed off their Iron distance race the day before. I hear that the ITU, with a jealous eye on the 70.3 brand, are going to make next year’s long course champs middle distance. Will European long distance racing become a casualty of Iron-rush fever? Pity, its 4k swim, 120k bike and 30k run format offers a true long distance challenge but with bike and run distances within those of my long training days. So to keep the format alive, if you have done an IM and said “Never again” 20 miles into the marathon, or you loved your IM but 2 in a year would just be greedy, why not give long course a go?

Almere is a very different race to anything I have done before. The swim is A to B (A to T1?). On Sunday morning the wind and current had switched against us so with Chrissie Wellington posting my target time of 1:10 on her way to becoming a double world title winner, I wasn’t going to hit that and so left the water pretty much in need of a snooze at 1:30. But with the voyage along the coast, wavelets, barge wakes and arrival into the harbour, it felt like proper open water swimming and really enjoyable. The bike course varied between -7m and +3m altitude. If that sounds easy, try getting on your turbo and going non-stop for three and a half hours! It is a different kind of challenge; holding that aero position, sometimes working along with the wind farms and sometimes forcing myself to treat the wind at my back as “downhill” rather than free speed and making the computer read HR rather than average speed. The run was unique too, well for this year at least, by being a scorcher. Came as a shock and have tri suit tan lines but mustn’t grumble!

This was my first time racing for team GB and along with me there were quite a few other Serps (see results below). If you subscribe to the excellent Monday morning tri news from you may have already spotted that Julie Payne was one of 4 GB* age group medallists and 13th overall. Right now we don’t know if it was silver or bronze but regardless, a fantastic result. We left the water at the same time (women started after the men) and I only opened an 8 minute gap on the bike so she caught me 1km from home and together we made a Bronski Beat assisted (“tell me whyyyyyyyy”!) run to the line. To quote Oscar Wilde, “To lose one long distance race to one’s girlfriend , Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness”.

Other good results from Paul Perry (11th AG, 40th overall) and Claire Gillvray (6th,24th). And quite an epic battle between Andy harrison and Mike Shaw. Many thanks to all team supporters – Dan can I assume that your red, white and blue kit all turned pink in the wash? Full result on the organisers website: and Serpentine results below.

*Damian Lodge is claiming this medal for Australia. Careful Damian, you can still get transported for medal theft, although with a sympathetic judge you’d have a pretty good case.

Result queries

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