Water Polo Success

The junior polo section is going from strength to strength with both team and personal success.

We played in a tournament the other weekend. We accommodated a few Wellington squad players for the day (they didn’t have a coach) and played under the guise of Piranhas. We won three out of three games, our very own Max and Oli scoring 6 goals each. In truth our starting line up was far too strong for the other teams, so I had to mix it up a little to make the games more competitive.

The semi finals and final are on the 24th November.

We have also attained individual success with Ella Simms & Isabella Ibbs on making the Girls Midlands Waterpolo Team.

Well done to all involved – the future looks bright!

GBR Parogon Athlete!

Eds Dream Fulfilled – racing for GBR at the ETU Long (Ironman) Distance European Championship in Almere, Holland 14/09/19. Here it is in his own words……

Beside my desk in my home office I have a Bucket List; it has 19 items on it, the 11th was signed off on the 14th of September at Challenge Almere when I raced for GB over my preferred triathlon distance. It has only taken me until I am 55. I have always been envious of friends who have competed for GB and England at sport, albeit mostly in their prime across triathlon, rugby, lacrosse and water polo to name a few.

There is no specific qualification race for half or full ironman, instead it is based on race performance where over 500 competitors compete and you must finish within 20% of the winner of your age group to be considered at European level; for World champs it is within 15%. Then a roll down applies. If I had known this earlier I suspect I would have qualified a few years ago as I usually finish well inside the top 15/20% at Ironman branded races. And I only found out by chance through word of mouth.  

Team GB

I applied in late spring, and therefore did not have much time to plan for the race, as I already had Ironman Lanzarote and Challenge Roth (both subject of previous posts) booked for late May and mid-July. This is the first time I have competed in 3 long distance races in one summer and it had an impact on my Almere performance as 7/8 weeks to recover is not ideal. I discovered my selection at the beginning of July whilst stretching after a run, was elated, and told my family coincidentally at a birthday dinner for my eldest son that evening. My whole family and their partners and friends then decided they were coming to watch me race.

My entourage totalled 14 and included my parents who are in their mid to late 70s. This created added pressure but also a wonderful and  moving experience as I had a small supporters club out on the 6-lap run shouting and screaming at me holding various banners – including my target time, oh dear.

As to the race it is a freshwater lake swim of 3.8km consisting two laps, a two lap very flat 180km bike with a total of 200m of climbing – cycling below sea level – and a 6 lap run around the lake for the 42.2km run.  

As for the race I felt good going into it, I swam well posting 1:16 which is a fast time for me in fresh water as it’s my weakest discipline, jumped on the bike feeling in good shape having got through transition in good time. Rode well for the first 100km averaging 33.3kph, however my targeted power of 200-210 watts was way off at more like 185/190, and I felt under-powered. The next 80km saw me struggle and I came in at 5 hours 34 mins. With my power averaging 181w which was 10/15% off my expected power level. This reflected how I felt as I started the run I started to develop major gastric issues, or in English I felt sick. I ran the first 12km in 60 minutes then proceeded to fall apart. This is the nature of endurance racing, and having raced well at both Lanzarote and Roth my run became one of survival. I was resolute that I would finish regardless which I did thanks to the support of GB team mates and my family. I was sick several times, developed a strategy of run walk and came in with one of my slowest run times of 4 hours 34 mins.

There was no way I was not going to finish.

I came in at 11:34:47 putting me 16th out of 25 country reps in my age group, and to my huge surprise 4th of 7 British men. My target had been 10:30-10:45 which for the course I am capable of.

I am very disappointed with my performance, but my family made feel like a superstar both during and after the race. I think I over raced and had not cleared the effects of Roth in time for Almere. So what’s next….first up is Ironman Nice next July, then there are the ITU World Championships next September in Almere! I am inside the qualification criteria…so perhaps I’ll get another go at it. So for now, and until the GB selection is made in late January 2020 I am not booking any other races.

Almere was a bucket list race also as it is the second oldest Long Distance race after Kona/Hawaii and next year will be its 40th anniversary.

And it seems my parents have the bug and are coming to watch me race Ironman Nice next Summer….did I mention that Almere was my 10th Ironman race in 5 years.

Anne Wins Again

Most people choose to do something relatively chilled and laid back for their birthday. So, with that in mind I decided – almost 8 months ago – that a 5km open water race would be fun…

By far the hardest swim I’ve done so far and the closest I’ve come to bailing on a swim, ever. A huge in-water start of c. 340 swimmers (mix of 5km and 2.5km together), a lot of punching and kicking and not without what felt like a couple of drowning attempts from behind, I lost the lead group for the 5km and endedup in a no mans land with no one around me so it was a long, solo effort. I started cramping up (feet and right quad) at about 3.5km and was just willing the finish line to arrive for the last mile. I was absolutely shattered by the end. 

It was all worth it and I’m sure I’ll do again at some point. I finished 12th overall (of 153 5km swimmers), 2nd in age group overall, and 1st female in age group. 

Ed Defeats Roth

Return to Challenge Roth for unfinished business

Two years ago I went to race at Challenge Roth in Germany but had a torn achilles and couldn’t start the run – however I did race the swim and bike and determined I would 
return. So two years on and I am not only in good shape, with a big block of training behind me, I am buoyed by being selected to represent GB at the Iron distance European ETU championships in Almere in September. In fact I heard on the Tuesday before I raced Roth.

The words were published just after the race and sum up the nature of Roth splendidly.

Thank you Triathlete Magazine and Brad Culp for this great article:

“The greatest triathlon in the world took place on Sunday. It might not be the most significant triathlon in the world, and it never will be. Kona will always wear that crown, but Roth has some things that Kona doesn´t. There´s an atmosphere and energy surrounding the entire course that you won´t find anywhere else. The support from the community is almost bizarre. The frenzy around the finish is livelier, although much of that has to do with the fact there´s better beer and food, and typically less heat exhaustion…”

If you’re reading this, there’s a 90 percent chance that you’ll never qualify for Kona. But you can go race Roth, and you should. Aside from the swim taking place in a shipping canal that I wouldn’t swim in more than once per year, Roth is nearly perfect. The professional field this year wasn’t quite as strong as in years past, with the German trio of Frodeno, Lange, and Kienle taking care of their Kona qualification last weekend and Frankfurt, and Daniela Ryf waltzing to a win at Ironman Austria this weekend.”

The local community and German people fully embrace the race, some 250,000 come to watch and the finishing stands accommodate 10,000. And the race experience as a competitor is unreal – with crowds partying and shouting at you as you swim, bike and run. In fact on the bike up a hill called Solarberg the crowd is reminiscent of the Tour de France with raucous crowds 6/7 deep, and a continuous stream of bikes unable to pass each other as they follow a narrow human corridor.  It is an experience like no other and made me very emotional even after 85 and 170km cycling across the two laps.

Briefly the swim is in a major German shipping canal – think Trent-Mersey canal and quadruple the size,  it is very green and full of who knows what – anyway it affected my sinuses almost immediately. The bike is a rolling 1500m of ascent across the 180km, and the run is mainly flat until the last 6 km when it becomes very challenging / hilly. My calves screamed a great deal in the run, thanks to these hills. The finish in the stadium was an amazing experience and one which I embraced, taking my time rather than dashing for the line.

My time was 11 hours 17 minutes placing me in the top 20% of my Age Group and broke down as:

Swim  (3.8km) 1:20:26

T1 4:08

Bike (180km) 5:42:22

T2 4:56

Run (42.2km) 4:05:45

Overall given the climbs this is my best performance in my 9th ironman, I have gone faster but only just on a much flatter course in Barcelona with a faster sea swim. That said lots to work on as I felt quite sick for part of the bike and all of the run (reviewing my nutrition strategy for my next race).

If you do one Iron distance race, do this one – you will not regret the experience, and the fantastic German spectators and atmosphere.  And the Isotonic free alcohol frei beer at the end is a must.

Club to Pub Henley on Thames River Swim. Parogon Champions

Saturday evening saw 6 members, past and present take to the river Thames to swim the 1500m from the rowing club to the Angle on the Bridge pub – the promise of a beer and a medal that would open it surly spurned us on!!

The water was surprisingly clear and warm as the ‘performance’ wave containing Dave, Ian, Andy and Helen Reader slid in for their 6.50 start. The first 400m upstream were as tough as we anticipated but as we got to the turn for the downstream leg it became clear that Ian, Dave & Helen were well up the field.

Speaking of Field – despite struggling with his breathing, chatting to the rescue canoeist, apparently she was attractive – he gamely battled on to breaststroke the whole course. A fantastic effort when many would have chucked in the towel. Despite this constant ribbing ensued for the rest of the evening!!!

Dave, Helen & Ian all finished within the 22 minute bracket with Dave 13th, Helen 14th and Ian 17th – little did we know how well we had done until later in the evening.

Next up it was our Aussie ringer Sarah in the ladies wave and she also put in a sterling effort to finish in 26:39 & 43rd female overall.

‘Reeeeeeaaaader’ was shouted in much to the amusement of the amassed crowds and it was he bare shoulders that we spotted as he powered down the home straight, the though of a beer pushing him on! 26:04 for a goalkeeper – good work chap….

Completing the line up was Mark and Christina, Mark put in a 27:04 to be in 100 / 748 over all and 21st in the open category. Christina was positively beaming when she exited the water and exclaimed I loved that – and so she should 250th overall / 748 and a strong time of 32:15

Full results can be found here: https://henleyswim.niftyentries.com/Results/Club-to-Pub-2019#

But the best was yet to come!!!! Ian was hanging round the prize giving and the announcement for the best club was due, combined time of the top four swimmers from the same club. Since the events inception in 2014 Reading and taken home the trophy – put not this year its going North – yes PAROGON are champions!!!

We will be back to defend our title and we can not leave without a shout out to our supporters on the day – Mr President, Jill, Nicky and the amassed Cartwright kids shouting us all in……

(Spence was camera shy!)

SamRossDavis Memorial Trophy Water Polo Match

The pool was very busy on Sunday afternoon with over 70 people turning up as spectators or participants for the water polo.

There were three interesting but very different games taking place, with mini polo (under 10s), the juniors (under 14s) and finally  the annual old boys fixture for the SamRossDavis trophy.

This was donated many years ago as a way of remembering two prominent figures in Parogon Water Polo history….Sam Ross and Ross Davis.

A number of former players brought their children for their first experience of the game, with young Myers, Wills and Pickford prominent. In addition, there were the slightly older Whieldon and Ibbs.

The games were competitive and enjoyed by all and inevitably they were followed by a few drinks in the Museum  pub with lots of reminiscing and ‘what if’ tales.

Thanks to Mark Ibbs for organising and to Geoff Kirkham and Tony Simms for helping on the day and throughout the season.

The junior water polo sessions are now on their summer break but hopefully we will see the large numbers return in mid September

A Summer of Events…..

Firstly thanks to all who took part in Swimathon and helped us raise a fantastic £1486 for the two cancer charities. It again proved what a great club we have.

Thanks for the help on the day before, during the day and especially for the cakes! I believe that Amy’s Rocky Road was to die for!!

Pictures from the day can be viewed here:


Club Kit

The new club causal wear is in and is looking great…. If having now seen it you want some, let me know and we can raise another order. Its all about getting the club seen and known at these events.

Summer 2019

So we are now into the summer season and we have a few events coming up:

Killer Mile Mow Cop – Thursday 9th May

So far we have 6 club members running this famous race, rated one of the toughest in the world! But don’t let that put you off, last year there were walkers, runners and young, old and even a storm trooper. It’s a great evening with the option of a cheeky pint on the way home!



Dougie Mac Bike Ride – Sunday 19th May

We are hoping to have riders in both the 27 and 64 mile route. We have not got the miles in the legs for the 100!!!

Please let me know if you are entering so we can all meet up and ride together.



Staffordshire Relays – Wednesday 12th June

Another great local event taking place at the county showground, we had one team in last year. Teams of 4 each running 2 miles each. So far I have enough people entering to do two teams, but can you please confirm if you are wanting to run by the end of Tuesday 7th May so we can get the entries in and sort payment. I recon we can get 4!!!


Cholmondeley Castle – Swim, Run or Tri – 21st to 23rd June

The big event of the summer, choose your discipline, enter and enjoy. Be it a swim, a run or a triathlon. Again please let me know if you have entered so we know who to expect, who to shout for and when to be there to ensure full support is given. Adults and kids! The kids events are particularity good with Castle Traithlon as they do a proper in water mass start giving the kids a true experience.

Parogon Gazebo will hopefully be up!!


Camping, motor homes and caravans book onto the Bickerton Poacher Pub site – we will be there Friday evening through to Sunday evening (I am awaiting conformation on if we need to pay for Sunday night)



Henley Club to Pub – Saturday 20th July

This event is now full and operating a waiting list, but we have a few coming down to support and enjoy the social. Why not jump on the bandwagon!!

With all please let us know what you plans are!!!!


Next Year

Looking to the future we have been made aware of an open water swimming festival in Majorca that takes place over the May half term each year. Warm, clear sea swimming with distances to suit all up to a 10K!!!


At this stage we are looking for expressions of interest and possible numbers. If it is viable, we will then explore accommodation and flight options as I am sure we could get some good block booking deals.

Again please advise with the number of adults / children who would be going. We would make this a full family event!

#swimmingscominghome July Newsletter

Junior Polo

A few weeks ago now the juniors traveled to Warrington for a match. I was unable to attend due to a date with the Sterophonics so I will leave Mark to sum up:

We played really well as a team and it was good to see that some of our coaching on a Thursday night was paying off. We lost 6 – 5 in the end to a controversial goal when it looked like the ball hadn’t crossed the line. Unfortunately VAR wasn’t available. In fairness it was a really competitive game and it could have gone either way.

We then played another game short game afterward and we drew 4 – 4

All the kids came out of the game having really enjoyed it and are looking forward to the return fixture at home.


Abersoch Triathlon

The club was represented by 4 club members, although only one was wearing club colours. Ben Cartwright was incognito is his black and red number (correct colours) and Neil and Dave donned the pink of the Nightriders – (note to self, kit order over the winter)!!

Neil was first off in the Olympic distance and the sea state soon became evident as it was very difficult to see the swimmers between the swell. The distances for the swim were shall we say loose and no one is really sure how far we swam.

Next off it was the sprint boys, Ian, Dave & Ben. We all got pushed to the right on the swim out to the first turn, got lost between buoys across the back and then surfed back in! In the general classification it was, Ben 2nd, Dave 3rd and Ian 5th – so 3 out of the top 5 were Parogon swimmers!! Just think if our technique was good!!!

So onto the bike, a tough course with a long drag from the start, long climb to the summit of Mynytho and then down and flat to the finish. Ian passed Dave before the turn to the long climb and then the drama started, a house was on fire!! Ian and Ben were amongst the last through before the road closed, leaving Dave to say he is the only one who did the correct distance, including the diversion – or you could say that he should have been quicker to get through! At the end of the bike leg the order was Ian, Ben, Dave.

Onto the run, soft sand, jumping breakwaters, hot sun, steep rocky climb and back along the beach – a tough 5km! Ben put in a shift to pass Ian (all I will say is I can remember him being born!)  in the last 500m to come 11th overall, 30 seconds back and 14th was Ian and Dave did fantastically well in his first event to be in the top third overall.

Neil was taking it easy, due to having a full Ironman this weekend just gone  yet still came in in a very good time, despite Natalie moaning (sorry, encouraging, commenting, observing) that he was taking too long – sorry Nat!!!!

Summer Opening

We are aiming to stay open all summer and if there is anytime that we are struggling for a lifeguard we will advise, but as it stands all systems go!

Junior Water Polo will have its last session on Thursday 19th July and will reconvene on Thursday 6th September. Swimming lessons will follow the same pattern with the last session being Sunday 22nd July and the first one back being Sunday 2nd September.


Events for the Diary

A few events for the dairy:

Sunday 16th September: Shropshire Triathlon.


Saturday 21st September: Serpentine Swim, Hyde Park

  • The club will be well represented by a large contingent of swimmers heading down from Stoke station to the Big Smoke for the day. We have swimmers in the one and two mile events. So this year not only did Parogon take over Whitchurch we are also taking over London!!!
  • There are still places available for this event, so if you fancy……
  • https://www.swimserpentine.co.uk/


Saturday 29th September: Kids Duathlon Nantwich

  • Run, bike, run – a nice event to get the kids moving!! Set in Barony Park in Nantwich with distances determined by the age of the child.
  • We have 4 kids defiantly doing it with a number expressing interest – do we need T-Shirts for them to race in? Let me know and I can get some sorted…..
  • https://www.uktriathlon.co.uk/uk-kids/north-west-uk-kids-fun-duathlon


Just putting this one out there again, 24 hour swim? Would this be of interest? Not going to pursue it if I do not get interest, but if I do I will……..I would need helpers for a number of jobs and this would take considerable planning to do it well, so if you are interested please let me know and we can gauge interest.

Have a great summer all….

UK Ultimate Triathlon June 2018 The Relays

Relay 1 – UK Ultimate Sprint Triathlon (Female Relay – Parogon ASC)

(Claire Deakes, Louy Whitehouse, Sue Morley-Smith)

Fast forward to Sunday, even clearer blue skies and temperature rising – it was the turn of our relay ladies!

A 1030 start and the Sprint event was 500m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run.  It was the first time that our fabulous trio came together to race as a team, hand-picked for their respective disciplines and they certainly rocked!

Claire opened up with a very strong swim (emerging 4th out of the water) especially given her known love for open water ;-(


The baton (timing chip) was duly passed to Louy who whizzed around the bike course (and took timely inspiration from Christina by letting her overtake and then Louy drafted legally behind to return home – a stroke of genius and solid team work);

Girls transition

Finally, a very slick handover to Sue who legged it out of transition – Sue is a seasoned runner, it was a strong run and performance, and she was pleased with her time; the heat was a challenge for everyone.

girls run

However, in the end, there can be only one winner and our ladies were victorious – a wonderful achievement!

[Total relay trophy count = 3]

Relay 2 – UK Ultimate Sprint Triathlon (Male Relay – Parogon ASC)

(Adam Whitehouse, Andy Ligocki, Mark Gunning)


Another 1030 start and the same Sprint distances as the ladies; ‘twas also the trio’s first time competing together and they naturally treated each other with a healthy respect from the off!

This is where the fun and confusion started J:

  • The team was entered under Karl (see the race numbers);
  • The team competed as Karl;
  • The eventual result was announced as Karl;
  • But where was he, clearly missing in action from this relay (see Relay 3 update)!;

An explanation is in order; we needed to re-jig the male relays during the last 24 hours to ensure Paragon ASC competed in both events. So, how did our chaps do?

Adam opened up with a strong swim (12:21), he motored around the lake in a new PB and managed to minimise the impact on his body – why bother – he was on a flight later that day to Asia for 18 hours – what commitment to Parogon ASC and his team mates!

Next up was Andy, drafted (oops coerced) into the team in the last couple of weeks and he stormed out of transition (reminiscent of recent Simon Yates’ stages in the 2018 Giro d’Italia), on the back of some very strong training runs; however, suffered from “mechanical trouble” but made swift repairs, so an admirable performance in the circumstances and especially in his first tri – brilliant!

boys bike


Mark – also a seasoned runner, often found pounding the canal paths around Trentham & Barlaston, sprinted towards “transition exit” with timing chip in his hand (to fading echoes of “Gunners, timing chip”) and in a move worthy of a Royal Ballet audition, deftly swapped the chip onto his leg, ahead of leaving transition – pure class – certainly a brave run from Mark battling with increasing heat and also nursing an aggressive injury.

However, having performed admirably during the run, and controlling both his pace and fluid intake, Mark will be remembered for his pre-race nutrition tips (or was this Karl in disguise?)

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-03 at 22.36.54 (7)

However, in the end, there can be only one winner ………. again!

NB Sue’s trophy allegedly full of gin (again) and shared around!

[Total relay trophy count = 6]

Relay 3 – UK Ultimate Quarter Triathlon (Male Relay – Parogon ASC)

(Karl Deakes, Simon Mansell, Paul Morley-Smith)

And onto our third relay trio with an earlier 1015 start for this crew, given the tougher distances!

This Ultimate Quarter event was a more testing 0.6 mile swim, 28 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run (ok I hear you, you want it in metric, so read 960m swim, 44.8km bike and 10km run)

  • Pull-buoy Deakes – down to the water’s edge in his sleeveless number, slipped into the lake, headed straight for the start line and assessed the competition. Playing it cool for the first 150m, and swimming neck and neck with a lone contender (reminiscent of the TV show, Gladiators!), he turned on the burners and pulled away from the masses, emerging 1st from the water (in an open water PB of 12:55).  Tip to self – find your own way to each of the course buoys and don’t just follow the canoeist (improves your time)!  A special mention here to “The Beast” Davies (in his individual event) who also had a fantastic swim (as the same 1015 start) and we ensured that Parogon ASC emerged well ahead of the masses;


  • Simon – a naturally gifted cyclist and a staunch commuter to work by bike, had completed some tough training runs (e.g. recent Dougie Mac ride) and clearly a proud recipient of corporate sponsorship (look at his ‘Gucci kit’). This man lives and breathes biking … you could say he has strong “bike-ability” J  Back to the race, Simon “gently” mounted his trusty steed, took the 28 miles in his stride and raced home in a very respectable 1:30:39;


  • Paul – Mr Calm from the off and another experienced runner, was seen playing cricket with the kids before his race! Paul clearly enjoyed the experience, as he was smiling for the camera, every time we spotted him per lap and delivered a strong performance in 47:52. Well done!

Was it Karl (or was it Adam) taking the picture

However, in the end, there can be only one winner ………. not again!

olympic podium

NB Trophy on left made of solid gold and also too heavy to hold

[Total relay trophy count = 9]

So, what did we learn?

Like all post-match reviews and write-ups, this was a fantastic club event for us, on both days, with great organisation from UK Tri.  The kids were amazing and luckily the weather was cooler for them (but still hot).  Even when the adults were ‘competing’ on Sunday, the kids played well together and required little supervision.

The vocal support that we provided all weekend was inspirational, not just for Parogon ASC but for so many other competitors, and some were in a tough way on Sunday, given the heat.  For me, this level of support is a true test of a club. Plus, it was great to see support from friends and family which contributed further to the atmosphere and celebration of our achievements – an event to be remembered for years and hard to top (now there’s a challenge).

A special thanks to Ian and Christina for all of the admin behind the scenes leading up to the event, the setting up of our humble abode (“Gazebo Parogon”), plus goodies, and keeping the pace/energy/motivation going all weekend!

Well done all!

i & C

[Editor’s note – for those struggling to remove their race number tattoos, or destined to proudly display for a few more days, I am reliably informed that Johnson’s Baby Wipes are up to the job – yet to test at time of writing.]

UK Ultimate Triathlon June 2018

What a fantastic weekend for the club, bringing together general members, swim trainers, polo players and swimming lesson kids and parents. ‘Gazebo Parogon’ was at the heart of the event and could not be missed by anyone and the camaraderie, support and friendship from all was fantastic. I for one will never forget the noise and support every time I passed a club member or supporter and the noise as each competitor came down the finishing lane was enough to bring a tear to the eye of this man as I finished my event!

Remember it’s the members that make the club – and this weekend we showed what a great club we are!

UK Ultimate Kids Triathlon

Saturday June 2nd saw 11 kids registered under the Parogon name take on the challenge of swim, bike, run at Alderford Lakes in Whitchurch.

It has to be said that they were all fantastic, taking to the lake and swimming fantastically, they were a credit to themselves and the club with many overtaking those who started before them. The race director was even heard to liken some of our swimmers to Olympians past and present!!

Then it was onto the bike, a tough grass course with some undulations pushed the kids to the max, completing their designated number of laps they then hit the run and this is when the realisation of the challenge hit home.

Poor Sophie missed one lap and then promptly threw up, now that is hard core and she had no issues hitting the BBQ later in the day!! Norika really dug in on the run with dad Adam running alongside and she did fantastically to finish and should be very proud of herself. Spencer was second in his age group, again a fantastic achievement. Team Deakes Junior competing for the first time were superb completing the course with smiles son their faces and the seasoned athletes, Amelia, Evie and Maisie lapped it all up! Zac was our first finisher and unfortunately I missed him as mine were starting their swim…

The phrase of the day was, ‘much better than Trentham!’ The associated support crew was loud, vociferous, and enthusiastic – a sign of things to come on Sunday!!

Well done all a great day and the future of the club looks to be in strong hands!

To see the results follow this link:



UK Ultimate Half Triathlon

Now the kids had set the bar high for the adults on the Sunday and they duly obliged!

First off it was the Half Ironman – 70.3 miles in total comprising of, 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a half marathon to finish. With the clear blue sky’s overhead and the predicted high temperatures it was going to be a long day for our competitors: Harry Belfield, Ed Cross, Neil Oliver, Olly Tarpey, Ian Cartwright and ex club stalwart and polo player Ian Ross.

We started off by being paraded down the finishing lane behind a Union Jack with music blaring being duly cheered by the assembled relatives and supporters – that got the adrenaline going and calmed any pre race nerves. It was then into the fantastic lake, clear and warm at 21 degrees for our two lap swim with a small jog between each lap. First out was Harry followed by, and in the top 10, the 2 Ian’s, who somehow manged to stay together for the whole swim – the only way through the field for me from then on was backwards!!! I had peaked on my best discipline!!! Olly was not far behind and came into transition just as I was leaving. All swimmers, as with the kids, posted great times setting themselves up for the rest of the race.

We then headed out on the bikes for our two lap 56 mile ride, the course headed to Malpas, out to Bangor on Dee and back to Whitchurch – undulating but nothing too challenging with good areas to recover and conserve energy for the run that was to come. Food and drink was the order of the day on the bike and the order of team Parogon was shaken up, Harry, Neil, Ed, Ian R, Olly, Ian C – but would that hold through the run!

So we now hit the half marathon with temperatures hitting 26 degrees on the road section it was going to be tough. A three lap run, round the lake and down the lane with feed stations every couple of miles – much needed. Personally I hated the first 5km but then got into my stride, walking through each feed station taking on water and also chucking it over my head to cool down, Olly tied up on the run and did fantastically well to finish. The noise from the rest of team Parogon whenever we past them was suburb and really kept us going as did the multi-lap as we kept passing each other shouting words on encouragement, high fiving and keeping each other going. I also found the other competitors to be fantastic, it almost becomes a self-help group getting each other to the end…

So how did it all pan out:

Harry – an unbelievable 4th overall in a time of 4 hours 32 mins

Ed – 42 and second in age group in 5 hours 16 minutes

Ian R – 54th in 5 hours 22 minutes

Neil – 73rd in 5 hours 35 minutes

Then our first timers at this distance:

Ian C – 103rd in 5 hours 55 minutes

Olly – a courageous 131st in 6 hours and 10 minutes

216 starters


Whilst we were racing – so forgive me for the slight lack of detail – we had multiple competitors across other races.

UK Ultimate Sprint

Christina completed the sprint, 500m swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run, the longest race she has done as an individual and she did fantastically coming in as the 8th female out of 27 starters. Having put in a strong swim, she flew the bike and put in a steady, hot run to finish in 1 hour and 34 minutes. Again another fantastic achievement and she has even said she will race that distance again!


UK Ultimate Quarter

Tom ‘The Beast’ Davies took on the ¼ just under the Olympic Distance – 0.6 mile swim, 28 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run. No mean feat as Tom has only ever done one other event. As with all the club members Tom put in a strong swim exiting the water in 5th place, and he then hit the bike. Having only started riding this year he did a strong ride and then a good run posting 1 hour for the 10k. As with all of us Tom suffered with the heat and I was so pleased to be able to sweaty high five him a number of times on the run – it was that club spirit that got us all through….. Tom finished in a time of 3 hours and 3 minutes – again another wicked performance in club colours!




We also had three relay teams competing and a report is on its way to me for those to send out – but lets just say for now. Three teams, three trophies!!!!!