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Club Focus: Tri London

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Tri London is a vibrant club based in North London with an active and enthusiastic group of members.

How did it all start?
Tri London formed around 1985 when four triathletes got together and started swimming in two lanes at Caledonian Road pool. The club was quite serious, but always friendly, welcoming and as much about socialising as training. Originally called Tri-athletes London it was one of the first tri clubs in the capital. The club was started small with about 10 members but always attracted talented athletes. 

And how’s it grown from there?
By 1998 the club had grown considerably with the introduction of the London Triathlon and growing interest in the sport generally. This meant the two swim lanes were full, and the only option was to close membership. In 1999 we saw the introduction of club kit and the name changed to Tri London, plus the addition of another swim lane.

By 2000 Tri London had grown to 65 members and became strong in Olympic distance racing with members regularly representing GB at the age-group world championships. Some members moved up to Ironman but the club focused mainly on Olympic distance. Around this time the club started to swim under the aegis of Anaconda swimming club, offering the opportunity for both more swim lanes and sessions.

Membership has steadily increased over the years, and currently supports more than 200 members aged 20 to 58. The philosophy of the club remains one of a group of friends who share a passion for triathlon, offering motivation, encouragement, advice and occasionally a pint or two. This turns what could be a very lonely sport into a more sociable athletic pursuit. 

Each year about 90 new members join the Club. Many are triathlon virgins looking for the support of a club and training partners. There are scores of Ironmen and women in the club, with about 15-20 members competing over the distance each year. Diversity is a hallmark of the club with over 20 different nationalities represented, from all walks of life, and about 30% of our membership is female.

Club colours? 
50 shades of blue! 

 

What training sessions are on the menu?
The club has four swim sessions per week, a morning interval bike session in Regents Park, a morning hill-rep session (bike), morning runs, a coached evening track session (run), open water swim sessions in the summer and several weekend rides. Several informal group sessions are also frequently organised, alongside occasional courses such as strength and conditioning, bike maintenance and a beginner's tri course. There is also usually a ‘King of the Mountains’ bike event, and the newly inaugurated ‘Beer Mile’. The Club has a qualified BTA Level Three coach who helps out with sessions and also uses paid swim coaches.

What is your typical riding territory?
We have an annual winter ride schedule that runs from November to March and our members regularly organise rides at the weekend. We ride everywhere! Essex or Windsor, Hertfordshire or the Downs- wherever captures the imagination of our ride leaders.  

Tell us about any key races or events you target as a club?
Each year we target a sprint, Olympic, middle distance and relay race as our Club Championship races. These change each year and trophies are awarded to the top three male and female finishers. Our members also regularly qualify to represent GB (or other countries) at regional, national and international championships. 

 

What sets your club apart from other triathlon clubs in the area?
Tina Turner knows the answer to this one: 'Simply the best'! The club spirit is immense and we pride ourselves on helping each other out, no matter at what stage of the triathlon journey. 

Tell us a funny story or anecdote about your club/club members?
We encourage our members to share their race experiences through race reports, and many hilarious stories have emerged over the years.  Swimming into a tree, getting lost and running an extra 10 miles in a 70.3 race, even the unfortunate runner who keeled over midway through an IM run, but gamely pronounced he 'just had a crap' (we suspect he meant 'cramp’)!

Any club heroes?
We have had two members swim the English Channel, one who completed the Marathon des Sables, and earlier this year a member finished 7th in the epic Transcontinental bike race.

Does the club have any famous past members?
Tri London has several elite/pro athletes, including Danny Russell, Stephen Thompson, Amy Forshaw, Jo Carritt and Steven Lord. We also have many up and coming age groupers. 

Does the club have a Twitter handle / Facebook Page or website?
We tweet @TriLondonClub and our website is www.trilondon.com

What’s THE club social event of the year?
Too many to choose from! The Christmas AGM, the annual Bake Off, the Beer Mile, post-race BBQs...

 

If you had to give one piece of training advice to new members what would it be?
Come along to the coached sessions for advice, encouragement and company. 

Annual membership fee:
£25

Interview by Lucy Edwards from Havering Triathlon Club. You can follow her on Twitter @paddlepedalpace or her blog at www.paddlepedalpace.co.uk

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