Based in Essex, Havering Tri are a warm and welcoming group for all multisport abilities.
How did it start?
Havering Triathlon Club was established in July 2013 by Chairman Mark Billyard and partner Kay Hamilton. As a former age group and now master’s swimmer, plus keen triathlete and Ironman himself, Mark saw the need for a multi-sport club in the local area. Meeting with friends in The Harrow, Hornchurch, everyone agreed there was huge local potential for a club.
Swim, run and cycle training sessions were soon launched and members began to target and train towards key events. Initially the club offered three sessions per week, with a Monday run, Wednesday cycle and Saturday swim.
And it’s grown from there?
From a small beginning with only a handful of members, Havering Tri has grown into an 80 member strong club, which continues to develop. Our first training camp took place in Lanzarote during March 2015, attended by 15 members and associates. The finer touches are being put on plans for the clubs second camp during March 2016.
We really stand out at races in our royal blue, flame red, sunflower yellow and navy blue trisuits, including the Union Jack, which we developed alongside VO2 Sportswear, our chosen kit supplier. Based around the royal blue, yellow and red London Borough of Havering colours, the kit sits well alongside the rest of Havering’s sports clubs, while giving us our own distinctive feel.
What training sessions are on the menu?
We operate four club sessions and additional ad hoc sessions each week. On Monday evenings there’s a run session focusing on technique, intervals, hill repeats and time trials. We swim on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings with structured sessions incorporating skills, drills, technique and speed. Throughout the summer we cycle on Wednesday evenings and in the colder months we switch to indoor spin classes. Members also organise ad hoc sessions which usually include Saturday and Sunday open water swims, rides, runs, and wider brick sessions over varying terrain, distance and intensity.
For club cycles, what’s your typical riding territory?
Club rides start in Upminster and venture out all over Essex and beyond. Our typical weekday route takes us out from Upminster around Bulphan, Horndon, Orsett, Basildon and Brentwood. Longer weekend rides take us out to the Rodings, Bishops Stortford, Bradwell-on-Sea, Colchester or Maldon. Members also take part in sportives including London to Brighton, London to Southend, Tour De Essex and Ride London.
Do you have any sponsors or partnerships?
We are lucky to have a number of strong partnerships. The first and most important partnership initially was Kay’s Adult Swim, which the club was able to build consistent, regular swim sessions around and set a foundation on which to establish the club. The second more recent partnership has been developed with local bike shop Vincini’s Cycles, who offer us discounted rates on bikes and accessories, and provided a foundation and support network on which to build our cycling. Havering Tri are also sponsored by our hugely supportive local legal firm Sanders Solicitors, who help subsidise kit, and with market leading wetsuit manufacturer HUUB. We also have strong links with Romford Sports Massage and Excel Physiotherapy, who between them help to educate and keep our members in full working order!
Do you host any triathlon/aquathlon/duathlon events?
Yes! On 23rd August, we’re hosting an Aquathlon in partnership with local running club Havering 90 Joggers, together forming Team Havering. The event has always proven popular for both beginners and seasoned triathletes. With a 400m pool swim followed by a 5k mixed terrain run, it is suitable for all abilities. It's not too late to sign up at www.runnersworld.co.uk/teamhaveringaquathlon
Tell us about any key events or races you target as a club?
We’ve had a busy season with plenty of events of all distances. As a club we have targeted Ironman Lanzarote, Ironman Frankfurt, Ironman Staffordshire 70.3 and the Outlaw Triathlon, as well as more local events such as the Fambridge Middle Distance Triathlon and ITU Hyde Park. Next up, we’ve got members heading for Ironman Dublin 70.3, the London Triathlon, Challenge Weymouth and Ironman Barcelona. We tried to enter London League teams wherever possible, though most events are the wrong side of London.
What sets your club apart from other triathlon clubs in the area?
We are the only triathlon club in the London Borough of Havering and have a great membership mix, from those looking to achieve elite age group results to complete novices. Everyone is welcome and everyone’s opinions are appreciated. We have a great social scene coordinated around events or standalone throughout the year.
Tell us a funny story or anecdote about your club/club members?
Our club mascot is Iron Elmo - the only Muppet character to have completed a long-distance triathlon! The bright red mascot is carried by our member Nikki Warnes on all of her events and has recently travelled 140.6 miles at the Outlaw Triathlon. Iron Elmo attracts lots of attention and support and even has his own Facebook page for training updates!
Any club heroes?
All of our club members have achieved many things since the club began. Several have completed their first sprint, standard, middle or long distance triathlon this season. Some could not swim or ride a bike until joining the club. We live by our club motto “Have a tri!” and “Smash it!”
What’s THE club social event of the year?
As a club we race hard and party hard! We’ve had several BBQs and gatherings already this year, but the biggest event is set to be our end of season awards ceremony in December.
If you had to give one piece of training advice to new members what would it be?
Train consistently and build gradually. Have fun. Enjoy the social side as much as the sporting progression so it doesn’t become a chore.
Does the club have a Twitter handle / Facebook Page or website?
Annual membership fee?