Tino’s in Preston was the venue for the Tri Preston Christmas party and awards ceremony, here Ed Culshaw explains the club and the people who make it tick.Advertisement
All year club mates have been competing all over the world in the demanding sport of Triathlon and tonight was the night to let their hair down, have a few drinks and celebrate their club and award winning athletes. The awards up for grabs are as varied as the athletes competing. Tri Preston attracts every type of triathlete from those who want to try the sport for fun and a new challenge to the more seasoned campaigners prepared to put their bodies on the line for the love of the sport.
Training for triathlon can be tough so the club aims to put on sessions suitable for all abilities from gnarly challenging bike rides following in the wheel tracks of Bradley Wiggins in the beautiful Ribble Valley to beginner swimming sessions in the warmth of Penwortham leisure centre. There’s something for all abilities, training events are 6 days a week. Experienced and qualified ride, run and swim coaches are on hand to offer advice and assistance to members.
At the awards ceremony Carol Spoor picked up the award for most inspirational athlete. Carol’s story is one of triumph over adversity, Carol was seriously ill at the start of the year and barely able to train at all however as she recovered her health the training kicked up a level, she was able to attend the clubs annual training camp in Majorca and by the end of the year completed not one but two full iron distance events. That’s a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finished off with a full marathon. Carol competed in Regensburg and Barcelona smashing her previous best times. A real inspiration to everyone at the club. Carol also picked up the prize for sportswoman of the year for these performances.
Performance of the year went to Stuart Hinchley who started the year dreaming of an Ironman finish but unsure how to get to the start never mind the end. With total commitment Stuart, under the expert guidance of head coach Ian Murphy pushed himself week in, week out through the challenging Lancashire winter to new levels of fitness and lined up against elite athletes at the prestigious Iron Man event at Bolton. Stuart started and finished the event with a huge smile on his face and never once looked in danger of failing to finish. Stuart also collected runner up for inspirational athlete.
It’s not all about iron distance at Tri Preston as proven by the brilliant David Chell who on his first open water swim was seen clinging to a buoy at the edge of Eccleston delph paralysed with fear and unable to swim a stroke. He finished the year competing in open water triathlons and with his bike and running skills he even made it look easy and deservedly picked up the rookie of the year award. Most improved athlete was John Ordish and sportsman of the year went to the extremely likeable and committed Ed Townsend. Ed Culshaw and Susan Mercer picked up the award for supporters of the year and Barry Cleminson picked up the award for clubman of 2016. The ‘whoops’ award this year went to Andy and Sue Williamson who endured the ignominy of hospital bed hopping in Majorca.
Recognition was given to club members whose commitment and selflessness are essential to running the club and club race series winners were awarded. In addition to handing out awards to deserving athletes £500 was raised for The Baby Beat Appeal at Royal Preston Hospital.
Behind every award there is an amazing story and within every athlete there are countless experiences to share and learn from which is why, every now and again, it is important to relax, open the wine, dance, sing and have fun. It’s not all about blood sweat and gears at Tri Preston, we’re here for the fun times too!