About Andy Barton

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So far Andy Barton has created 55 blog entries.

The Tour Aotearoa (TA) 2020 (A Leap Into The Unknown – A Bikepacking Odyssey) – by Graham Plews

 How the journey started 

My wife, Rhonda, and I were travelling north after touring the New Plymouth/ Taranaki area on the North Island of New Zealand in our campervan and stopped for a coffee at a café in a place called Mangakino. We got chatting with a fellow cyclist and his wife. That was in 2018. It transpires he had just completed the TA2018 and was travelling home. The TA (Tour Aotearoa – Aotearoa is the Maori word for New Zealand) is an unsupported biannial 3000Km mixed terrain bike packing brevet ride. It starts at Cape Reinga which is the most northerly point of New Zealand to Bluff which is the most southerly point. Inspired by this conversation, the seed was sown and I had two years to plan and prepare for the TA2020.

Planning and Preparation 

Having been a road cyclist for most […]

By | May 13th, 2020|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Confessions of a Triathlon Newbie – by Andy Barton.

 

Confessions of a Triathlon Newbie – by Andy Barton.

Race briefing info you are unlikely to hear too many times – the swim exit is adjacent to the Fighter Jet…….. yep, fighter jet (more on that later)!

The Calderdale Tri Club’s Saturday morning gatherings may well have noted 2 new additions over the last 6-12 months – that would be me and the good lady boss, Jo Dent. Now if hardened Triathletes are anything like dog walkers (typically you don’t’ know the owners names, but can religiously real off all doggy names / vital statistics / key anecdotes), then just in case there’s a similar affliction amongst the Tri community – Jo’s rocking the Black Liv Avail Advanced and I’ve recently upgraded to the vibrant red Specialized Roubaix Expert!

Having watched Jo a number of times at her previous triathlon events, I’ve always harboured that […]

By | August 30th, 2019|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Leeds Castle review by Fiona Christian

Leeds Castle tri

Regular readers of my reviews (well, that’s probably just Graham) will detect a certain amount of self deprecation when it comes to my own triability.  It isn’t actually intentional, I’d like to say it’s more an honest and often humorous view of being aware of where I come in the pecking order. So. It was with some surprise that I found myself at the starting line of the Leeds Castle triathlon last Sunday.  This was a world championship qualifier for Edmonton 2020 and I think I am on record as saying that I’m really not fond of these qualifiers and if you’re not actually going for qualification, then you should find a race more appropriate. I have podiumed twice in my tri-career. A third place in the Last of the summer tri and then a third place in the Steelman middle distance.  Neither […]

By | July 16th, 2019|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Epicman review – by Fiona Christian

 

Epicman 2019 – by Fiona Christian

I’ve only got myself to blame.  I entered Epicman 2019 after discovering that I couldn’t, in fact, compete in an open long distance race during the world champs.  Clearly yours truly hadn’t qualified but there was definitely an open race advertised and so we booked the flights. They then removed the open race from the website.  Having started training early in the new year, I needed to find a new race and to maintain motivation. I suppose I could have just relaxed and decided not to race but my Chimp wouldn’t let me.  I’d already got a few miles in so I thought oh yes, I’ll go for a nice middle distance, checked the dates and found Epicman. I’d done their middle distance in Lancaster & the Forest of Bowland back in 2017 so I should have known it was […]

By | June 14th, 2019|Uncategorised|0 Comments

3 races from down under – by Graham Plews

 
3 races from down under  – by Graham Plews
 
Thought I’d be the first to submit a (brief) race report for 2019… from New Zealand! Not only that, I’ll report on the three races I’ve done down here over the last couple of weeks. So, like that trusty old cycle oil, 3 in 1, invented in 1894 to clean, lubricate and protect you are getting three for the price of one!:-
 
1. Gran Fondo Hobbiton Cycle Race (?), Cambridge:
Conveniently, the  event HQ was at our local High School so only a short ride to and from home was required. There were a number of distances. I chose to do the longest one at 103Km.  Like many Spotif type events, it was a race for those that wanted it to be and a gentle ride round the lands of […]

By | February 18th, 2019|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Last of the summer tri – by Andy Wright

Last of the Summer Tri – How not to prepare for a race

2017 had been a year off cycling and sport in general following a herniated disc which required surgery. So I entered 2018 unsure if I would even get back to cycling and did not enter any events, instead concentrating on the longer runs which I was finding very therapeutic.

Fast forward to the summer of 2018 and I’m now back to cycling to work, and missing the buzz of Tri so I did a bit of research as to what was available and saw the season finale, Last of the Summer Tri in Holmfirth. I remember Chairman P once telling me “It’s very hilly, it would suit you,” so I sat on the comfy sofa and entered the race from my phone

Is it really […]

By | September 26th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Hamburg Ironman – by Fiona Christian

 

Hamburg Ironman Review.

We’re driving along the Autobahn en route to Hamburg when the email pings. Bugger. Blue Green algae…the swim is cancelled. Not really what you want when the last 7 months have been dedicated to swimming as much as it has to biking and running. And really not what you want when you’re not that much of a duathlete – and your swim has improved marginally more than your run over the aforementioned months. Hey ho. You can only race the race that is there. I’d felt for the Ironmen doing Bolton a month earlier when the bike was shortened and thought confidently (stupidly) that nothing would go wrong for Hamburg. What do I know? Anything can happen. It’s probably a triathlete life lesson.

So why Hamburg? Well first, I suppose, Why Ironman? I don’t know who to blame this time around. […]

By | September 6th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Ironman Copenhagen by Tim Richards

After 10 months and 5,000 training miles the day arrived. My first full Ironman event in Copenhagen Denmark.

The day started at 4am with a liquid breakfast and the start of making sure my blood sugars were where I wanted them before the swim start.

5 stops and a quiet journey with hundreds of fellow prospective Ironman on the Metro we arrived at T1 at Amagar Strandpark.

Sorted the bike, checked my bike bag again, wet suit on and I was ready to go. Checked my blood sugars and I was too low to swim so some fruit malt and 2 High 5 gels and hoped that would sort it.

40 minutes to swim time and my blood sugars were higher than I’d originally planned but ok for me to swim. Decided to do my normal warm […]

By | August 27th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Deva triathlon – by Andy Lynex

Chester is a fantastic Tri location combining city centre for spectators/ weekend visitors with easy access into countryside for the bike leg. You can tell this event is run by Tri Club rather than a commercial organisation, representing good value at £70 Std, £120 Middle for well thought out goodies – quality t-shirt, gym towel, race belt, gels, free photos, water bottle and hoodie for those doing the half.

River Dee makes for a tough swim being further upstream than down, with some rumours (post event) of a sewage spill in the days before. Never-the-less navigation was straight forward with massive buoys. When watching you can pick out individual swimmers from the bank and run alongside to track progress if keen. Running up hill into T1 while trying to undo wetsuit catches out the un-prepared.

Middle distance option is a fairly recent, but welcome addition, already popular as a challenge in itself […]

By | July 30th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Brigg Quadrathlon – 27th May 2018 by Graham Plews


Brigg Bomber Quadrathlon – 27th May 2018

After getting on for thirty years of doing triathlon I fancied a change! I’d thought about Quadrathlon for a long time but never got round to it. As I sat shivering with hypothermia in the medical room at the Clitheroe Tri last year I got chatting to a lady that had suffered the same fate…we were both underdressed to cope with the 7C air temperature! She was the current World Quadrathlon Champion in her age-group and inspired me to take another look at this even more wacky sport.

For those that have never heard of this sport and don’t know what it is there is a clue in the name. Just think triathlon plus kayak, simple as that, well almost. They have various distances mostly based on ITU triathlon distances plus a kayak leg. For example the OD triathlon […]

By | June 7th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments