Monthly Archives: April 2015

Cat Jameson – Challenge Fuerteventura #girlpower

So last weekend saw the start of my racing season for 2015 and also my first ever half distance race out here at Challenge Fuerteventura. It was a last minute decision to do this race for a number of reason and I’m so pleased that I stepped up and took it on.

After the end of season last year, it took me a while to get back into training but in the lead up to Christmas my fitness was slowly coming back, I was finally enjoying running and looking forward to what 2015 would bring. Unfortunately, in early January I managed to pick up an injury stemming from my lower back which meant that whilst being away training in Aguilas, Spain, I couldn’t run and struggled to find anyone to put me back together. On a plus my swimming and biking was going amazingly and I clocked up a lot of miles in the saddle!

Thankfully when I got home! Mark Booth from Body Limits, Newport Pagnell, managed to realign me and got me back running. He really is a miracle worker and I would not have been racing now if it wasn’t for him!

In many ways, deciding to do the race and sorting everything out the week before had its benefits. I had no time to over think things which made it all stress free….well mainly!

Challenge Fuerteventura has always attracted a strong field and this year was no exception with the likes of Daniela Ryf, Anja Beranek, Eimear Mullan, Corinne Abraham and many more on the start line. I knew the only way to compete with these girls was to go out hard right from the start. There was no time to get into the race, I knew it had to be full gas from the beginning. The men had a two minute start on the women which had positives and negatives as it meant that I knew I would be leading the girls around if all went to plan.

As soon as the starting horn sounded, I sprinted out to the first buoy and quickly knew that I had clear water ahead. I could see the men in the distance so I just kept thinking that I needed to swim to them. The course was two laps where we had an “Australian exit” which meant that we had to run out onto the beach in between laps. At this point I could have a quick look at where the other girls were and I saw I had a lead on Daniela and was closing in on many of the men. By half way round the second lap I was passing quite a few of the men so I put my head down and pushed on.

Goal number one was achieved. I lead out of the swim and put good time into the other girls. Running into transition I saw that the elastic bands holding my shoes on had snapped as well as the elastic band securing my front bottle to stop it falling out on the rough road sections! I wasn’t too smooth getting on my bike with my shoes dragging along the ground and I am sure it did not look pretty but never mind I made it onto my bike and it was time to set off on the 90km hilly circuit.

After my slow transition Daniela rode up to me on the road out of Playitas and at this point I knew no matter what I had to try to stay with her. There was no way I was going to let her get away from me! Not long into the bike course the inevitable happened and my front bottle hit the floor. I tried to hold onto it but it was on a technical section so I had no choice but to leave it and ride on. Daniela and I rode past each other a few times in the first 10km or so but after a while she did not come through so I had a sneaky look back and I could not see her. I was shocked as I thought she would be right behind me. I knew I was feeling strong but the thought “have you gone out too hard” did cross my mind!

At around 30km, Anja came storming past which took me by surprise. She rode away initially but I stuck to my plan and slowly reeled her back in. We went through half way together, 90 seconds ahead of the rest of the field but unfortunately minutes later as we started to descend my chain came off whilst switching to the big ring and jammed against the frame. There was no hope of saving this one so I had to stop and sort it quickly! Anja, by this point was flying down the hill and I knew it would be hard to catch her again. I could see her pretty much all the way but I got no nearer to her. By half way I was also running short on fluids, my bottle with High5 energy and gels had almost gone so I was just onto water which I managed to pick up on the course. Lesson learnt. Don’t drop vital nutrition!

In the last 20km Daniela suddenly went storming past like a train but this time I could not go with her. She made it look easy and I can see why she is such a class athlete. I saw she caught Anja but then did not put too much of a gap into us. In the end I came off the bike 3rd and had a massive lead on 4th, 5th and so on.

I was looking forward to the half marathon in a strange way as I knew it would be an achievement in itself. I always knew I could run the distance but not having run that far since the middle of last year and only having been back running for 5 weeks I knew it was not going to be easy. The run course here is a toughie as it’s ridiculously hilly so I just found my rhythm and tried to stick to it. I ran in 3rd for 80% of the course but then the girls got me! At the end of the day I finished 7th but I know there is so much more to come.

I learnt so much during the race from needing to wear bigger racing flats (with socks on they have wrecked my toes) to needing to carry salt sticks as I suffered with a lot of cramp on the run which slowed me down. All in all it was a great first half distance event and I hit most of my objectives. Congratulations to all the other competitors, it was a tough but fun day I’ll be back!

I would like to say a massive thank you to my coach Mark Pearce, Intelligent Triathlon Training, who has taught me tons and pushes me daily. Thank you also to Mark Booth for putting me back together and to my sponsors who without you this wouldn’t be possible, Jackpot Racing, BlueSeventy, Spin Industries, High5, Impact Cycle Trading, ISM, Pedal Cover Insurance and Lane1 Sports Management. THANK YOU!


York – Shire

york-relay-2015On the day that Yorkshireman, Alistair Brownlee showed he can do press-ups in the middle of a World Series event and still win, other proud Yorkshiremen were flying the Jackpot flag in numerous locations.

Close to home, at York Triathlon, Mika Brown took on his first Elite entry, just one week after coming second overall at Duston. And what a debut! Mika cruised the 400m swim in 5:02, then knuckled down in blustery conditions and an horrendous six-lap bike course, with dead turns and broken cobbles, to enter T2 shoulder-to-shoulder with Adam Robinson and 30 seconds ahead of a chasing pack of three who managed to draft the bike. Onto his favourite discipline, Mika put the hammer down and recorded an overall victory in a top time of 52:47.

As a warm-up for the elite race, Mika joined fellow Jackpoters Tom Linton-Neal and Chris Brown in the York Tri Relay. Unlike many relays, this one was competitive from the start with just two minutes separating the top five teams. However, our brave trio ran out winners by just 35 seconds, 28s of which were gained in transition. Worth all that practice then!

If bravery is what you are looking for, then search no further than Jenni Muston. Having trekked over to Spain for the European Duathlon Champs, swapping her race-kit at the airport for a bag full of nappies, Jenni and the other competitors were faced with monsoon-like wind and rain for the event. After a solid first run, Jen headed out onto a bike course that saw barriers and hoardings flying across the road. But after fighting conditions for all but 9k, sadly Jen had to pull out (and pealed off the bike) whilst in second position. “Carnage” is probably a fair description of the race with more than 100 dropping out of Jen’s race and numerous accidents.

Meanwhile up in Costa Del Stockton-on-Tees, Tom Van Rossum, Matt Hallam and Matthew Pears all raced the Standard-distance World Qualifier, whilst Dave Morley took on the sprint.

It was Tom who recorded the fastest race of the day with a top time of 1:54 to finish a fantastic 6th overall just ahead of Matt Hallam in 7th (1:56) and Matt Pears in 17th (1:59). Dave’s hamstring gave out with about 500m to go in what is proving to be a bit of a chronic injury. Nonetheless he came home in 17th place, but importantly grabbed a spot at the Worlds in Australia later in the year.

We’ll be organising a team press-up session in a cryo unit later in the year, to try and improve the team’s results further.

The Browns…(not the Brownlees)

DUSTON SPRINT TRIATHLON took place this weekend and yet more silver has spilled into the Jackpot family cabinet courtesy of some of our finest athletes, Chris and Mika Brown.  Mika stormed in with a 2nd overall moving up from 4th last year and taking 1st in his age group (20-25 – oh to be so young) and Chris poaching silver in his age group (50-54).  Judging by the photos below, the sun didn’t get to Northamptonshire on Sunday and the winds were fairly strong making bike splits slower than last year and conditions cold. Great going chaps 🙂

Mika - 2nd in age group
Mika – 2nd overall
Mika - 1st in age group
Mika – 1st in age group
Chris 2
Chris – 2nd in age group

Still in the Midlands (proving a popular place this weekend) and Will Cowen blitzed the Mallory Park Senior Circuit on Thursday evening, flying into a powerful first position in the 80 man bunch race.  Six riders went down in the last corner, thankfully no broken bones.  Hopefully Will will return for more action at the circuit.

post script: Jenni Muston took her chances at the York Circuit last Tuesday taking part in the Cat 4 men’s race (no ladies race and no ladies apart from Jen), missing a crash at the end (which did result in a broken bone for one rider) and by no means last 🙂


The two day JUNIOR TOUR OF THE MENDIPS this weekend saw Kieran Savage climbing from 32nd on Stage 1 to 9th on Stage 2 and finishing in 9th overall!  Stage 1 consisted of a 64 mile race starting at Churchill in North Somerset to include a long climb at Burrington Combe.  Stage 2 the following day, Sunday 12 April, was a 50m race and saw riders take in 3 large climbs in particularly breezy conditions over the top of the hills. Fantastic result Kieran!

A little further north into Leicestershire for the NO FRILLS DUATHLON which took place at Market Bosworth.  Matt Hallam popped a podium with a silver over the 5k-21k-5k course, running more than impressively with a 14:10 on the first run and 14:28 on the second as well as having the second fastest bike time of the day (35:58). #speedy

In other news, riders from Jackpot took a battering in high winds at the Skylark Sportive in some of the hilliest parts of Yorkshire resulting in two mechanicals for Claire Pickersgill with a snapped chain a few miles in and a broken derailleur half way around the long course and a lift back to the start for pie and peas. PWs for all up Cragg Vale yesterday.

Maypole Madness

The GOOD FRI TRI took place at Radley College in Abingdon on funnily enough Good Friday and saw a WIN from our Jackpotter Kieran Hill!  The sprint distance kicked off with a 400m pool swim, onto the 22k bike and finally onto 2 laps of a scenic 2.5k run.  Kieran finished a full 2 minutes ahead of 2nd position adding to the growing collection of podiums so far this season for Jackpot Racing. Great going Kieran!

In other news, the random WORLDS COAL CARRYING CHAMPIONSHIPS took place on Easter Monday in a very sunny Yorkshire.  Rocking up and entering on the day was our very own Jenni Muston.  The challenge was to run with 20kgs of coal over 1012m up a gradual climb to the Maypole in Gawthorpe.  Jen popped a podium with a bronze winning a tremendous trophy and running off with her winnings £££ – tax free!  The event was sponsored by Funeral Directors Eric F Box Ltd.