Willcocks takes European and three national titles

by | 21 September 2017 | Sherwood, Sports Club

Mansfield Triathlon Club’s Michelle Willcocks stands as the country’s leading age group triathlete having won four significant titles in as many weeks in 2017, a performance that follows a similarly impressive display in 2016 when she won one European silver and two British and one national championship.

In Dusseldorf, Germany, Michelle became women’s European Triathlon Champion putting in an outstanding performance to beat two European elite standard athletes. Just a few weeks earlier she became National Sprint Triathlon Champion in Thorpe Park and then went on to win the National Aquathlon Championship in Leeds in mid-June. Michelle’s incredible run of outstanding form was completed, when she won the National Standard Distance Triathlon Championship in Ripon, placing her as the country’s top age group triathlete and resulting in her qualifying for the World Standard Distance Triathlon Championships in September 2017 in Rotterdam.

All this would be outstanding in any normal circumstances, but in 2011 Michelle had major life changing abdominal surgery as a result of being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Undeterred, she has used this to renew her determination to succeed in her sport and push herself even further. Michelle said: “Every race is tackled with a humble appreciation of the ability to work my body harder. The surgery has not held me back — it has done quite the opposite and I am excited to find out what I can achieve next.”

Michelle’s racing partner, Chris Holmes, also recorded some notable achievements. In the English National Aquathlon Championships in Leeds Chris won silver in his age group. Racing with Michelle in Dusseldorf, he represented the UK in the European Sprint Triathlon Championships finishing strongly amongst Europe’s best triathletes.

Representing the club’s future success, Tyler Broome put himself out of reach in the East Midlands Junior Series when he recorded another first racing at Foremarke Hall. Tyler completed the TriStar 1 race in 13 minutes and 51 seconds taking first with a margin of just two seconds over the second placed competitor. Also representing Mansfield Triathlon Club in that race were Dillon Preece (15 minutes and 22 seconds), James Flint (15 minutes and 32 seconds) and Alfie Brown (16 minutes and 14 seconds). In the girls’ race Anna Woodhall put in a fine performance for a 19 minutes and 33 seconds time.

In the TriStar 2 event the club fielded three athletes. For the boys Jack Mottram and Harry Elliott worked hard for their 27 minutes and 18 seconds and 30 minutes and 59 seconds respectively whilst for the girls Emily Tansley raced strongly, finishing in 31 minutes and 7 seconds. Four athletes raced for the club over the TriStar 3 distance. In the girls’ race Emily Alcock raced home in 32 minutes and 14 seconds with Freya Mottram showing strongly in 36 minutes and 25 seconds. Finlay Preece and Kurtis Nogueira represented the boys, putting in great performances to finish in 31 minutes and 15 seconds and 35 minutes and 58 seconds.

Racing partners Chloe Paylor and Laura Keeling were in action again for the adult section of the club with the races proving to be eventful for Laura. At the Tallington Lakes Olympic distance triathlon (1500m swim, 42km bike and 10km run) Chloe produced a time of 3 hours 18 minutes for a well-deserved personal best. Laura came home in four hours 12 minutes and 21 seconds despite suffering from an asthma attack mid-race in what was her first ever Olympic distance event. Just one week later they were in action again at the Leeds Olympic distance triathlon. Chloe finished in just 3 hours 10 minutes whilst Laura improved her time over Tallington to three hours 47 minutes and 54 seconds and despite picking up a leg injury during the race was determined to complete the event. Both are enjoying a well-deserved rest period.

Mansfield Tri Club is a double Club Mark club with over 100 active members regularly participating in triathlons, duathlons, cycle time trials, swimming races and running events throughout the country. The club welcomes new members and due to the many age categories in which triathletes compete, the sport, one of the fastest growing in the UK, is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. Visit www.mansfieldtri.com for further details.