Marcus eighth in major Euro event

AQUATHLETE: Marcus Nichols during the run phase of the European Aquathlon Championships in Cologne.

AQUATHLETE: Marcus Nichols during the run phase of the European Aquathlon Championships in Cologne. - Credit: Archant

Having qualified to represent Team GB, Bungay Black Dog triathlete Marcus Nichols, with supporters in tow, headed to Cologne, Germany, at weekend for the European Aquathlon Championships.

Marcus, for whom the event was the culmination of six months’ intensive training and who was carrying a foot injury from the previous week’s Dambuster triathlon, was among 100-plus starters in his opening swim phase of the combined swimming and running event.

“It was hideous, arms, legs, goggles, fists,” he reported. “I spent the first 300 metres fighting to stay above water, with bodies coming at me from all directions. I was so close to hyperventilating, but you can’t stop and call time out. I battled forwards, and after 400 metres I finally found clear water, and was able to break from the carnage behind me. The rest of the swim was good, but very tough, and I managed to exit the water in around 40th place.”

Transitioning to the run phase after climbing up 40 steep steps, Marcus held on to fourth position in his age group but having lost so much energy on the swim eventually dug in to cross the line eighth in his age group, and 75th overall.

He thanked his wife Zoe, mother Angela, and aunt Carol for making the journey to Cologne. It was the first time his mother had been on a plane, and acknowledged Archetype Publications for the sponsorship that helped with the costs of the kit, and open water swim training at Fritton Lake with Active Outdoor Sport.

Two of the club’s other triathletes were at Grafham Water Reservoir for the Grafham 70.3 event, involving a 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run.

Roly Shaw and Jane Hannah were the ironmen representing Team BBDRC. Jane clocked 5h 17m and Roly 5h 20m.

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Twelve Black Dogs, plus an unlucky 13th, were sticking to the single discipline of running at Great Yarmouth & District Athletics Club’s annual Humpty Dumpty 10k race at Freethorpe.

David Neeve was the first of them home, clocking 43:42 for 66th place.

The other Black Dog results were: 78 Chris Chorley 43:56, 149 Tamsin Desborough 48:05, 191 Lucy Steele 49:47, 196 Jake Steele 49:57, 225 Adrian Hunt 51:34, 234 Graham Sampson 52:12, 238 Bobbie Sauerzapf 52:14, 280 David Waterman 54:40, 282 Don Tiffin 54:41, 308 Danny Bell-Tye 55:50 and 408 Philip Neave 1:05:58.

Bob Jack, who forgot that he needed an electronic timing chip for the race, ran to get one just as the starting gun was fired. Starting late and holding the device ineffectually in his hand instead of attaching it to his shoe for the entire distance, he crossed the line in 60:03 but believed an unofficial watch time of 58 minutes would have been a personal best.

“That will teach me to read the instructions before the event,” he commented.

On the preceding Friday, Brandon Fern Hoppers’ five-mile Wibbly Wobbly LogJog through the tracks and paths of High Lodge, Thetford Forest, saw Chris Chorley come home in 24th in 35:26.

Other places were: 132 Bobbie Sauerzapf 45:28, 241 Philip Neave 54:47 and 302 Chris Harbord 1:17:09.