August 2017 saw the return of NTC back to the Castle Series race at Chantilly for the second year running. With some great results from last year the team had a lot to live up to with even more team members competing.
There were 5 camper vans, two tents, two hunts and what can only be described as a mini tribe in tow. After two nights of communal cooking and carb loading (apparently beer has carbs) the majority of the club were to race on Saturday morning.
The morning started very misty and murky and we could have been at Trentham lake with little visibility. The boys were off first in the Sprint plus, Phil exiting the water first for NTC followed by Wayne, Nathan and then Fraser. All were cheered along into transition by the support team aka bag carriers. Looking slightly muddy on their exit they headed off on to the beautiful scenic bike route into the villages of Chantilly. With no crashes or disasters all returned from the bike route and onto the run course which by this time had heated up considerably.
The next group of members started whilst the Sprint plus was still on the course, with Zara out of the water first in her wave, followed by Lee Jay second in his wave, closely followed by James who was hot on his toes chasing Lee Jay down out of transition. Paul left transition with a smile and wave and appeared to be enjoying the day and Kirsty gave it her all smiling and quick out of transition, who was lucky to have made the start with no bike only an hour pre race.
The ever growing group of support crew (now with approx 10 bags) made their way to the finish line to see everyone finish, whilst Laura hot footed it over to her race missing the briefing and getting straight into the water as prepared as ever. Paul Bailey was more prepared for the start and of they both went in the race cheered on from the finish line by members finishing the other races.
Lee Jay was the first member back over the finish line coming second place in his race of much older athletes taking a podium place with a time of 1.03.23, closely followed by James who was a fantastic 7th in a time of 1.05.50. Paul was next over the finish line coming 8th in his category with a time of 1.11.51. Followed by Zara who came 12th in her category with a time of 1.24.57. Kirsty, finishing her first triathlon at this distance, was 104th in her category with a time of 1.51.50 – this was an amazing achievement having not been well on race day and the day previously.
The Sprint plus athletes then started to cross the finish line with Phil coming in 25th overall, 7th in category 2.14.40, Nathan 13th in category and 42nd overall 2.19.11, Wayne 54th in category, 108th overall 2.27.29 and Fraser 122nd in category, 241 overall, 2.42.16.
The Starter sprint race was the last adults race of the day to finish with Laura coming in as first female with a podium place and 10th overall 46.16, and Paul came in 27th overall and 1st in his category 50.47.
The afternoon session started for the children’s races and Patience raced in the afternoon sun shine. Having a fantastic bike overtaking many on the course she came into the run with a point to prove, the face of determination was unreal and overtaking with only meters to go not giving up. Finishing an amazing 6th in her category and 17th overall 25.20.
This year’s camping took more organisation and preparation with many mouths to feed often in two sittings. It had grown from the previous year with more experience and Nathan even allowing fellows members to assist with the fluff and fire lighting. We had an evening of wine tasting, from our cheapest at 1.39 and most expensive at 6 euros, with the majority opting for Lidl’s finest at just over 2 euros. However, the clear wine drinkers of the group Paul, Wayne and Lee Jay were the winners and guessed the correct prices. With marsh mellow toasting and games all the evenings were finished off in style with the odd fizzy wine cork aimed but missing its intended target.
A small group consisting of Fraser, James, Lee Jay and Mark Adamson decided to not only compete in the triathlon but had another tournament of their own – Volleyball against the French at a local open water park, the boys did us proud beating the French 2 to 1.
Chantilly where the laughs never ended so that our faces ached and friendships were formed.