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Mixed news by triathletes Fran Bungay and Jenny Latham

Fran Bungay had a bitter sweet 2015 as world number one ranked in her age group. Here she updates us on her 2015-2016 training and racing.


2015 proved to be a fantastic season for me, kick started with a silver medal in the European long distance Duathlon championships in Horst in April, followed by a bronze in Rimini which was the European middle distance championship. 


These medals were followed by age group wins in Staffordshire, Exmoor 70.3 and a top ten finish in the Alpe D’Huez short distance. Here I was also first vet and having the second fastest bike split up the mountain with only the European and World 70.3 championship events to go! 


These races suited me well as they are hilly, and after a terrible start to the European Championships in Wiesbaden in August, where I was swum over, hit, pulled back etc. etc., I went to work on the bike course posting one of the fastest bike splits of the day. 


Three laps into the run I was feeling strong until rounding a corner I went over on my left ankle (for the third time that year) and finished in a heap on the floor. The ankle was weak due to damaging it earlier in the year (with some ligament damage) and unfortunately this well and truly finished it off. I couldn't walk on it to begin with, but pure determination and adrenalin kept me going, although I couldn't run around corners! However I still managed to secure another age group win in the European Championship.


I finished and went straight to the first aid tent where they referred me to hospital where I was told that six weeks in a boot and no running for a few months was on the cards. That didn't seem an option as the Worlds were only three weeks later! 


So, it was a bitter sweet win at the Europeans, and despite the pain, discomfort and weakness I went to Austria for the Worlds. Retrospectively I should have listened to the advice. I had a terrible race and only finished due to pure stubbornness and a desire to get the towel and t shirt! It was not a great finish to the 2015 season.


So, where am I now? Well I have tried to strengthen the ankle, I have only run on the treadmill but the proprioception in the ankle is terrible and a huge loss of power on the bike and run. 


I have tried two duathlons and one triathlon this year and with each race it took longer to recover, I seemed to be getting weaker and then there are the knock-on consequences. A MRI scan last year highlighted the ruptured ligaments and I am now waiting for a date for ligament reconstruction. 


There will be no more racing for me this year, typically it’s the one year I entered all my key races in advance! So, I will not be able to defend my position of being ranked number one in the world in the AWA age group system. I will not be able to aim for World Ironman qualification this year, I just have to wait for the operation, then focus on recovery to come back strong to revisit my goals one again for next season. 


Frustrating, annoying, yes, it certainly is, but it happens. I will still go to the races but as support crew for the Goalspecific athletes who are out there and racing strong and I will start focusing on getting fit and strong once I have been operated on!


So, watch this space, I might be out this season, but I still have some key goals I want to achieve, so I will be back, hopefully stronger and fitter than ever before!


Jenny Latham opens her tri season with a win and a 10km running PB

This season I am very pleased to be racing for Planet X-HUUB. I have the Exocet 2 TT bike all set up for my races and the latest tri kit and wetsuits from HUUB to help me get to the finish line faster in 2016.

Early in the season I set a new 10km running personal best when I won the Wakefield 10km road race. This was followed by a win (and third overall) in the Wakefield Duathlon which enabled me to fully test out the new Planet X bike and clothing. Without wearing a watch I was pleased to hit my run splits targets before aiming to smash the bike leg!

Another highlight so far this year was spectating at the London Marathon. I got a front row spot at the Cutty Sark, getting there at 8:45am helped with this, and spent a few hours chatting to other spectators and marshals as we watched the wheelchair athletes, elite women, elite men and then the club runners. There were a lot of people down from Wakefield Harriers so it was a busy day trying to judge when they would pass the different spectating spots I was aiming to get to. Everyone ran amazingly with a few personal bests achieved. I am looking forward to joining you all on the start line of London in 2017!

My first big test of the season was in mid-May when I won the Worcester triathlon (1500m swim: 60km bike: 10km off-road run). What was extra pleasing was being the fastest female on the run, bike and swim splits. My Planet X Exocet bike performed well, it’s just a slight shame that my legs weren't as good until the second lap when I started to be able to feel my toes again despite putting on socks and toe covers on my shoes. 

I was pleased with this win as there was a few girls racing who were off to Portugal for the age-group Europeans. It was a great season opener and a bargain of a race organised by Worcester Tri Club. 

The tri was on the Sunday and three days later, on the Wednesday, I had a 10km road race. I ran to a new 10km personal best - by a couple of seconds - to finish first female and win a cash prize which, of course, is always a great bonus. 

These performances are all helped in the build up to my main goal of the Challenge Roth triathlon in July which is now getting closer.


We’ll have more news from our sponsored triathletes soon including Karl Alexander who won the Outlaw Triathlon at the weekend and Hywel Davies who is currently training in the French Alps.

31 May 2016


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