2014 Duathlon Announced


25th May 2014
 Hanningfield 9am – Exact location to be advised

We invite all members to join us at the Club Duathlon.
You will complete a 3 mile out n back run, get on your bike for a 2 lap, 15 mile ride around the reservoir (easy signed route), then return your bike to the green and complete the final 2 mile out n back run to the finish.

It’s a FUN event for all abilities, you can use any kind of bike. Put your name on the list opposite if you’d like to take part. You may enter as a team with one running and one cycling.
There will be one or two familiarisation rides around the route (at your pace) organised before the day.


  • Prizes for Overall Winner/Runner-up (M & F),
    Most Improved (Winnner/runner-up),
    Top Veteran (M & F), 1st Team, Team runners-up.
  • Provisional Race Start time 9:30am
  • Entry Fee £3:00
  • BRC Club members only
  • CYCLE HELMET required.
  • Another group has hired the Village Hall – new venue to be arranged. We will be using the  same or very similar course however.
  • Will have maps of bike course available

Looking for volunteers— if you can help on the day put your name down or contact Paul Ruffy—07929160069 or facebook.

 Note: We do not have the use of the Village Hall or Village Hall Car Park this year, we have permission to park in the Old Windmill pub before 12, after which its customers only. There is also a country park car park adjacent to the green, which I will confirm nearer the time if open.




Sun Shines on the Club Duathlon!

A big well done to all of you that turned up to compete in or help out at our Duathlon last Sunday,  a big chunk of the clubs membership where either taking part or helping out which made for a great morning, helped by glorious sunshine – which we don’t normally get!

It was nice to see lots of little personal battles going on right through the field, and as well as a some suffering, some fun as well!

Even relatively short Duathlons are challenging events, and everyone, especially the first timers have come away with a real sense of accomplishment having pushed themselves out of their comfort zones.

Here are the category winners and podiums:
1st Paul Prosser
2nd Richard Jones
3rd Tim Tomlins

1st Alison Horsley
2nd Audrey Morris
3rd Jennie Page

1st Team: Matt Copps/Dominique Ballard
1st Team Handicap: Margaret and John Crisp

1st Jan Hamill
2nd Paul Delaney
3rd Pete Stalley

Full Results

I used a timing app called Racesplitter, along with manual entries to do the timing, it was a learning experience for me having never been involved in timing an event of any kind let alone a three leg event, and we wouldn’t have any results if not for Steve and Louisa, so hats off to them.
Full results are here http://racesplitter.com/races/397FFE923 note that you’ll have to subtract your run 1 time manually from the split 2 to get your bike time, which will include the transitions.
A spreadsheet with the handicap results is now available here Excel Sheet: 2013

More photos are on Facebook (thanks to Gary Pitman)http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=gm.10151642591986278&type=1


Whilst the handicap competition is a lot of fun, I have to base it on a awful lot of guesswork, and as such it isn’t very fair to those that have done the event before or those using mountain bikes. Likewise it means a lot of waiting around whilst the results are calculated. So I’m thinking of having a re jig on the categories next year, here’s what I’ve come up with as a new format, let me know if you like!
Proposed new awards for 2014:

Winners m/f.

1st Mtb male/female.

Fast run award. m/f

Fastest bike.m/f

Best young competitor (under 19.)

Best veteran competitor. (m/f handicaps given for every year over 50/45 for example)

Team Winners/Runners-up

Its actually the same amount of trophies!

Road Bikes
If the event has spurred you on to start cycling more, or you just want to go a little faster on the roads, then a proper road bike is what you’ll need.
However it can be a bit of a minefield to know what you need or how much you need to spend. I can tell you that you do not need to spend the earth, or even anywhere near the £1000 government limit on the bike to work scheme. But beware of the very cheap “supermarket” bikes, they are barely fit for purpose and certainly aren’t likely to inspire you to ride more often. Here are two of the best bargain road bikes currently available:

Merlin S2200 http://www.merlincycles.com/bike-shop/bikes/road-bikes/merlin-road-bikes/merlin-s2200-road-bike.html
For 5p shy of £330 you get a awful lot for your money. 9 speed Shimano Sora is normally only reserved for bikes costing double the asking price and gives you plenty of gearing options and scope for changing the cassette if you ever want to.

Decathlon B’TWIN Triban 3 http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-3-red-road-bike-id_8274036.html
At £299.95 this is probably the best value for money bike on the market. Carbon forks is unheard of at this sort of price range.
Its got Shimano 2300 gears with triple chainrings and 8 speed cassette. I prefer the double set up of the Merlin personally but this is splitting hairs, they are both superb bargains.

Personally I wouldn’t go any lower on price or you’ll likely be making too much of a compromise,  the advantage of the B’TWIN is that you can go to  the shop and sit on one before buying and you’ll get some basic service. However, you’ll still need to be able to set up, use and maintain it properly to get the most out of it, and for many the extra price of getting a bike from a local bike shop will be worth it when the bike fit, set up, advice and service are all taken into account. I recommend UK Cycles in Leigh-on-sea where you’ll pay around £500 for an entry level bike, however its worth shopping around and speaking to a few shops to gauge what level of service and support you’ll get.

If you can wait, remember the best bike bargains are always around October-November when they sell off their stock to make room for the next years models.


“The Puncture Monster”

Hope you have been making the most of  the recent spell of good weather!
It’s also that time of year when the farmers start their hedge trimming activities and co-incidentally the puncture monster also decides sneak out and and fire his thorny prickles at our tyres!!
With this is mind I thought the attached article on how to fix a flat tyre may be of help?


Safe riding and beware of the puncture monster…………………….but at least you will now be prepared!!

(Reproduced courtesy of Essex Roads CC)

I’ve also taken the liberty of scanning in a couple of pages from Cyclist magazine as I’ve been asked what you should take with you when you’re going out on a ride in a seat pack – Personally I take: Seat bag, Inner tube, quick patches, tyre levers, multitool, and of course… a golden nugget! In addition to whats in the seat pack I also take a small waterproof bag for phone etc and also a micro pump which fits in my jersey pocket.

Round up – New Events, “350 Tri Questions” book offer, and Duathlon route rides for Novices.

New Aquathon Series comes to Lee Valley

Lee Valley Regional Park Authority is pleased to announce a new ‘Aqualthlon’ series which will take place on the second Tuesday of every month from May to October.


The monthly events will take place at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, the Olympic venue from canoe slalom and in the picturesque River Lee Country Park.


Each event will provide the option for two race distances

–      250m swim and 3k run

–      500m swim and 5.5k run


The swim will take place in the lake at the centre in which the water is cleaned and filtered. The run will be a one or two lap course, on a range of surfaces of pathways through the traffic free park. This is a great event for new open water swimmers as the pool is shallow and wetsuits will be available to borrow.


Entries are now open via www.entrycentral.com

Full details of the event can be found at www.visitleevalley.org.uk/aquathlon

New Dartford Bridge Events
Whilst outside of Essex, its pretty local so these new events are well worth checking out:
23rd June – Bridge Triathlon – various distances.
7th July- The Bridge Aquathlon/ Swim, plus theres also 3 summer Tuesday events.
27/28th July – Midnight WO / MAN – Ironman distance event starting 6pm and running through the night (well most likely cycling/running through the night!)
29th Sept – The Bridge 10k
Full details at http://www.bridgetriathlon.co.uk/

New Triathlon book offer – free Alert ID Tag
“Every person who pre-orders a copy from us will be given a “CramAlert ID” band worth £10 free of charge including a one year subscription”
Check out http://triathlon-questions.com/the-questions/ might be worth a read if you’re new to the sport!

Duathlon Route Rides

If anyone would like to join me I’ll be available to ride round the Duathlon bike course, on Wednesday 15th AND 22nd May.
Meeting at the Village Hall Hanningfield. (Theres a Map on this site: http://benfleettri.org.uk/club-duathlon/)
I will aim to start at 5.30pm and a 2nd lap at 6.00pm if required.  We will ride to the pace of the slowest rider.

Basildon Aquathon 2013

Nice to see a number of Benfleet RC members swimming and running the Basildon Aquathon, finishing times for adults as follows:

Position time
95 Mike Jordan 37:03:00
24 Tim Tomlins 30:03:00
62 Steve Ling 33:27:00
72 Morgan Reddish 34:25:00
78 Jennie Page 34:56:00
131 Ian Jordan 49:35:00

Well done guys and Jennie!


Tim Tomlins


Jennie Page


Next up at the same venue is the Basildon Triathlon on Saturday 1st June there’s still 60 spaces left in that event at the time of writing.  Hopefully we’ll get another decent showing in that one, and if you’re not taking part why not turn up and show your support for a great local event?

For full listing of all upcoming local events see:





Organised bike events in Essex

Dragon Ride 2012.

Sportive riding in Wales.

Sportives are becoming more and more popular as is cycling in general.
They represent an opportunity to test yourself over a distance that you wouldn’t normally ride, as well as being great social events where working together really helps.  They are also an opportunity to explore and discover some of the beautiful Essex countryside and terrain. We might live in a flat county but you’d be surprised by the amount of picturesque lanes and challenging little climbs that are hidden.
Here’s a list of events that you might want to consider:

1/4 London Phoenix Easter Classic 34 or 70 mile options.
7/4 Essex Roads Spring Lambs Sportive (sold out) 94 miles.

5/5 Tour of the Dengie Cyclosportive 27 or 52 mile options (rough terrain, but road bike ok).
12/5 Basildon Rotary 70 Mile
19/5 Wiggle Essex Explorer 40/74/96 mile options.
19/5 Tour De Tendering 6/20/60 mile options.

9/6 OrchidCycle Essex various distances/events upto 100 mile, and BBQ/Beer tent!
16/6 Essex County Bike Ride 25/60 mile options.
16/6 Walden Velo – Ride 101 102 miles.
23/6 Essex Countryside Bike Ride 25/60 mile options.

7/7 Summer Breeze Sportive 25/89 mile options.
21/7 LONDON TO SOUTHEND  52 miles.*a club favourite*
27/7 Essex Castle Bike Ride 25/50/75 mile options.


1/9 Action Essex 100 34/72/102 mile options.
22/9 Essex Roads Autumn Leaves Sportive 94 miles.

There are of course plenty more (too many to list!) that are within driving distance, with some events in Surrey being amongst the best and most challenging in the country.

Paul’s Notes:
Its important to realise that Sportives are NOT races, there are some doing them treat them as such, but do not let this put you off. The challenge is you vs the distance or you vs the clock.  The roads are NOT closed in any of the above events and as such you have to have your wits about you, as lots of bikes plus cars often ends with the two colliding – the cyclists obviously coming off worse.  However ride with care and consideration and there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve uploaded a great article from Cycling Weekly on riding skills and etiquette, which is certainly recommended reading, especially if your new to this.
Taking on enough food and drink is also a big consideration on any long bike ride, eating or drinking when you feel hungry/thirsty is usually too late.
Here’s a good article on taking on enough fuel:

Why not try a Duathlon? Our Club Duathlon is for members only, all abilities welcome.


We invite all members to join us at the Club Duathlon.
It’s a FUN event for all abilities, you can use any kind of bike. Put your name on the list on a club night, (or ask someone else to) if you’d like to take part.


There will be one or two familiarisation rides around the route (at a slow pace) organised before the day.


  • Race Start 9:30
  • Entry Fee £3:00
  • Club members only
  • Remember to also bring a CYCLE HELMET
  • Without a helmet you won’t be entered into the results !!!!
  • Parking adj. to play area on Middlemead & limited space at Village Hall
  • Will have maps of bike course available
  • Looking for volunteers to drive newbie’s around the course before the event ….
    ( Aiming to drive round @ 9:00 )
  • Prizes for Male/Female, Team and Handicap winners.
  • Bring something for the buffet lunch in the Hall afterwards!
  • Last but not least …It’s Only a Duathlon …. Make sure you enjoy the day!


Triathlon, Swimming and Cycling for Benfleet Running Club Members!




Benfleet Running club has a large and enthusiastic Triathlon section.
We have members competing at all levels, from Sprint Triathlons right up to full Ironman.
We are always keen to encourage members to take up the multi-sports, and hope this new site will provide useful information.

I’ve just added a list of all the local events which you can enter under the Benfleet RC name – we are a signed up member of the BTF.
In the coming weeks I’ll be looking at how to encourage more Benfleet Runners to get out on their bikes and to swim more – not just to take up Triathlon. 
The benefits of combining the disciplines are widely accepted, cycling is a low impact activity that’s great for building aerobic endurance as well as burning fat, whilst swimming is also a great method of cross training and is a something even injured athletes can sometimes do to maintain fitness. 
So whether you want to be a Triathlete or not, I encourage all members to consider at least some swimming and cycling throughout the training year, and why not team up with your fellow runners whilst doing so? 
Paul Ruffy 13/3/2013