Posts Tagged ‘skipton’

Dad’s first triathlon

Thursday, July 25th, 2019 | Sport

My parents are pretty awesome cheerleaders. They brought their caravan up to The Yorkshireman, for example, so they could cheer me on for the entire 14 hours and 35 minutes. They came to World Triathlon Leeds, too, and at some point during the day, my dad was bitten by the triathlon bug.

As a result, he signed up to a Go Tri with his friend Tim. I want to say, for the record, I did nothing to encourage this. Not that I’m displeased, but I would hate for anyone to blame me for getting them into triathlon when they are halfway through the run and cursing the idea of triathlon. Something I do a lot :D.

Skipton Go Tri is a 200-metre pool swim, 10km bike ride and 2km run. They start it at 7am before the pool opens to the public and the roads get busy, which meant a 4:30am start for them. We decided to drive down and surprise them, giving us a more leisurely start of 5:30.

The swim start was pretty random, which made for mixed abilities. He was soon zooming past the person in front of him. Onto the bike and be clocked 50kph on the downhill sections: clearly a much better descender than me! And finally onto the run around the park.

The result: Tim and my dad came first and second in their age group! Granted it wasn’t a huge age group, but there were a couple of other people and a win is a win. Great effort, team.

Skipton Triathlon 2019

Friday, April 19th, 2019 | Sport

The triathlon season is here! After a long wait, Skipton finally arrived. Last year I went to Skipton to do my first ever triathlon. This year I was coming as a seasoned veteran. Because I’m old, but also because I spent all of last year racing.

It was April, so it was freezing. As I stripped off in the transition area and headed to the pool, I was biting myself with the cold. Luckily, the pool was a lovely 28 degrees (like bath water) and the rest of the race was fine if a little windy.

I brought it home in just under 90 minutes, comfortably beating last year’s time.

Stage 2019 2018 Diff
Swim 09:44 09:36 +0:08
T1 04:31 05:46 -1:15
Bike 48:54 53:05 -4:11
T2 01:52 1:56 -0:04
Run 24:10 23:40 +0:30
Total 1:29:13 1:34:02 -4:49

My veteran status showed in the swim: I remembered my goggles this time! I completed it in just over nine minutes, which is a fast 400 metres for me. After that, it was overtaking people all the way, which is one of the best bits of being such a slow swimmer.

The bike segment was where I picked up most of my time, but it was a tough ride. It was in a tonne of lower back pain to the point where I almost had to stop and get off. However, I managed to stretch a bit on the bike and bear with it until I could get back to T2 and onto the run.

It was lovely to be racing with Hyde Park Harriers. Having friendly faces to chat to before and after the race made it feel like a real community event and their cheering on was much appreciated. Unfortunately, I missed the group photo as Venla was a bit bored by this point.

Skipton Parkrun

Thursday, May 17th, 2018 | Sport

I was heading over to Ilkley for a sportive last Saturday but I didn’t want to miss Parkrun. The solution? Find the closest one. The answer turned out to be Skipton Parkrun.

It takes place at Aire Valley Park, which is the same place that hosts Skipton Triathlon. It’s a great venue because the parking is reasonable (50p for one hour) and you can use the leisure centre toilets.

I tried to pace myself for a hard weekend of racing, so I aimed for around 25 minutes. I brought it home in:


So, I think we can call that a success. One lass was about to get married, so did the run in a wedding dress. Presumably not her actual dress. But she still managed to out-run most of us, including me.

It’s a four-lap course. I did get lapped but only by the front group of two or three. Afterwards, there was free cake. So, all in all, a pretty good run.

Skipton Triathlon

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 | Sport

Skipton triathlon is often considered the first triathlon of the season and claims to be the UK’s largest pool-based triathlon with around 900 people registering to take part. For me, it represented my first professional distance event: I’ve done a lot of mini triathlons but this was my first chance to get my teeth into an hour-plus race.

I arrived two hours early to give myself plenty of time to faff around and get comfortable. The car park is Skipton auction mart, where we make our annual pilgrimage to Yarndale. It feels like the only bit of Skipton I ever get to see.

Despite all of my preparation, I made some silly mistakes. Foremost of them was leaving my goggles hanging on my handlebars: something I only realised once I was sitting at the poolside ready to go. I also forgot to vaseline all of the key areas and managed to misplace my energy gels. However, none of this was fatal to my race and I finished ahead of my target window of 1:45 to 2 hours.


This breaks down to 9:36 for the 400m the swim, 5:46 in T1, 53:05 for the 22km bike, 1:56 in T2 and 23:40 on the 5km run.

I’m pretty happy with all of that. 9:36 in the swim suggests I should swim without my goggles the whole time: perhaps some improvement is needed in my technique. 5:46 in T1 is a long time. But it didn’t feel like I was messing about: it just takes time to get your shoes and socks on, and I would rather take care of my toes than shave a few seconds off.

53:05 on the bike represents an average moving speed of 25.6 km/h. This certainly isn’t the 40 km/h the pros race at but given I often struggle to hold 21-22, I’m happy with the result. I was expecting the course to be hillier than it was as the GPS said 240m of climbing but it was actually only half that. 23:40 is only 32 seconds slower than my Parkrun PB, so no problems with the run.

For comparison, the winner finished in 57:26, so 36:36 quicker than me. I was 368th out of a total field of 759 that made it to the end. The lantern rouge finished in 3:35:13.

The event was very well organised. At every point there was an army of volunteers helping out with registration, poolside, checking people in and out of transition and marking the route. The event starts at 8:00am and the last person doesn’t finish until around 4:30pm, so the volunteers do an amazing job.

Yarndale 2015

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015 | Events


These look like the creatures out of The Dark Crystal.


That sign at the back read “chairs”.




Why not alpacas?



Calico Jack, Skipton

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 | Food

After our final tournament day of the season, we (Leeds Samurai) stopped off in Skipton to visit the pirate-themed restaurant Calico Jack.

It was okay. I go the steak and ribs combo. The steak was over-cooked. I asked for it medium and you might be able to argue that it was medium-well if you were being generous, but I would not have argued if you had called it well done. The ribs were reasonably tender, but not a patch on Cattle Grid of TGI. Similarly I thought the coleslaw and potato wedges were just very average.

It’s a cool place to go, and everyone seemed to be happy with their meal. I feel there is definitely room for improvement food-wise though.

Yarndale 2014

Sunday, October 5th, 2014 | Events


Eat your heart out Tour de France. It is knitting that really gets Yorkshire excited.

As you probably know, Yarndale is not only Yorkshire’s biggest yarn festival, but one of the highlights of the British yarn calendar. No llamas this year, but they did have sheep and alpacas. As well as lots of lots of yarn for sale.


Tuesday, October 8th, 2013 | Life

A few weeks ago we headed up to Skipton for Yarndale – a festival of yarn. It was huge. They had rented out a sheep auction warehouse and most of it was full of people selling wool and wool related products.

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