Helen Russell

World Champion Duathlete and Triathlete

 

 
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Helen Russell - News

2017
November
Pedal Power for Albion Foundation
Over the last few years Helen has combined training and competing with raising funds for charity. In 2018 her chosen charity is The Albion Foundation, who in partnership with West Bromwich Albion FC, use the medium of sport to work in communities to help raise aspirations and create opportunities for those that are disadvantaged or face barriers in life. The Foundation has a number of programmes such as educational initiatives in schools to help those that are struggling to achieve, mentoring and improving attainment with children in care or foster homes, opening up opportunities in disability sport, running sports initiatives in anti-social hot-spots and supporting sports development for girls. Helen is organising a number of fundraising initiatives for the Foundation, including Wattbike classes, turbo challenges and riding with a group of amateur cyclists from Swansea to the Hawthorns for the league match against Swansea on 7th April 2018. For more information on The Albion Foundation: https://www.wba.co.uk/foundation
World Cup Success
Helen was surprised to hear at the end of the Quadrathlon season that she finished second in the World Cup rankings in her age group. Although Helen only raced in two World Cup races this year, she won them both, earning enough points to put her in 2nd place behind the series winner, Susanne Walter from Germany. Helen hopes to race overseas next season, which means that she could earn extra points to hopefully go one better in the Cup rankings!
September
End of Season British Series Win
Victory at the Shrewsbury Quadrathlon secured Helen a clean sweep of wins in her British Trophy Series races. The event started at the West Midlands Showground and saw competitors swim 500m and kayak 4.2km in the River Severn, cycle 23km out to Baschurch and back and before finally running 5km in the showground. Although Helen had already clinched the British Series title at the Box End Quadrathlon in July, this victory means she is undefeated in quadrathlon this season.

As with the other three races in the series, Helen, who races for Worcester Canoe Club, exited the swim in first place but the relatively short distance of 500m meant that she was unable to create the usual big gap between herself and the other competitors. Second placed Jacqueline Davies from Frome Triathlon Club was close behind and overtook Helen entering the water for the kayak leg.Having only started kayaking last year, this leg is always Helen’s weakest discipline, and she was overtaken just past the halfway mark by last year’s British Series winner Jean Ashley, putting the Vale athlete into third place at the end of the kayak leg. Helen had a smoother transition into the bike leg than Jean and so took to the road in second place and it was not long until she chased down Jacqueline, who she overtook within the second mile. The wet and windy conditions meant Helen struggled to stay warm but, despite this, she was able to build a two-minute lead going into the 5km run and continued to extend her lead significantly to finish in 1.39.28. Meanwhile, Jean had run herself into second place, finishing in 1.45.17, and Jacqueline was pipped to the third spot by Natalie Abbott from Maldon & District Cycling Club (Essex) who finished in 1.46.45.

Helen will now take an end of season break before deciding on what her 2018 competition goals will be.
August
Aquabike Win
Helen went one better than her 2016 2nd place at the Cotswolds Sprint Aquabike, to take the win this year. The race, at Lake 62 in the Cotswolds Water Park, consisted of a 750m swim and 20.5km bike. Helen was second woman out of the water in 11.27, just 3 seconds behind swim specialist Kim Boon from KimOSwim, who she quickly overtook in transition to lead out onto the bike leg. Helen pushed hard on the bike, riding through the villages of Kemble and Oaksey and passing the Cotswolds Airport to come into the final transition still in the lead, having posted the fastest bike time of the day of 36.17. Helen then had a short 100 meter sprint to the finish line and took the win in 49.18. Second placed woman was Helen Wainwright, racing for BikeCity in 51.03 and third went to Natalie Le Cornu from Oxford Triathlon Club in 52.32.
July
£2,000 Air Ambulance Target Reached
Helen has reached her £2,000 fundraising target for The Air Ambulance Service. Over the last 18 months Helen has organised a number of fundraising events including stretch and Wattbike classes, as well as cycling up Mont Ventoux three times in one day last month.

Helen reached her target following her turbo challenge at The Valley in Evesham this month, where Helen and fellow Evesham Wheelers member, Aimee Lane saddled up on the final day of this year’s Tour de France to raise funds for The Air Ambulance Service. Helen and Aimee took to their bikes, mounted on turbo trainers at The Valley in Evesham, to ride 63 miles, the distance of the final stage of the Tour de France. Using their pedal power they raised £334 for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance.

Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and its sister service Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland Air Ambulance cover 3,870sq ft. of the Midlands and between them, go to an average of 1,900 missions every year, at a cost of approximately £1,700 per mission. The service receives no public funding and relies on donations.

It is still possible to give to Helen’s fundraising via the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helenrussell-montventoux
June
British Quadrathlon Series Winner
Victory at the Box End Quadrathlon at the beginning of July, secured Helen the British Quadrathlon Race Series title. This is further success for Helen on the back of her British Championship title won in May.

The British Series rewards consistency over' the season, with the best three of an athlete’s race results counting. As Helen has won the first three out of the five series races, it isn’t possible for another athlete to get as many points as her. Helen’s three victories were at the Brigg Bomber Quadrathlon in May, Dearne Valley Quadrathlon in June and Box End Quadrathlon in early July. The fourth race in the series is the Shrewsbury Quadrathlon in September and although Helen will be racing, she is already assured of the British Series title.
Mad Woman of Ventoux
Helen has raised almost £2000 for The Air Ambulance Service, through a number of fundraising events, including cycling up Mont Ventoux three times in one day in June. The ‘Giant of Provence’ stands at a height of 1912 meters and often features on the route of the Tour de France. Mont Ventoux translates as ‘The Windy Mountain’, which gives some idea of the elements that Helen had to battle against. On the day it wasn’t just the wind and the steep gradient that was challenging, as the temperature reached almost 40 degrees Celsius. Despite this, she, along with ten out of a team of fourteen other riders, successfully rode the three routes from Bédoin, Malaucène and Sault, covering 138 kilometers and 4400 metres of climbing in total.

In recognition of completing the three ascents in one day, she is now welcomed into the Club des Cinglés du Mont-Ventoux and receives the title of ‘Mad Man of Ventoux’, a title that less than a hundred English women have received.

Helen is hoping to raise £2,000 for Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and with £1,600 already raised, she isn’t far off hitting her target. To donate towards her fundraising efforts, log onto https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/helenrussell-montventoux
May
Helen Crowned British Quadrathlon Champion
Helen is celebrating after winning the British Quadrathlon Championships, in only her second ever quadrathlon. Britain’s best quadrathletes assembled in Brigg, Lincolnshire to do battle over a 1500m river swim, 7km kayak, 36km bike and 10km run, to take the coveted national title.

Helen had an excellent start, covering the up and downstream swim leg in 22.21, putting her well ahead of second placed athlete Jacqueline Davies, who exited the water in 24.37. Helen only started kayaking a year ago but after a winter of solid training with Worcester Canoe Club she unexpectedly posted the second fastest kayak leg of the day, paddling the 7km course in 46.24. Meanwhile behind her Jacqueline capsized entering the river and was passed by the 2016 British Quadrathlon Series winner Jean Ashely, who had the fastest kayak spilt of the day of 44.45.

Helen had a clumsy transition onto the bike but with a reasonable lead rode tactically to conserve energy, cycling the 36km route in 1.04.28, which despite being a conservative ride for her, was still the fastest bike leg of the day. As the course was an out and back route Helen knew that she had built a sizeable gap between her and second placed Jean and so concentrated on holding onto her leading position. In very hot conditions and fatigued, Helen struggled to set a decent pace but despite this, increased her lead even more, posting the fastest run and crossed the finish line in first place in 3.02.13, a massive 11 mins 10 secs ahead of second placed Jean. Jacqueline made up the podium, finishing in a time of 3.19.52.

Helen is now aiming to add the British Trophy Series title to her British Championship title. The series rewards consistency across the season and competitors have to score in three races to challenge for the title.
Winter
County Cross Country Champions
Helen was part of the winning women’s team at the Worcestershire County Cross Country Championships on Newbold Comyn in Leamington Spa in January. Helen made a return to her first Worcestershire Championships since 2013 and was the third point scorer for Bromsgrove and Redditch Athletics Club, who retained the title they won last year.
Costa Blanca Christmas
Helen was lucky to be able to escape the cold and wet British weather for a block of warm weather training in the Costa Blanca over the Christmas period. Helen teamed up with Ciclo Costa Blanca and the Terralta Apartotel in Benidorm, which was the base for her triathlon training. Helen divided her training between cycling some climbs of the Vuelta a Espana, off-road and sea front runs in Benidorm, swimming in the local public pools, and due to the warm sea temperatures, she was also able to get in some open water swim practise. Helen has now returned to the UK where she will focus on getting fit for the start of the quadrathlon race season. Helen was insured by SportsCover Direct. You can read a blog about her stay here.
Charity Wattbike Class
Helen will be continuing to raise money for the The Air Ambulance Service in 2017. As part of her fundraising efforts she organised a second Wattbike class in Evesham, which raised £120. The classes have attracted cyclists from across Worcestershire and due to demand Helen will run more in 2017. Helen will also be cycling up Mont Ventoux three times in one day in June for the charity. Thanks to Eddie Fletcher from Fletcher Sports Science for the use of the Wattbike centre.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Copyright Helen Russell 2017