Helen got her quadrathlon season off to a great start, taking the win in the first British Trophy Series race in Brigg, Lincolnshire. The race, which was also a World Cup race, saw athletes take on a 1500m river swim, 7km kayak, 38km bike and 10km run.
Helen had an excellent start, covering the up and downstream swim leg in 21.59, putting her well ahead of second placed athlete and current European Sprint Quadrathlon bronze medalist, Helen Dyke, who swam 24.18. Knowing that Dyke is a faster runner than her, Helen pushed hard on the kayak and bike leg to try and create an unassailable gap and covered them in 44.53 and 1.09.33 respectively.
As the course was an out and back route Helen knew that she had built a sizeable gap between her and second placed Dyke and so heading out into the 10km run she concentrated on holding onto her leading position. In hot conditions and fatigued Helen struggled to set a decent pace, running the 10km in 44.55 but still had a huge gap as she crossed the finish line first in a final time of 3:04:12. Helen Dyke took silver in 3:13:44 and Mary White the bronze in 3:26:55.
Terralta Apartotel Promo Helen was the subject of a film, released in April to promote the Terralta Apartotel in Benidorm. The film was shot during Helenís stay at the hotel whilst cycling in the Costa Blanca this winter and shows the bike friendly amenities of the Terralta as well as the roads and climbs in the region, including the famous Port de Tudons. Click on the link to watch the video and see the climb up the Tudons!
Baggies Bike Challenge Helen joined a team of twenty two cyclists who cycled from the Liberty Stadium in Swansea to the Hawthorns in West Bromwich to raise funds for The Albion Foundation. Helen and the team, which included former West Bromwich Albion players Brendon Batson and Bob Taylor, set off from the Swansea City stadium and rode over 150 miles on a route which took them over the Brecon Beacons and through Abergavenny, Hereford, Worcester, before arriving in West Bromwich for the game against Swansea. Upon arrival the riders were welcomed into the WBA Fanzone at the Hawthorns and received a rapturous applause whilst doing a lap of honour around the pitch at half-time. The challenge has so far raised just over £25,000 with the final total hoped to reach £30,000.
The money will go towards the work of The Albion Foundation, which runs a range of community outreach initiatives including, school visits and extra curriculum education, working with children in care, Alzheimerís memories cafes, disability sports competitions and female sports development programmes.
Helen is the first woman to have participated in the annual Baggies Bike Challenge and as well as raising funds hopes that her participation will have shown young female Baggies fans that they can enjoy and succeed in sport.
Escape to the Sun
Helen was lucky to be able to escape the cold and wet British weather in January for a block of warm weather training in the Costa Blanca. The base for Helenís stay was the bike friendly
Terralta Apartotel in Benidorm, which situated near a number of Vuelta a Espana climbs, is ideal for cyclists. She teamed up with
Ciclo Costa Blanca for the use of a hire bike. The main focus of her training was cycling but she was also able to take advantage of the warm sea temperatures to do open water swim practice as well as some sessions in the local swimming pools. The Ponitente Beach promenade was the ideal setting for some interval and steady runs. 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
Totally Wonderfuel Partnership
Helen is excited to team up with Totally Wonderfuel, who will be providing her with a range of natural energy bites and balls. Totally Wonderfuel was set up by fellow endurance athlete Mel Varvel, who has a passion for baking and natural nutrition. Totally Wonderfuel has a simple food philosophy: honest, healthy, wholesome, nutritious and delicious food to help you eat well and perform better. All products are bursting with nature's own superfoods such as fruits, seeds, nuts and oats, and natural wonderfuel like dietary nitrates in beetroot and caffeine in coffee. Packed with protein, crammed with carbohydrates, full of healthy fats, high in fibre and teeming with essential vitamins and minerals, Totally Wonderfuel products will provide Helen with fuel for the body and soul; energy without compromise.
Charity Wattbike Classes
Over the winter months Helen has organised a number of Wattbike classes in aid of the West Bromwich Albion Foundation. The Foundation uses 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. As well as organising the Wattbike Classes, Helen is cycling with a group of amateur cyclists from Swansea FC to the Hawthorns for the league match against Swansea on 7th April.