Helen Russell

World Champion Duathlete and Triathlete

 

 
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Helen Russell - News 2010

2010
December
Bromsgrove Chiropractic Clinic joins Helen’s supporters
Bromsgrove Chiropractic Clinic has joined Helen’s growing list of sponsors and are helping her to achieve her potential as an athlete. Helen will receive regular chiropractic treatment at the clinic. Triathlons place an unusual amount of strain on the back and structural system and therefore Helen has treatment to help to avoid injury and enhance the recuperative process after the stress of training and competitions.

Chiropractic is a primary health-care profession that specialises in the diagnosis, treatment and overall management of conditions that are due to problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves of the body, particularly those of the spine. Treatment consists of a wide range of manipulative techniques designed to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle spasm. Chiropractic treatment isn't just for sports people though- everyday life puts the body under stress and therefore treatment will benefit everyone.

Bromsgrove Chiropractic clinic is a member of the British Chiropractic Association, the largest and longest established association for chiropractors in the UK.

Free Complimentary assessment appointments, refer to website or phone for details.

Website: www.bromsgrovechiropractic.co.uk
Telephone: 01527 831467
Helen teams up with Fletcher Sports Science
Helen has joined the Fletcher Sports Science stable and will be working with Eddie Fletcher, sport and exercise physiologist and coach, for the foreseeable future. Eddie will be working alongside her current coach Adrian Mayhew.

Helen will be training at the newly opened Fletcher Sport Science Laboratory, in Evesham, which offers physiological assessments for sportspeople as well as a training facility equipped with the latest technology and software applications.

Helen will be training on the Wattbikes in the centre to improve her power on the bike and to improve her pedalling technique. The Wattbike was created with British Cycling to provide an affordable indoor bike for training and testing. It accurately measures power output, pedalling technique and heart rate.

Website: http://www.fletchersportscience.co.uk/index.php
Tel: 01386 400 50
Email: info@fletchersportscience.co.uk
November
Out of the Saddle charity ride
Helen and fellow Evesham Wheelers member, Tracy Dresch joined with a host of professional cyclists to raise money for the Danny Porter Foundation.

Helen took part in a 45 mile ride around the South Yorkshire countryside, starting out from Rotherham. The event was organised by Team Sky's Russell Downing and Rapha Condor Sharp's Dean Downing. About 50 riders joined with the Downings and other professionals including Adam Blyth (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Lizzie Artmistead (Team Garmin Cervelo) and Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor Sharp).

The ride was followed by a packed and lively evening with the auction, raffle, buffet and plenty of banter as host David Harmon called up the pros to centre stage – the ranks having swelled by this time by Malcolm Elliott, Kristian House, Tom Murray and Rapha team manager John Heraty.

At the end of the day over £4,000 was raised for the Danny Porter Foundation. The foundation provides donations and grants to other charities providing research, support, care and equipment to people suffering from cancer and/or requiring neurological surgery.

(Pictured: Left to right - Russell Downing, Adam Blythe, Dean Downing, Helen Russell, Tracey Dresch.)

Website: http://www.dannyporterfoundation.org/
Speaking out against homophobia in sport.
Helen was a guest speaker at a recent sports event at Twickenham Stadium, the home of British Rugby. Helen joined a host of British sports men and women at the pre-launch of LGBT History Month.

The BBC newsreader Jane Hill and Radio Five Live reporter, Bob Ballard compared the event, which included a panel discussion with John Amaechi, psychologist and former NBA basketball star, Clare Harvey, Great Britain sitting volleyball player, and Welsh rugby international, Gareth Thomas.

Over 200 people attended the event, which was hosted by the Rugby Football Union and organised by LGBT History Month. In the run up to London 2012 sports governing bodies are working to ensure that the Olympic Games are fully inclusive and open to all. Presentations were given by representatives of the Football Association, Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League.

Helen spoke about the positive role that education can play in ending prejudice related bullying in schools and tackling homophobia in school sports.
September
Bitter sweet bronze for Helen
Helen has returned from the World Aquathlon Championships in Budapest with a bronze medal in the 35-39 age category. This means that in less than a year Helen has won two World bronze medals, a European silver, and a British Championship title in multi-sports events.

However, Helen's bronze success in Hungary was tinged with some frustration. The World Aquathlon is always a 1000m swim and 5k run; this already favours the stronger swimmers, as for example, in England, the swim is 750m. Though Helen is a stronger runner than swimmer she still thought she had a chance of a medal. However, on the eve of the race at the competitors briefing, the representative of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) announced the run was to be reduced from 5k to 2.5k though the swim distance was to remain at 1000m.

Helen said "I believed at that moment any chance of medal had gone; I just had a sick and tightening feeling in my stomach. This gave a huge advantage to the stronger swimmers."

Though many athletes protested at the briefing meeting, the ITU representative said the decision was final and even refused to give any reason for the change in run distance. It is believed that team managers of all countries lodged formal complaints before the event but the ITU refused to back down.

In the actual race Helen tried to channel her anger into doing the best she could in the face of adversity. She had a good swim exiting the water in the top ten. She had a blistering run overtaking a number of athletes. Her run time was nearly a minute ahead of first and second placed athletes but as Helen said, "I just ran out of road, though I managed to get up to 3rd place and win a medal for Great Britain, of which I am obviously pleased and proud ".

Frustratingly for Helen she finished just 2 seconds behind the second placed German competitor. Though Helen was 26 seconds behind the winner, if the ITU had kept the run at 5k, and Helen had no mishaps, it appears likely Helen would have won gold by approximately 30seconds.

Helen said "I will try to put the disappointment behind me and do my best to win that elusive World or European gold medal in the future."

This was the last race of the season for Helen who will now take a well deserved break before starting her block of winter training with her coach Adrian Mayhew.
August
Helen crowned West Midlands Triathlon Champion
Helen continues her successful season with a win at the West Midlands Regional Triathlon Championships.

Helen took on the regions best triathletes at the championship race at Barton Marina in Staffordshire. The race was a standard distance race where athletes had to swim 1500m in the marina lake, cycle 40k and run 10k around the lakes.

Helen dominated the race from beginning to end. She led from the starting gun, creating a gap between her and the rest of the field on the swim. She had a quick transition and set out on the hilly bike route, which took in the villages of Yoxall and Draycot. Helen found the bike leg challenging but extended her lead and headed out for the 10k run with a lead of 6 minutes. This lead meant that she could relax on the run and comfortably brought home the win in 2.22.51, which was 8 minutes ahead of the second placed woman.

Helen is really proud to be the West Midlands Regional Champion as this is where she was born and bred.

Second at Rugby Triathlon
Helen came second at the popular Rugby Triathlon, her last triathlon of the season.

The race was a sprint distance triathlon covering a 400 meters indoor swim, an undulating 20km bike ride and a 5km cross country run.

The triathlon, which started at Bilton Grange School on the outskirts of Rugby was a sell out event with almost 400 competitors taking part.

Helen has competed in this race for the last three years improving on her time each year. Helen had a disappointing swim but despite the windy and wet conditions improved on last year’s bike time, to cover the 20km in 33.31. She then posted a run time of 21.57 to finish the race in an overall time of 1.03.56 just 2 seconds in front of the third placed woman!
July
Helen crowned British Aquathlon Champion
Helen is continuing to have success on the triathlon circuit after winning the British Aquathlon Championships in the 35-39 age category.

Helen lined up against the country’s best at Salford Quays in Greater Manchester on 17th July, to swim two laps of the quays and then tackle a 5km run around the docks.

The 750 metre swim was very confrontational with Helen having to battle against the other athletes for a decent position. The tight course meant that the athletes had to jostle for position around the frequent turning points. Helen received a blow to the head but recovered quickly and exited the water first in her age group. Despite a poor transition, which saw her having to return to her transition area due to a kit violation, she exited transition still in first place.

Aware that she was leading her age group, Helen relaxed into the four lap run, which went around the docks and passed the Lowry. Helen easily brought home the victory ahead of a fellow Great Britain athlete by over two minutes.

This was a good result for Helen, as this was the first time that she has taken part in the British Championships.
European success for Helen
Helen is celebrating after finishing in 7th place at the European Triathlon Championships in Ireland. Helen represented Great Britain in the 35-39 age group category at the championships in Athlone on 4th July.

Helen took part in the Olympic distance triathlon which covered a 1500 metre swim in the river Shannon, a 40km bike ride and a 10km run around Athlone town centre.

The athletes had to battle the heavy winds which saw the run leg re-routed due to slates falling from the roof of Athlone castle and the prohibition of the use of disk wheels on the bikes.

Helen had a good swim exiting the river in personal best time of 23.59, which put her in 8th place. She pushed hard against the wind on the bike and completed the leg in 1.06.46 to move up one place into 7th. She was unfortunately unable to catch her competitors during the run but managed to finish the undulating and twisting 10k in 43.43 and hold onto her 7th position. Helen’s aim going into the race was to improve on her 10th place last year and she did this convincingly.

Helen has already been selected for the 2011 European Championships in Pontevedra, northern Spain, where she hopes again to improve on this result.
Off road victory
Helen was 1st female and 4th overall in her first ever off-road triathlon. The ‘Tri in the Park’, organised by Cheltenham Triathlon Club, took place in Pittville Park, Cheltenham on 24th July and attracted over 170 athletes.

The race was a super sprint distance covering 400m swim, 10k off-road bike and 2.5k off-road run. Helen swam a personal best of 6.25 for the 400m and then jumped on her borrowed mountain bike for the cycle through the park.

She had a good ride, especially as she had only attempted riding on grass for the first time that week! She finished the 10k in 20.38 and then pushed hard in the final short run, covering the 2.5k in 8.07.

She posted the fastest female swim and bike time of the day, and her overall time was 35.10, over 30 seconds ahead of the second placed female.
June
Helen to take on Europe's best
Helen is celebrating after being selected to represent Great Britain at the 2011 European Championships in Spain.

Helen secured her place after racing at the Little Beaver triathlon at Belvoir Castle, just outside Grantham. The race was an Olympic distance triathlon consisting of a 1500m open water swim in the castle lake, a rolling two lap 40k bike course and a punishing run which made competitors run up the ascent to the castle three times.

This was Helen’s first triathlon race of the year and the bad weather and tough course made for a tough start to the season. Helen struggled to find her race form and made a number of basic errors which threatened her selection to the Great Britain Team.

She had a smooth swim and quickly found her KUOTA Kharma bike in the transition area. Once on the bike however she struggled to find any real race aggression and a mix up with her hydration strategy meant that she wasn’t able to push hard enough on the run.

Despite this not being a good race for Helen her time was good enough to take the fourth automatic qualifying slot for the 2011 European Triathlon Championships in Pontevedra, Spain where she will represent Great Britain in the 35-39 age category. However she faces a nervous wait until the end of June to hear whether her performance will be good enough to book her place at this year’s World Triathlon Championships in Budapest in September.

Helen’s main focus for the next few weeks will be training for this year’s European Championships in Athlone, Ireland on 4th July.

Victory in Ross on Wye
Helen had her first triathlon victory of the season in the Ross of Wye Sprint Triathlon on 13th June. The triathlon saw athletes swim 750m, cycle 20km and run 5km around the picturesque surroundings of Drummonds Dub Lake, just outside Ross.

The course was very challenging with an undulating bike and run course. Helen had a decent swim being second woman out of the lake. She quickly mounted her bike and overtook the first placed woman on the first ascent. She then kept her lead and pulled away even more on the two laps off road run.

Helen posted the fastest female bike and run split of the day to take the overall victory in 1.10.15, with the 2nd placed woman over one minute behind. Helen also beat the majority of the male competitors finishing 8th overall.

Second at Worcester Triathlon
Helen rounded off a successful month with a second place position at the Top Barn Sprint Triathlon on 27th June. The competition took place in the scorching heat at the Top Barn Activity Centre, just outside Worcester and saw athletes swim 750m, cycle 27km and run 10km.

The course tested the athletes with the cycle taking competitors around the rolling hills of Worcestershire, whilst the run was off road through fields surrounding the activity centre. Helen had an excellent swim exiting the lake in 2nd place in time of 11.54.

Unfortunately a clumsy bike mount meant that she set off on the bike leg lying in 3rd place. She quickly put the terrible bike start behind her and soon caught the 3rd placed woman to move into 2nd place with an overall bike time of 53.13.

Despite the scorching heat Helen held onto her position in the run to finish in 23.08. Her final time was 1.29.40 which meant she was the 2nd placed woman.
May
Helen brings home silver from Europe
Helen is celebrating after returning home from the European Duathlon Championships with a silver medal.

Helen travelled to Nancy in France to compete in the event as part of the Great Britain Team. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Place Stanislas in Nancy was transformed into the championship venue, which saw nineteen nations come together from the furthest reaches of Europe, to test their teams at the standard distance duathlon, made up of a 10k run, 40k bike and finally a 5k run.

Helen had an excellent start to the race finishing the first 10k in 38.21, which meant she was lying in 3rd position. She had a fast transition onto the bike and moved up to 2nd place on the start of the bike course. The bike course was flat but very technical with lots of sudden turns around Nancy town centre. Helen rode skilfully in the extremely wet conditions and hung on to 2nd place to finish the 40k bike leg in 1.08.57. This was the fastest bike split in Helen's race. Aware that she was lying in 2nd place Helen was determined to hold onto her position and covered the final 5k run in 19.53. This meant that her overall finish time was 2hrs8mins.

Helen, who was selected this year to race for Team Tri-UK, adds this sliver medal to her bronze that she won in last year’s World Duathlon Championships in the USA. This result is a great start to the season, and bodes well for Helen’s next international race, which is the European Triathlon Championships in Ireland in July.
March
Helen selected for top triathlon team
Helen has been selected as a member of the TRI UK/GATORADE triathlon team in 2010, and will be representing sponsors TRI UK, Foor, 2XU, KUOTA, Newton, Met, TYR, Gatorade, Fizik, Easton, SRAM and www.tri247.com in a series of national and international races throughout the 2010 season. The TRI UK team is the largest trade based triathlon team in the country and contains some of the country’s top age group champions. With over 16 years of experience, the TRI UK Race Team has been the home of Olympians, World and National Champions. TRI UK, established 16 years ago, is the largest triathlon retailer in the world and offers a full store and mail order service. They have been responsible for introducing many brands to the UK market. Find out more about the team visit www.triuk.com.
Helen gets first win of the season
Helen secured her first victory of the season at the inaugural TriLive Duathlon at the National Exhibition Centre. The duathlon saw athletes run 7.5k and cycle 20k around the grounds of the NEC. Due to the technical and narrow bike course the format of the race was a time trial where the athletes started at 20 second intervals.

Helen had a decent opening run completing the 2.5 k in 11.06. She then had a fast transition onto the bike leg which consisted of 6 laps on the tight and technical course. Helen finished the bike leg in a time of 32 minutes, which meant that she was lying in second place.

Helen could see that she was close to the time of her biggest threat, fellow Great Britain athlete, Jacqui Phillips from Kidderminster and Stourport Athletics Club, who was tiring on the final run leg. Helen pushed hard during the final run and with about 200 meters to go her supporters in the crowd shouted that she was behind the time of the race leader by only 3 seconds. Russell responded with a sprint finish to take the victory by only 2 seconds. Her final time was 1.05.13.
Helen scoops third sports award
Helen won her third Sports Personality Award at the recent Hereford and Worcester County Sports Partnership awards evening held in March at the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. Helen was up against some tough competition in the Female Sports Personality category, including Sarah Lloyd-Stephens from Hereford Wheelers Cycling Club and Kate Walker, member of the Great Britain Judo Squad. There were a range of stars that helped present the evening’s awards including players from the Warriors Rugby Team, Olympic Swimmer Todd Cooper, Olympic hockey player, Rachel Walkers and Sinclair Thomas, Paralympic Bronze medallist. Helen won the award for her successful 2009 triathlon and duathlon season. In her acceptance speech, Helen paid tribute to her coach Adrian Mayhew and her Dad, John.
Helen to race in European Duathlon Championships
Helen has qualified to represent Great Britain at the 2009 European Duathlon Championships in Nancy, France.

Helen earned automatic selection after competing at this year’s Clumber Park Duathlon. The race saw over 100 athletes run 15k and cycle 40km around the National Trust owned park near Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

Helen had a solid first 10km run but found it hard to find her rhythm on the 40km cycle route around the edges of the park. The freezing conditions meant that Helen found it difficult to change shoes and remove her cycling helmet in the transition area as she was unable to feel her fingers and toes due to the cold. She struggled in the final 5km run but still managed to improve on her overall time from last year’s race, finishing in 2.19.50.

This was the first race of the season and although she found it tough, Helen qualified comfortably, taking the second automatic qualification slot. Although Helen was hoping for a better time her main aim going into the race was to qualify for the European Championships.

Helen will now travel to France in May to represent Great Britain in 35-39 age category at the European Duathlon Championships in Nancy.
February
Helen wins second sports award
Helen has won her second award of the year, being named Bromsgrove District Council, Female Sports Personality of the Year. Helen won the award in recognition of her successful year representing Great Britain in international competitions. Helen was up against local basketball player, Emma Forest. As winner of the Bromsgrove District Award, Helen has been nominated for a Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire Award. Winners of this award will be announced at a presentation evening at Worcester Rugby Club on 18th March.
January
Helen is named Bromsgrove and Droitwich Sports Personality
Helen has been named the Bromsgrove and Droitwich Advertiser Newspaper Sports Personality of the Year. Helen fought off tough competition from four other local athletes and polled 1,352 votes ahead of second placed Great Britain cyclist, Jessica Varnish, who got 1,167 votes. Bromsgrove Rugby Club head coach Ross Baxter was third with 183 votes followed by Bromsgrove Rovers President Charlie Poole and netball coach Sheila Perks MBE in fifth. Helen was presented with her award by Bromsgrove Advertiser Sports Editor Paul Jenkins. Helen is really grateful to all the residents of Bromsgrove and beyond that voted for her and feels that this award is the ultimate recognition of her successful development as a triathlete.
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