We had 42 athletes signed up and ready to lift which makes it the biggest of its kind in England since the the introduction of the Pentathlon back in 2013.
The Pentathlon consists of 5 lifts of 6 minutes duration with a 5 minute rest between each lift.
It’s a very tactical event where incorrect weight choices can have a big impact on your overall score. Push too hard early on and you risk burning out in the later rounds. 5 different bells are allowed to be used and once these are chosen, you can use them as you see fit for each lift.
We had bells from 8 kg up to 44 kg such is the diversity of the athletes. We also had several kids competing and for these we had the pleasure of using the mini competition style bells which have recently been introduced onto the market.
We set up on the Friday evening beforehand. It’s always a lot of work to prepare for such an event as this so some prep the night before is such a bonus. Thankfully my team from Rushden Kettlebells were on hand to help me out.
At 8:30 am on the Saturday, Chris and Becky were at the venue preparing for the day ahead.
6 platforms were in place, PA and music all set up, Timers from Vulture Wood good to go and computers for scoring all sorted. Now I just had to do my preamble about the lifts and what the judges are looking for. It always serves as a little reminder to state some of the technicalities of the sport. We had several new lifters competing for the first time and whilst we always try to encourage good form, we are also aware that new lifters need to have a positive experience and will do our best to make sure that happens.
First flight got underway bang on time at 9:30 am. This was the first of 7 flights of 6 people on each. This represents a full day of lifting. We had the majority of people do a spot of judging.
One of my roles was to act as head judge to try and make sure standards were being maintained. I was also taking pictures as I do at most events I attend.
Becky was on the computer inputting the scores. Once these competitions get underway and with everyone doing their bit, they seem to run like clockwork. It really is a collaborative effort.
The vibe and the atmosphere was fantastic as always. It’s a cliche I know but I’m going to say it anyway. We really are like one big happy family when it comes to events such as these. There is an element of competition of course but we all encourage each other and there are no real losers on the day. Most are happy if they just hit a personal record and medals aren’t really a concern.
The venue at the Ferrers school has a feel of familiarity to it now as this is the fourth time we have had an event here. It’s a great venue. Nice and spacious, good lighting and acoustics.
Easy parking too. All these things add up to create a relaxed environment conducive to great performances. Which brings me the next topic.
Tim Joseph set a new UK record with 2150 points! Tim was already the holder of this title from 2017. Tim’s bell choices ranged from 28 to 44 kg. That’s some weight to shift around. Outstanding and impeccable form too.
Tracey Howson also smashed it with a score of 1321.25, which was the highest ladies score of the day.
On the subject of family, we literally had families taking part. It’s becoming quite a regular thing now to see entire families lifting together. We had sponsorship from Kettleguard and from Angela Cox with Mindset Mentor.
Many thanks for all your support.
Food was very kindly supplied by Neil McPartland and his company, The Bakehouse.
We also had Scott McKenna selling his brand of supplements, G and P
We would also like to thank every competitor for taking part and for all the supporters that encouraged them along the way.
I, personally would like to thank the awesome work that the EKA put in to helping run these events.
Big thanks also go to my Rushden team who were there in considerable numbers.
The first IKMF Pentathlon World Championships happens in France in May 2020. This will no doubt fuel further interest at national level and we can see nothing but a very positive future for Pentathlon competitions.
The next Pentathlon is in Scotland on the 2nd February 2020.
Write up and photography by Del Wilson. Thanks Del!