Author: Del Wilson
The relenting rain and cool conditions seemed to subside just as 70 competitors amassed at Rossett school in Harrogate for the English Championships 2019.
Hot conditions are never ideal for lifting and today was indeed a hot one!
Rossett school usually plays host to the British Championships at the end of the year but a change in the calendar to accommodate the British in London meant bringing the annual trip to Harrogate forward.
I arrived at 8:15 and was met as always by the usual expert set up by BigKat stalwarts, Becky, Tracey, Chris and the rest of the BigKat Team. Also of course the usual support from the GSU and Wolverson Fitness.
7 platforms were set out but only 6 being used predominantly as the additional seventh was for the relay only.
Regular DJ Trev was all set up to the left and Becky seemed to have set herself up immediate adjacent to one of the speakers!
As usual, the timings were spot on and we cracked on with the first marathon flight at 8:30.
This was a great day for marathon. 24 contestants overall set across 4 flights. At previous competitions, these have been as part of regular GS sets so occasionally athletes will just be lifting in pairs. This was much better with full flights of marathoners all going at once.
Many of the marathon lifters were using this as a qualifying event for international competitions and to gain Team England entry.
This additional event gave them the opportunity to qualify for a second lift in Poland to go along with their lift from the actual qualifying rounds.
In the GS sets, as usual biathlon was up first with women’s Jerk being the first lift closely followed by the men.
A half marathon set was then wisely positioned between the end of the Jerk sets and the start of the snatch to allow for some much appreciated extra rest.
Snatch up next then. I’m not really looking to highlight any particular performances here but it’s hard to ignore a new World Record when it happens.
This was set by Abi Johnston in 24 kg snatch with an incredible 218 reps. This was a 3 rep Personal best for Abi and was a dynamite and gutsy performance.
Well done Abi!
Once biathlon was complete, we had another marathon flight.
This was another full marathon with the exception of Coral Cox who as a 9 year old was on a 15 minute set. By this time the heat was starting to become quite an issue and the contestants certainly knew all about that!
We then moved onto long cycle.
Women up first and another mention for one of the lifters.
When I first saw that Becky Fraser was on the 32 I thought it was a typo! Turns out that wasn’t the case. Becky’s goal was 5 minutes. I’m not sure if she had a rep target but she managed an inspiring 20 reps and was clearly elated at the conclusion of her set.
It was a great moment and one of the stand out moments of the day.
Final half marathon flight was the last event before the relays.
If heat wasn’t an issue before, it certainly was now as we had the additional issue of sun being directly on the competitors.
This year there was a change in how the relay teams were selected. This was done randomly via a live Facebook draw.
This would certainly make things interesting and hopefully more competitive.
The relay consists of 3 members in each team. Guys use 20 kg bells and the ladies 12 kg.
3 minutes each of double Jerk and double LC and 4 minutes of single switch snatch.
The women got underway first.
This was a hard fought contest and was ultimately won by
Liga Latkovska, Julie Walker and Becky Fraser
Women’s relay link
Final round of the day.
Chris Guyll went off like a train and continued to do so until the end of his turn. It was a very impressive 3 minutes. 80 reps in all.
Young Corey Parcell also needs a mention as he moved from his first choice of snatch to double LC.
That’s a big weight for a 14 year old but he equipped himself well with 23 reps.
The men’s relay was won by, Ste Gordon, Jonathan Skinner and Peter Reilly-Day
Men’s relay link
Prior to the medal ceremony, everyone helped out to get the bells back to the vans.
This was like an exercise ‘finisher’ just to make sure we were all thoroughly knackered as we had quite a trek to the van.
My farmers walk with 2 x 32 kg bells was a big fail unfortunately!
Meanwhile Tim Joseph made it look easy.
Last mention must go to two individuals who have become common place at the Harrogate events
DJTrev (Trevor A Broardbank) was epic as always. His Star Wars infused set up always brings a smile as does his enthusiasm, terrific playlists and personality.
Great job Trev.
Carl Syres from Sponsor ‘Red Lime’ is also a regular.
His videography skills are terrific and on this occasion, he made a video with interviews with 3 different lifters of which I was privileged to be one.
On behalf of EKA and GSU, we thank you both.
This was the first opportunity to achieve EKA ranks using the new ranking tables. Several athletes took up the challenge and achieved the following:
24kg Biathlon – Rank 3
24kg Jerk – Rank 2
24kg Snatch – Rank 3
8kg Double Biathlon – Rank 1
8kg Double Jerk – Rank 1
8kg Snatch – Rank 1
8kg TALC – Rank 1
12kg Double Biathlon – Rank 1
20kg Biathlon – Rank 2
20kg Long Cycle – Rank 2
24kg Biathlon – AMS
16kg Biathlon – Rank 2
16kg Jerk – Rank 2
16kg Snatch – Rank 1
16kg Snatch – Rank 2
16kg OALC – Rank 3
24kg Biathlon – Rank 2
16kg Long Cycle – Rank 1
24kg Biathlon – Rank 3
New Additions to the England Squad
This event was the final chance to qualify for the England team in 2019, several athletes attempted to hit the numbers required for the team, several existing England athletes added qualifying lifts for competitions later in the year and we extend a very warm welcome to Jonathan Skinner who makes his England debut in 2019 qualifying in 24kg Biathlon and 28kg One-Arm Jerk.
Without the sponsors, events such as these would be very difficult to run.
Onboard were Marshall’s catering equipment, Proscreed, thebigword and as already mentioned, Red Lime and Wolverson Fitness who are always on hand to supply the kettlebells.
We also had massages being performed throughout the day from Geri Payne and her friend and all proceeds from these went to a Cystic Fibrosis trust, a very worthy cause.
Next up, Scottish Championships on the 17th August in Glasgow.