Everyone here at Sussex Plumbing Supplies is extremely proud to have supported Abi & Jamie in their quest to become pro triathletes and we are excited to see them succeed in the next stages.
In our latest competition we travelled to Nottingham to compete in the Outlaw half triathlon, a triathlon which involved swimming 1.2miles, cycling 56miles and then running 13.1miles otherwise known as a half marathon. The distance itself wasn’t the challenge, we were in pursuit of our professional racing licence …
The Pro Licence
For those that aren’t familiar with British Triathlon’s selection policy subsection 4.3.4 professional licences are awarded to athletes from their country’s governing body, and you must meet a very strict criteria, essentially a “win and you’re in” rule for selected races of which there are only 2-3 per year and only one licence handed out to the male and female winner. All that is to say for us both to earn our “pro licence” at the same event, at the same time and day is very unlikely, one could even say practically impossible due to the limitless possibilities of failure that not only come with preparing for competition but the actual gruelling depths of competing at such an intensity for 4+ hours.
Once you have earned your professional racing licence you are eligible to enter the professional field at middle or long distance events anywhere in the world. It allows professional athletes to qualify for the Ironman world championships and allows them to earn prize money, something you can’t do as amateurs. Professional triathletes also have a PTO (professional triathlon organisation ) world ranking, similar to ranking systems in tennis and golf. At the end of each year bonuses are given out to athletes ranked 1-100 ranging from big cash bonuses to expenses paid for at events, travel paid for, maternity cover and other benefits.
3:15am. It’s race day. Potentially the biggest race of our lives yet. Safe to say we didn’t get much sleep …
Staggered start, Jamie’s off into the water first with Abi close behind. 1.2 miles later Jamie 3rd male out of the water, Abi lead female. A long stretch through transition, helmets on and onto the 56mile rolling bike course around the lanes of Nottingham. Avoiding potholes and ensuring we regularly took on the nutrition we needed to keep pushing. Abi continued to lead the women’s race whilst Jamie was working within a pack of 3 athletes to close the gap on the first and second place athletes. Swift 2nd transition and onto the half marathon run.
So just a half marathon left to tackle, Abi being led out by the lead bike and Jamie 5 minutes down on the two leaders. 1 of 3 laps down and Abi is maintaining her lead, Jamie is now in 2nd place having halved the gap to the athlete in front. Lap 2 of 3, Abi’s lead is diminishing, and Jamie has dropped to third but only 25 seconds down on the leader. And finally, in a time of 3hours and 58minutes Jamie has finished second having overtaken the race leader but passed by an already professional athlete, meaning that he is the amateur champion and winner of the men’s pro licence. Nervous moments await, Abi is on her final lap being closed down by second and third place, however in a time of 4hours and 30minutes wins the Outlaw Nottingham half and also her professional licence. What. A. Day … and it’s only 10:30am.
We would like to thank Sussex Plumbing Supplies for their continued support. Without your support it simply wouldn’t be possible to travel to the races required to be at the very top. We look forward to keeping you up to date with our progress as the season continues, now in professional competition.
Abi and Jamie Bedwell