Amble Triathletes battle heat and a tornado in World Championships

Posted on 20th October 2015 | in Community


Tracy Sample running in 38  degrees C, and expecting a tornado.

Sporting prowess doesn’t come much better than to represent your country in a World Championship. To have three local people competing for TeamGB in the 2015 Triathlon World Championships is a remarkable achievement.

Amble athletes Tracey Sample, husband Ian Simon and Aquathlon European Champion Jo Gascoigne-Owens travelled to the Championships in Chicago for the four day event, which was held on 15-19 September.

Jo competed in the Elite Aquathlon, and Ian and Tracey in the Age Group Aquathlon and Sprint Triathlon on back to back days – a tough schedule.

This was Jo’s first race as an Elite so she was up against the world’s best swim-runners. Could she reach their standard? She was 10th out of the water and running an 18 min 37 sec 5k as the 6th fastest run, putting her in a finish position of 8th.
The age group racing took place in the fierce midday sun at 36 deg C. Ian was 16th out of the water and ran a 17:55 5k, running 4th fastest of the day to finish in 5th position in the male 45-49 age group. Tracey was 20th out of the water and finished 19th in the Female 45-49 age group.


Jo Gascoigne-Owens came 8th, racing against professional athletes

The following day both Ian and Tracey were in action again, swimming and running but with a 20km bike between. The heat was worse at 38 deg C; tornado warnings almost cancelled the race. In fact the final races of the day were rescheduled and distances reduced to ensure the safety of competitors.The tornado did arrive – just two hours after the finish of the race.

Unfortunately a current was in place that made the swim worse than the aquathlon. Ian was 43rd out of the water but 17th fastest on the bike and had the 6th fastest run to pull himself up to 12th place in the male 45-49 category.

Tracey was 47th out the water but despite gaining places on the bike lost most of them again on the run, to finish 46th in her age group.
Jo’s was an exceptional achievement as she was racing against professional athletes.

Tracey wrote on her Facebook page: “Again extreme weather conditions dictated the outcome of my race. I finished mid table but wanted to be top third. Not as good as I wanted but better than I initially thought when I finished. Tried to enjoy the atmosphere and did get some high fives in at the end. It is an amazing experience and I’m privileged to be part of it.”


Ian Simon on US TV as he crossed the line

Jo told The Ambler: “It was a great experience all round. I was 8th in the Elite Aquathlon, so delighted with that in a very strong field.

“Tracey and Ian did really well in the aquathlon and triathlon too. Not bad for three folks from Amble!”

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