The Barracuda Triathlon Club was founded in 1988 by three friends from Hull. Since those early days we have grown into a thriving club with over 80 members. The club has a strong connection to the Brownlee brothers. Their uncle Simon Hearnshaw was an early member of the club and encouraged and developed the young boys’ interest in all things triathlon. They repaid this help by handing out the prizes at club dinners a couple of times.
The club is represented at all triathlon disciplines. We recently had a member, Rob Duddington compete in the continuous Quin Ironman. That’s a 12 mile swim, followed by 560 miles on the bike and a 131 mile run to finish! He was following a crazy club tradition, in the Nineties member Erik Seedhouse was World Decatriathlon champion – double the Quin distance! Most club members aren’t quite as committed as this, but the club has always been well represented in the traditional Ironman distance. We’ve had a few members compete well enough to qualify for Kona and this year Rob Fletcher will be competing on the Big Island after qualification at Ironman Wales.
The club runs a series of sprint distance duathlons throughout the summer and these are perfect training for the shorter distance triathlons many members enjoy. Some with great success, we’ve had members race as age groupers for team GB at the Olympic distance World Championships in recent years. We’ve also had members racing in Europe at the ETU Sprint distance.
For many members though it’s simply a way of keeping fit and training with friends. We have a regular open water swim venue at Billabong Lake where members meet up after a swim throughout the summer to discuss past triumphs and future plans over one of Les’s legendary bacon butties. Open water swimming is something a lot of club members enjoy, our symbol is a Barracuda after all. A couple of years ago the club organised a swim of the full length of Ullswater – seven miles, in the Lake District on a day so windy even one of the Kayakers had to be rescued! Not put off by this experience Mark Padley went on to swim the English Channel the following year, no wetsuit allowed.
That the club continues to thrive 27 years and counting is due to the enthusiasm and friendly nature of the club. All abilities are welcomed and every success is celebrated. There is also a strong social side to the club both through social media and in the real world, with occasions such as curry nights and the club dinner.
The City of Culture Award is a great honour and opportunity for our city. One of our members, Phil Haskins is putting on the Hull Marathon this year and many club mates are helping with support duties with the hope that it will become an annual fixture.
We are grateful for the generosity of Northwest Triathlon Club inviting 3 of our triathletes to compete in the Firmus Energy City of Derry Triathlon. We hope to reciprocate the gesture as Hull takes on the baton as City of Culture.