Meet Your 2024 Swim, Bike and Run Captains

Our captains are here to support and encourage you over the season, so don’t be shy to ask them any questions you may have via the VTC app or in person at a training session.

SWIM CAPTAIN 🏊‍♀️

Name: Rachel Hall

With gills in her genes and fins on her feet, she’s been swimming since she could rock a rubber ducky.

Her happy place? Anywhere wetter than a sponge in a monsoon! 🏊‍♀️

It’s all about fun and being a tube of toothpaste!

Rachel Hall - Swim Captain
Rachel Hall – Swim Captain

BIKE CAPTAIN 🚴🏻‍♂️

Name: Nick Christian

When Nick’s not dressed as a Christmas tree on a Naughty Elf ride, he enjoys long rides with ET and calling home.

Nick has loved anything on two wheels since he threw his stabilisers away at the age of four.

That includes racing motorbikes back in the 90s before turning back to mountain biking.

Nick turned to road riding in 2014 and joined Viceroys Triathlon Club the same year.

Nick loves riding, quite enjoys swimming . . . . . . . hates running!

As far as he is concerned, it’s all about having fun with likeminded people. And if that helps you with your training plan, even better!

Nick’s mantra:
Nick: “Never show weakness”
Also Nick: “Wait, hang on, where now?”

Nick Christian - Bike Captain
Nick Christian – Bike Captain

RUN CAPTAIN 🏃🏽‍♂️

Name: Chris Williams

Chris first joined Viceroys back in 2014 as having two young kids in the house who wanted to play all the time quickly exposed how woefully unfit he had become. 

Chris comes from a background in swimming as a youth, followed by some running to keep fit but that had tapered off in his late 20s so was essentially starting from scratch. 

Of course this coincided with the post 2012 cycling boom which he discovered he loved, so combining all three was the logical choice. 

“I’ve regularly competed in events covering all three disciplines and in full triathlons up to Olympic distance and usually found a number of Viceroys taking part for encouragement and logistical support. 

“This club and its members have supported me in my goals and now I’m here to help others with theirs.”

Chris Williams - Run Captain
Chris Williams – Run Captain

Race Report – Marit Sõrmus

Event – La Saint Antoninoise
Date – 10th March 2024

First ever MTB event and what a location for it, beautiful French countryside in the Saint-Antonion-Noble-Val. Was I nervous, for sure! Especially after realising the town is in the gorge of Aveyron and seeing the cliffs that surround it and apparently I’m supposed to cycle up 😂

3 distances to choose from 30, 41 and 60km. Thought I could do 60km, changed my mind very quickly and did 41. Well just under as I had a mechanical and couldn’t do the last climb but never the less it was EPIC.

The scenery was breathtaking, sometimes I had enough of looking up so decided to take a closer look at the mud (you will see in the photos) and one time I decided that I needed a little dip so when crossing the water I laid down for a few seconds 🤣

Got to the end thanks to friends waiting for me, swapping bikes at times and laughing with me and at times at me 😄

The most important word I learnt that weekend was ravitos (feed station), and they were amazing, bread/pate and all sorts of other snacks… so good and welcomed with big smiles!

In the end, organisers put together a meal and you enjoy it with your fellow cyclists (and hikers). Perfect day spent in nature!

Merci Beaucoup to @ussa.vtt.saintantonin for organising such a great event!

Meet Our NEW BTF Level 3 Coach

Meet Our NEW BTF Level 3 Coach

Ralph Hydes is a BTF Level 3 high performance coach and has been coaching athletes of all abilities from total novice to Age Group internationals since 2000.  Ralph is also an Ironman University certified coach.  He has been the head coach at Thames Turbo Triathlon Club for the past 7 years and head swim coach at Wimbledon Windmilers. 

Having worked with juniors from 8 years old through to seniors in their 70’s, Ralph carefully considers the needs of everyone to get the most out of their performances whatever their goals and abilities.  He has trained over 25 individuals to represent their age groups at World Championships, two of which became World Champions, another to be European Champion, 3 Kona qualifiers, 2 UTMB qualifiers, multiple Ironman finishers as well as helping hundreds of others fulfil their goals from 5K’s to marathons and triathlons.

He has represented Great Britain himself at 8 World Championships. In 2006 Ralph came 7th in the World Duathlon Championships for his age group.  He has completed 2 Ironman events, 5 Ironman 70.3 events, 12 Etapes, a channel relay and multiple sportives.

Ralph’s philosophy is to help get the best out of his athletes using nutrition, strength and conditioning, as well as unique training techniques to become the best you can be with the time you have available to train.

Ralph Hydes - BTF Level 3 High Performance Coach
Ralph Hydes – BTF Level 3 High Performance Coach

Viceroys 2024 Club Events

Please see below the key dates for the forthcoming season…

KICK OFF CLUB NEW SEASON

Date: Sunday, 25th February
Location: Queen Stage
Time: TBC in VTC app
Ride out and meet for coffee and cake at the Queen Stage (If you’re not riding join us for coffee and cake anyway).

AGM

Date: Monday, 4th March
Location: The Anglers in Walton on Thames
Time: 7PM

SOCIAL RIDE TO BRIGHTON FOR FISH & CHIPS

Date: Saturday, 18th May 
Location: TBC in VTC app
Time: TBC in VTC app
On road or off-road, depending who joins and of course the lovely UK weather.

VTC 24HR SWIM

Date: Saturday – Sunday, 8-9th June
Location: Shepperton Lake
Time: TBC in VTC app
We will be looking for swimmers to swim in 1 hour slots throughout the day and night and enjoy the festival vibe.

RUN AND PICNIC

Date: Sunday, 16th June
Location: Horsell Common, Woking
Time: From 9AM
Link: Martian Race
Take part in the run event, 5k/10k/21k and finish with a picnic.

CLUB SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIPS

Date: Sunday, 30th June
Location: Thorpe Park
Time: 7AM
Link: Thorpe Park Sprint Triathlon

RETRO JERSEY RIDE

Date: Sunday, 18th August
Location: TBC in VTC app
Time: TBC in VTC app
NB: buy your jerseys early from AliExpress

ISLE OF WIGHT SOCIAL RIDE

Date: Saturday, 24th August
Location: TBC in VTC app
Time: TBC in VTC app
Social spin around the island.

CLUB FUN RELAYS

Date: Sunday, 15th September
Location: Woking, Surrey
Time: TBC
Link: Woking Triathlon – Fullsteam events

HALLOWEEN FUN RIDE

Date: Sunday, 27th October
Location: TBC in VTC app
Time: TBC in VTC app
Spooky fun ride with fancy dress and laughter. Red Lion post ride 🍻😄
NB: buy your jerseys early from AliExpress

NAUGHTY LITTLE ELF RIDE

Date: Sunday. 15th December
Location: TBC in VTC app
Time: TBC in VTC app
Drinks at the Red Lion post ride 🍻😄
NB: buy your jerseys early from AliExpress

VTC COLD WATER DIP

Date: End of December, date TBC
Location: TBC in VTC app
Time: TBC in VTC app

Join the fun and take part in the club events across the year, the events will only be as good as the people who take part in it. And don’t forget, if you cannot take part, you can always come along and support fellow Pinks!

Fi and Marit

Silver Medal 2 weeks Running for Yeoman

I forgot how hard Saturday morning races can be. It really through the pattern out of sync. After last Sunday’s race at the nationals (silver medal) knocking out another race six days later can go one of two ways.

One mass wave meant it’s easier to see where you are and what you have to do. I looked to press hard on the swim to use my advantage early. However, I could see that someone else had the same idea – race on. I was only a few seconds behind exiting the swim and in T1 I could see that it was 20 year old pro from Australia’s Sam Mileham. On the bike I caught up and pushed on to get some extra time for the run as I was going to need it. I came into T2 with around 90seconds lead.

Mid way onto the run the sound of feet came and he cruised pass me. Not to give in I looked to give chase but he was just too fast. The gap back to 3rd was huge so I was able to relax into my run.

2nd over all and 2nd fastest swim, bike and run time see me hit 58mins for the race. When you run 18mins and the winner runs 16.20 there’s not much anyone can do.

Couple weeks work before racing one more.

As raced and reported by Mark Yeoman

Marbella 70.3: WHAT NOT TO DO

Of course finishing is the goal, but to feel the way I felt wasn’t nice.
A month ago I’d already decided that I wouldn’t take part. It was too late to get a refund or swap to another race. I’d done absolutely minimum training, to be honest, I believe I’ve only exercised! There was a lot going on in my life and I just couldn’t focus how I wanted. I had a new bike which I only rode 40km on before the race (Mistake number 1).A terrifying sea swim which was scaring me since the day I’ve signed up. So, I wake up and it’s race day.

It was a freezing morning.
2.500 athletes on the beach ready to go. Just standing there with bare feet on that freezing sand was taking my energy away. Nearly 30 minutes until my wave got in the water. 2 min I’m the water and my head started to hurt so much. After 5 min I’ve stopped and nearly put my hands up for them to get me out of there. Waves were so high I couldn’t see!! I was swimming and there was no water under me! I was so petrified and couldn’t imagine myself lasting in there for 45…50 min. Then somehow I carried on and swam in 37min! survival mode: get me out of here quick!!!!
Went to transition and I couldn’t open my bag from shivering. Was already feeling very weak and low energy and talking to myself trying to make a decision. I sat in there for nearly 5 min thinking and analysing how I was feeling and what I could do. Got changed and went to my bike to tell Bijan I was going to stop. I was determined to go home and didn’t care.

When I saw his face everything changed and he shouted: you go and do this for me!
Got on my bike and I froze! I had that headache for hours. Got sick twice so literally everything went. Never felt so cold like this before.

Then the battle began. Very technical course with forever climbs and sharp bends descending. It was windy and my bike is a crazy machine. I didn’t know how to handle from not practicing and I was scared about the way it behave. Well, that’s what a tt bike it’s meant to do. To be honest I don’t know if I would do any better on my road bike, maybe I would go down faster as I know how to handle it, but it’s those things I will never know. At the end it was a good experience, I love the bike I just need to make friends with it. It’s a beast!

I was eating as much as I could to have some energy for the run but nothing was working. My mind just wasn’t agreeing and I was exhausted and unwell. Beautiful bike course, one of the nicest I’ve done. It was a shame I was feeling so bad because the run, it is a lovely flat one. My legs were fine just had no juice. Nothing could make me jog for more than 300m without feeling like: am I dying or something? I was on auto mode just like a zombie trying to get to that finish line. Very close shave but I’ve made it. I just couldn’t let it go.

It’s not that I regret racing, as it’s always awesome and makes you stronger like hell, but I don’t ever want to feel this way again. Yes you can finish with minimum training but why? Lesson learned.  I’m back next year to face it all properly.  #nevershowweakness

As raced and reported by Lilly Morgado

Mark Yeoman – First Races of the Season Complete

After a long, dark, wet and at times snowy winter, the recent sunny weather has kicked off the season. I look to use Easter & April as the final hard block prior to the lakes opening in mid May. With a good winter behind I was looking forward to two back to back races to gauge early form ahead.

Last week I raced at Bicester which saw a huge field and in part due to the weather and Oxford University Sprint Champs. Racing was fast from the go with the fastest swimmers going last. Happy to crush the swim with the fastest split of the day before heading out onto the manic mid day bike course. I struggled to get into a rhythm with only 30’ in it, I had the third fastest bike. The run was a quick affair and as much as I tried to hang on, two younger guys ran through me. 4th overall and only a minute between all four us of us I was happy.

Another monster week post race and today I raced in Uckfield, Sussex. The swim was, how should I put it politely…. a real mess and as a result I had to stand at one point to wait for the swimmer in front to stop drowning – I mean, to get out of the way.  This lost me time, but 2nd fastest will do. Onto the undulating bike course, I pressed hard and looked to open up some time for the hard run course. Coming off the bike, it took me a while to find my pace which was soon crushed by the Hill. On the second lap I pushed on the flat and gladly set the fastest run split and 1st place overall. Times up on last season so a great result.

Two weeks until the first open water, so another monster week before a well deserved taper.

Mike Essex|: 2nd in AG for 1st Duathlon of the Season

The ‘mini beast from the east’ meant that the original date for this duathlon was postponed from March to April. And what a good decision that turned out to be as there was a beautiful sunrise and little wind on race morning – highly unusual for Dorney lake!
Plenty of decent human and bike machines in transition so the competition did look a little hot. Decided to line up at the start line in the famous pink and black colours of Viceroys to mix it with all the whippets. Off the gun went and cracked off a 3:39 first km to get clear of the main pack. Knew I would pay for that later and it began to tell in the final 2 kms where I lost a few places – came into T1 in 9th or 10th place.
Hit the bike course and loved every second. Pancake flat, 4 laps of 5km with only 2 bends to negotiate meant that you could hold race position virtually all the way. Glad I had the TT bike as that would have been a significant advantage. Slight tailwind on back straight meant I was hitting and holding 42kph in the sunshine so doesn’t get much better than that. Also managed fastest bike split of the day in a sub-30 min which I was well happy with.
Into T2 and out into 2nd run of 5km. Started to motor and felt good. After 1km I saw the leader and then 2 other competitors behind him. So I was in 4th and as I hit the turn point, could see 5th was in his 20s and had me in his sights! Come on son, pump the legs and could hear Mr Yeoman yelling “cadence, cadence, cadence” from Walton athletics track. Flicked on the after burners and coaxed the last drop of petrol for the final 1km and held off the 5th placed youth.
So crossed the line 4th overall (worst position!!) and 2nd in AG in 1:09. Would have taken that at the start of the race most definitely.
Would recommend to others as well organised and traffic free roads mean a great race experience!

WELCOME TO NEW TRACK COACH LILLY

COACH PROFILE in her own words…

I’m Lilly Morgado and I will be one of the club track coaches for this season.


I’ve been a member of the Viceroys for the last 3 years – when I started my triathlon life, but I’ve been a personal trainer and nutrition advisor for over 7 years.

My passion for triathlon started when I first met a group of triathletes at the gym I used to work and used to think they were nutters. I didn’t know anything about it and literally started from zero, bought myself a bike and joined the club. Like everyone else, I’ve got hooked. Improving month by month and really enjoying the new challenges, I decided to sign up for a 70.3 and in 3 years I’ve completed 5 races, winning 3rd place on my age group at my last 70.3 Lanzarote.


The club was key to my achievements, from coached sessions, to a bunch of amazing supportive members who changed my life for better. So I’ve decided to take that path more seriously and became a Level 2 qualified British triathlon coach.

My coach Mark Yeoman was a very important part on this journey. I was following his programme and he guided me all the way. So much knowledge and dedication inspired me so much, and that’s why I’m here, to help every athlete achieve their goals. It’s a long process and I can guarantee that the team spirit is key in this type of environment.
I’m very looking forward to help you all, sprint or iron distance, the homework has to be done.

I will guide and coach you all the way to the podium.

Lara’s First (Half) Ironman… Did she mention she doesn’t really like running?!

About a month ago I decided to sign up for a half ironman – as you do, having only done Sprint and Olympic distances! There was a bit of peer pressure involved (no names – Andrea!!) plus I’d trained for the Aquabike World Champs, so it was just the run I had to master.

Run training didn’t quite go according to plan. I was up to 9k following a break of about 2 months after falling off my bike. I’d pulled the operation site in my ankle that was only fixed in February so it needed a rest! Cycle and swim training continued though.

In the morning I met so many club mates – Andrea Whelband, Steve Hobson, Simon Tack, Debbie Davies to name a few. It was great to chat and push the nerves away.

An Ironman event is very different to any I’ve experienced before. I was apprehensive to say the least about the mass start of 2000 people, however on race day you seeded yourself and 5 people went every 6 seconds. I went with Debbie and my memory is of us both going ‘ouch ouch ouch’ with every step over the stones to the water!

The sea was really choppy, I expected to get beyond the waves and for it to be smoother, but there was no pattern to the chop which meant a few mouthfuls of water and a constant fight. Either the current or the wind kept pushing me off course too and it took me a while to realise because the waves meant I couldn’t see the buoys a lot of the time.

I was surprised at how long the swim took, but my plan was just to enjoy the race and see if I liked the distance, so I didn’t worry. It was quite nice not feeling the pressure of a qualifier or championship event which had begun to take the shine off my love of triathlon.

On the bike it was freezing. Apparently the course was flat – I guess it was if you also consider the Surrey Hills flat! Some gritty lanes and many hills later I was in T2 about to face my nemesis – the run. Anyone that knows me knows how much I dislike running! On top of that I had blue toes and numb feet because I was so cold.  Still, I hadn’t pushed the bike so I hopefully had something for the run.

It took about 5k for my feet to come back to life, and as they did so they burned, which made running quite hard. The crowd was absolutely amazing, on a par, if not better, than a world championship event. My name was on my race number and everyone was so supportive. People had amusing placards like ‘high five here for a power up’. I had given myself permission to walk through every aid station, whether I needed to or not. The first 12k was ok, but having run nearly 2 laps, I knew what was coming, there was no new scenery and I started to struggle. This was alleviated by finding Neil in Viceroys kit. I’d never met him before, but we chatted and kept spirits high. I waved him off to the finish chute and started my final lap. My legs hated me for only running 9k in the lead up. The last 4K were very painful and it was only knowing I was nearly there that kept me going.

The finish chute was pretty special, plus it meant it was over! It was probably only the next day that I decided I had enjoyed it. It was a challenge and test of mental strength that’s for sure.

I’d do another 🙂

Lara Clay