In 2015, fully aware of her running ineptitude, Jacqueline Davies decided the only way to lesson the racing odds was to incorporate an additional discipline into her racing. Enter stage right the wonderful and incredibly friendly sport of Quadrathlon with kayaking as the fourth discipline to Triathlon. Having been involved in kayak racing as a teenager and in her early twenties, she was still the proud owner of a rather retro 30-year old Jaguar K1 kayak and decided to put it to good use.
Following a surprise 2nd place to the reigning British Champion in her first Quad in Shrewsbury in Sep, she was hooked and decided to enter the BQA Series in 2016.
Jackie’s second Quad took place in July at the stunning Box End Water Ski Park in Bedfordshire and the race comprised a 750 m swim, 4.8 k kayak, 15 k off-road bike followed by a single 5 k lap run. Superbly organised and with perfect weather conditions, despite being dunked a couple of times after the mass start, she was soon following the top GB men and was the first lady to exit the water.
Jackie is still getting used to being back in her K1 (it has a wobble factor of 2 out of 10 – 10 being the most stable like a barge and 1 being like a blade), so she was pretty careful setting off. Capsizing at the beginning of a race means it is essentially game over! She managed to hold off the inevitable “catch” by the GB champion who is a phenomenal paddler until her third lap, finishing only a minute behind coming into the second transition. Unfortunately, due to a mechanical on the MTB, she was overtaken by a second GB lady, who was riding a cyclo cross bike and making significantly better progress! Unable to catch the two front runners, Jackie was very happy to finish a credible 3rd in her second Quad and 1st in her age category.
In early September Jackie was back again at the wonderful Shrewsbury Sprint Quad which is run in conjunction with their Sprint Triathlon. Heavy rains the day before had threatened the swim and the kayak, but the quad gods were kind and the full event went ahead as planned. Jackie was second out of the swim and first away in the kayak. She was passed on the kayak and bike sections by 3 other ladies and her usual lack of running prowess(!) had her finishing fourth overall giving Jackie a great position in the overall BQA series.
The final race of the series at the end of September and held in the beautiful Cornish Town of Bude, was also the National Championships. The Awesome Foursome Quad which has been running for 12 years is definitely not for the faint hearted – with a 1 k sea swim, a 30 k bike incorporating the staggeringly steep 1 in 3 climb at Millook, a 10 k paddle on the Bude canal and a 10k run which follows the coastal path. The weather conditions were particularly challenging with 40 kph winds gusting to 60 kph – it certainly made for a “bouncy” sea swim, an exfoliating bike course and a rather hairy paddle. Jackie had a great swim giving her a head start against the other ladies. Despite having planned to walk the hill at Millook, somehow or other Jackie found the strength to ride it, albeit at a snail’s pace, and aided by the strong tailwind had a very speedy ride back into Bude. She was over 4 mins ahead at this point, but then disaster struck with a capsize at the first turn buoy resulting in lacerated feet when scrambling out. Jackie was still ahead by the end of the tough kayak leg by about 45 seconds, but was eventually caught on the run by the previous year’s champion. However, she was thrilled to be crowned runner up to a very worthy winner in the British Champs, taking the age group prize and was also the BQA annual series age group winner in the process – not bad for her first full season of quad racing.
If you are interested in hearing more about quadrathlon, please get in touch with Jacqueline or visit: