Hampstead Triathlon Club eye more glory after being named best in UK and fourth in Europe
PUBLISHED: 11:50 18 January 2016 | UPDATED: 11:50 18 January 2016
Hampstead Triathlon Club head coach Daniel Bingham is targeting another memorable year after the club was named as the best in the United Kingdom in 2015.
Hampstead received an award for finishing fourth out of 85 European clubs in the ultra-competitive Ironman Tri-Club programme.
Bingham was delighted with the work achieved in the past 12 months, and the personal trainer is now hopeful the club can reach new heights in Olympic year.
’To finish in the top five out of 85 teams all over Europe was amazing,” said Bingham, who competed in the triathlon for Great Britain at the World Championships in 2004.
“We got off to a great start in New Zealand when one of our guys shot us top of the league. I didn’t expect to stay up there, but we just kept on picking up points. After it looked like we’d finish in the top six, I thought we could target a top-five finish as that would get us an award. The consistency shown by the group was outstanding.”
Bingham has been doing triathlons since he was 18 and, with a new season around the corner, the fitness fanatic has already set his sights on the next challenge.
The 40-year-old is encouraged by an upturn in membership enquiries at the Kentish Town-based club, with several newcomers taking up the free sessions put on to bring greater awareness of the sport.
“We surpassed all expectations in 2015, but the goal now has to be to maintain those high standards,” he added. “From next week, our full winter schedule begins with seven sessions. That’s a pretty strong start, given most clubs don’t have that many at all.
“With the weather getting worse, we’ll try to do the best we can. So long as it’s not icy! Ice and snow are the worst because you just can’t ride in those conditions, it’s just too dangerous.”
There will be times in the coming weeks where members will brave the elements, but what makes training all the more appealing are the fantastic facilities on Hampstead’s doorstep.
Parliament Hill Lido and the South Newington West Reservoir Centre are used for open water training, while Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park provide unrivalled running space.
Bingham is proud of the accolades but he stressed the club’s appeal since it was founded in 2012 owes much to welcoming those of all abilities.
“What pleases me most is that people enjoy being part of our club, and its all-inclusive nature,” he continued. “There isn’t too much emphasis placed on competition, even if the results have been outstanding.”
With the Olympics in Brazil later this year, the club is hoping another strong performance from the Brownlee brothers – Alistair and Jonny – will encourage people to take up the sport as seen after the 2012 London Games.
Bingham is relishing the sight of Great Britain’s finest triathletes competing on the Copacabana in Rio. “The Games will be inspiring for everybody and having figureheads like the Brownlee brothers battling for medals and bringing them home will encourage more first-time triathletes.
“We’ve got some sponsorship from Giant Bikes in Camden that’s going to help our members going forward. It’s a local business so we’re happy to be working with them.
“I would encourage anyone to come along and try a few of our free sessions and I’d be very happy to show them the ropes.”
Anyone interested in joining Hampstead Triathlon Club can email Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org