Deva Divas 2022 … A Perfect Blue Bird Day!
What an amazing day, I have only just found the words after reading so many wonderful emails and messages from my Deva Diva Quadrathletes after our Race on 10th July … its the only Ladies ONLY QUADRATHLON in the WORLD, and part of a Festival of Womens Racing organized by Chester Triathlon Club, including a Triathlon and an Aqua Bike! This year more than ever there have been so many inspiring journeys that ladies have taken to get to that start line. A huge well done to everyone of you who helped make this race happen …… I was so happy watching you all, there is so much love in our Quadrathlon Family!
I’m very proud to be part of Chester Tri, and Chester Canoe Club and the Special Team who gave up so much time to make this event ‘just one of the best!’ As always it’s a long list of volunteers, and a Key Team who give so much to make the Deva Divas so special, but the back bone who holds us all together Overall Race Director ‘Sally Napthen’ … Yes ….. you’ve done it again, it’s been another memorable Race Day, 15 years on 5 years of Quadrathlon and were still counting ….
The biggest Hugs go to you Deva Quad Girls for giving it your all, you pushed hard, smiled all the way and inspired many onlookers with your enthusiasm to take on 4 disciplines!
You were amazing and that’s what makes The Deva Divas so special. It has been another memorable Race Day, one like no other, its been a great pleasure to be part of your journey … and I’ll say it again, I’m so proud of you all Bask in Your Glory … You did it, Keep sprinkling the Fairy Dust …..Jean ‘FairyQuadmother (Quadrathlon Race Director)
There was some great competitive racing in the top half of the field, but without a doubt there were smiles all the way! Congratulations to our Winner for the second year on the run, Eleanor Young, with Elizabeth Middling in 2nd Place, and Adele Blakeborough in 3rd place.
1st Eleanor Young Senior – Senior 1.57.37
2nd Elizabeth Middling – 1st Vet 40 1.59.03
3rd Adele Blakeborough – 1st Vet 50 1.59.58
Special Mention to our BQA Members that flew the flag for the BQA, a Big thanks for supporting and inspiring many of our Deva Divas along the way! Also special thanks to our Male BQA Members that helped out in Kayak transition and on the water … Dave Ashley, Mark Pryor, Lance Ball and David Jones, you help was much appreciated!
4th Gillian Melia – 2nd Vet 50 2.05.41
5th Liz Dawson – 3rd Vet 50 2.05.41
6th Helen Adams – 4th Vet 50 2.08.56
7th Mary White – 1st Vet 70 2.10.55
8th Nicola Hamerton – 1st Vet 60 10
13th Margaret Hyton – 2nd Vet 70 2.230.53
16th Anne Collins – 8th Vet 50 2.26.24
25th Caroline Jones – 14th Vet 50 2.41.40
Full Results Deva-Divas-2022 Quadrathlon
Deva Divas 2022 Film Film 2022
I have a few race reports being constructed by our Deva Divas … here is the first one from ‘Terrie Johnson’
I would just like to say a massive thank you to all involved in the organisation and running of the Deva Diva Triathlon and Quad. It is by far my favorite event of the year and despite being poorly on and off and not doing as much training as I would have liked – I was not going to miss it!
The event, for me, starts ten weeks before with the start of the kayak training. The volunteer instructors (Jean, Carol and John) coach, coax and build our confidence sky high. They are incredibly patient, supportive and a lot of fun! I love kayaking on the Dee with these amazing people so much so I have booked a kayaking holiday in Norway.
Before the event, there are swims and bike rides to ensure everyone is feeling confident. Sally Napthen has thought of everything to ensure competitors are put at ease.
The atmosphere on the day is absolutely amazing with every single volunteer and competitor cheering and supporting each other. I ran a lap with a lady I had never met before. We were running at the same pace so decided to run together to support each other – we chatted all of the way round.
I feel women tend to lose themselves after having children so this event is such a positive way for them to rediscover themselves, build confidence and help them realise THEY CAN DO IT. My confidence was very low when I did my first Deva Diva triathlon but since then I have done another 7 triathlons, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp, completed the National and Yorkshire 3 Peaks, 3 Deva Diva Quadrathons and so much more!! I can’t thank the organisers of the Deva Divas, and especially our lovely Fairy Quadmother Jean Ashley, enough for giving me my confidence and self belief back.
Thank you x
Below is a second report from the Smiley ‘Sue Austin‘ Her first Deva Divas was six years ago, a panic attack in the water saw her having to be taken into a safety boat at a different tri -game over before it began. The following year she decided to do it again, Sue did have a panic again but a wonderful marshal in a kayak got me standing in the mud, calming down and helping me to finish. That marshal gave Sue the love of the sport again, it was a great friend to our Chester Divas Kayak Team! Since then Sue has been a HUGE part of our Quadrathlon Divas Group and has finished with a big smile every year since then! She gives so many people confidence to our kayak group …and has a ‘never say never’ attitude now, well done Sue and her ‘Tiger Stripes’!
Sue’s Report: Devas 2022 – What if I panic in the water, capsize the kayak, get a puncture on the bike or am too tired to run – and what if I need the loo? All the questions racing through my head on the way to The Meadows for the 2022 Deva Divas Quadathlon. But friendly faces, smiles from marshalls, and the lurch of excitement as I wheeled my bike and kit into transition meant the questions were replaced by ensuring everything was in place on and by the side of the rack. Paddle – check, buoyancy aid – check, bike helmet… the list went on. Hugs as other Divas arrived and talc loaned to someone who had forgotten theirs.
Out of transition and time to get into the wetsuit. Friend Aimee helped. ‘jump’ she said pulling over my ample rear! The fun briefing by Sally and Ravi and then the long walk down to the swim get in, hundreds of competitors, their supporters, all snaking along the path to the start of the swim!
Nerves really kicking it it was time to ‘walk the plank’ getting into the water one by one. Plenty of time to get used to the temperature, remember to breath set the watch, then the countdown … and the hooter.
The fast swimmers were off, the rest of us tentatively setting out stroke by stroke. The realization that no, you are not panicking, you can breath, was such a relief as was seeing hubbie on the river bank as I breathed left.
I was sort of enjoying it, the ramp at the end of the swim was in sight then boom, the faster swimmers from the next wave were passing, too close for comfort. Concentrate, breath, I thought and had to really focus before finally the ramp was under my feet and the hand of a marshal was pulling me out of the water.
And there was Jean shouting for my number for the kayak and our other kayak coaches John and Carol shouting encouragement – along with hubby and emotions nearly got the better of me.
Run into transition trying to get the wetsuit off, find my bike then BA on grab the paddle and back down to the water. My loaned Tempest was waiting and another marshall to steady it. Then it was stage two. A couple of wobbles – concentrate woman!
The kayak leg seems long and I needed lots of determination. Trying to remember everything we had been taught in the wonderful Thursday night coaching sessions. Waves of swimmers were continuing to our right and I shouted encouragement to those at the back who were struggling.
There was encouragement from marshalls on paddleboards and in kayaks, from faster paddlers overtaking and from those at the front already on the return leg. Eventually the half way buoy was rounded and the current was finally with me. What a difference and it seemed much quicker getting back to the beach.
More encouragement into transition, helmet on, dry my feet and get my socks and shoes on best I could then off on the third leg. My prayer that my bike was in a low gear was answered and it was up the rise and onto the roads. Phew, time to take on water and my first gel. Not too much traffic en route and plenty of marshalls at junctions and corners. One lady had a puncture, another stopped to help and I called to a motorbike marshall a little future up who immediately went off to their aid. Again prayers were answered with no traffic as the turnaround island and it was homeward bound. A group of male cyclists had stopped to cheer us on and I was loving my bike as she passed slower cyclists. Soon I was back in the residential streets and just had time for my second gel before dismounting and into transition for the last time even quipped I was running with my bike like the professionals.
How quickly the enjoyment evaporated as I started the run and realised just how hot it was. That last leg was completed with sheer dogged determination not to walk one step and the camaraderie of fellow divas. We encouraged each other the length of those hot five kilometres and gratefully accepted bottles of water. More went on my head and neck than I drunk to cool me down. The finish line was in sight then the cruel realisation that this was just the first lap. Hubby and friends, some who had completed their triathlon shouted as I carried on running past the finish and onto the last lap. Numbers still our on the course had dwindled and it was even more important to smile, encouraged, and take on that water. But the metres counted down stride by stride and this time with the finish in sight I could go into the right hand lane, put on the best attempt at a sprint, over the line into the arms of Fairy Quadmother Jean.
I had done it. At the age of 61 I had another Deva Divas under my belt. Shattered but elated I met up with hubby and friends for a quick well done before heading back onto the course to shout the rest of the quadathletes in.
The friendships made during our kayak sessions are very, very special and pride at finishing was tinged with sadness that we live so far apart.
Thank you so very much Deva Divas – the confidence you give me to enable me to still be able to compete is something I treasure. I so hope to see you again in 2023!
I was SO PROUD to present Sue with her Wine for 3rd place on the Podium, well deserved Sue … True Determination year in year out! Jean XX
I look forward to welcoming you all again next year, as always the Deva Divas Quadrathlon is very special and close to my Heart. The camaraderie is very special between us all and especially the Chester Deva Divas Kayak Team, your determination, your personal stories on getting to that start line …. your smiles week in week out really do inspire so many of us! See you in 2023, and keep sharing that Fairy Dust! Love Jean xx