Ironman Wales

Ironman Wales : 10th September 2017

The Swim

4.45 on a very cold quiet and overcast morning, deep in the Welsh hills, the 3 Sittingbourne Striders; Joseph Lovelock (Captain) David Valenti and Jacob Beaney gathered with trepidation and cautious excitement at the challenge that faced them. They were about to take on the mighty Dragon of Ironman Cymru. An arduous course of a 2.4 mile swim in the Irish Sea, a 112 mile Cycle over the Pembrokeshire hills and a Marathon run to finish the day. The Tenby Trio eagerly set off to the start line with 2000 other competitors. As a ray of sun broke through the clouds the rolling start of the swim began and they were off. Little did they know that was the last time they would see the sunshine. 2 laps of a 1.2 mile swim in the sea saw a good start for the 3 Striders with their first lap all being completed in just over 35 minutes. The winds picked up and the sea got rough but could only slow the three down marginally, all three of them leaving the water within a minute of each other at the 1 hour 15 mark. What followed was a 1 km run into the transition areas to get ready for the next leg of the journey.

The bike

112 miles through 8000ft of ascent on the hills was always going to be tough but the weather made it punishing. The athletes were battered with 45 mph winds gusting higher with horizontal rain coming in from all angles. The ascents were steep and lengthy and the descents were littered with slow signs due to the rain. Valenti made good progress storming up the hills and maintaining a high average speed, pulling away from the other two. The weather was relentless even wreaking havoc with the Ironman Trackers, reportedly the worst conditions that Ironman Tenby had seen. Lovelock was with Beaney from the word go until another competitor caused a crash that took out his gears. With 35 miles to go and only 1 gear to choose from the rest of the ride just got harder for Joseph Lovelock. The Captain had to dig deep in his fight against the Ironman, but his will would not be broken.


The Run

The medieval town walls and picturesque beachfront provided an impressive back drop for the final push of the day, the Marathon. With nearly 3000ft of ascent the run was a spectacle by its own right. 4 laps of the town, running through the cobbled streets to the applause of people cheering the competitors on from every road side, street corner and pub doorway. The fans were wild with excitement creating an incredible atmosphere that spurred on the entire Ironman community. Even when darkness fell the noise and the cheer and the Ironman party continued, willing the participants to the finish. The marathon proved to be Valentis best event, completing a 4 hour 12 run; with Beaney and Lovelock coming in at 4.50 and 4.52 respectively. Ironman Cymru is considered one of the toughest Ironman race sin the series made harder by the fierce weather. The challenge that the 3 Striders faced was demanding emotionally, mentally and physically and will be one to remember for years to come. Walls were run through and barriers brushed aside, the three let nothing stand in their way on the road to glory. They even had the energy to smile for the finisher’s photo.

Ironman Wales

Wingham 10k 2017

Wingham 10k : 10th September 2017

3 Striders ran in the Wingham 10k with the following results:
Jeff Fox crossed the line in 45.43 placing him 38th in a field of 328 runners
Laura Forster 55.50 – 136th place
Carli Deacon 56.11 – 140th
Clare Fox 1.12.19 – 296th

wingham 10k
Left to right: Clare Fox; Carli Deacon; Jeff Fox


Great North Run 2017

Great North Run : 10th September 2017

4 Striders travelled to Edinburgh to take part in the Great North Run, Chris Lawley was first strider home crossing the line in 1.29.19 placing him 783rd in a field of 43064 Runners. Gill Holmes was 2nd Strider home in 1.47.23 placing her 5449th overall then came Ron Smith in a time of 2.08.08 placing him 17262nd. Christian Martin’s time was 2.10.11 placing him 18579th. 

Ironman 70.3 World Championships 2017

Ironman 70.3 World Championships : 9th & 10th September 2017

The World Championship is the culmination of over 100 qualifying events involving 185,000 Athletes. Sittingbourne Striders Lynne and Neil Hacon qualified for entry into the event at Weymouth in 2016 and had been training for it for several months.

Ironman 70.3 World Championships
Neil & Lynne Hacon at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships

More than 4500 people from over 90 countries participated in the event that included a 1.2 mile swim in the Tennessee River, a 56 bike ride (including climbing local landmark Lookout Mountain) and a 13.1 mile run through the streets of Chattanooga.
Lynne finished in a time of 6 hours and 24 minutes placing her 98th out of 144 in her age group.
Neil finished in a time of 5 hours 23 minutes, placing him 219th out of 340 in his age group.

Kent Coastal Half Marathon

Kent Coastal Half Marathon : Sunday 3rd September 2017

Davinia Brown was the sole representative of the Striders at the Kent Coastal Half Marathon coming in in a time of 2.18.38 placing her in 264th place out of 369 entrants.


UTMB CCC :1st September 2017

Carrying all that was needed to survive days in the beautiful Alps on his back, Ultra Strider Craig Eccleston took on the UTMB CCC a 101km ultra run that forms part of the Ultra Trail World Tour. Despite the harsh conditions Craig managed to complete a quarter of the race covering 6600ft of elevation over 17 miles but even with this sterling effort he was unable to meet the next time check missing it by only 15 minutes. An amazing achievement to even make the start line of such a prestigious race, Craig says he will be back to tackle the Alps again!

Canterbury Half Marathon 2017

Canterbury Half Marathon : 28th August 2017

12 Striders turned out on a very warm Bank Holiday Monday to run the Canterbury Half Marathon. In aid of Pilgrims Hospice the 13 mile course took them around the undulating country lanes on the outskirts of the historic city. James Reeves was first striders home crossing the line in 1.41.10 placing him 41st in a field of 409 Runners. Elliot Stokes was 2nd Strider home in 1.45.38 placing him 61st overall. Olwen Cockell was 3rd Strider and 1st lady strider in a time of 1.48.12 placing her 70th in the field.

Canterbury Half Marathon
Left to right: Steve Prince; Steve Russell (back); David Whittley; Andrew Howes; Olwen Cockell; Elliot Stokes; Joanna Branchett; Andy Patching; James Reeves; Mark Ransom; Jeff Fox


Remaining Striders results were:

Aaron Pritchard 1.49.13 – 75th overall
Jeff Fox 1.49.25 – 79th overall
Andy Patching 1.59.23 – 158th overall
Stephen Prince 2.01.46 – 170th overall
Mark Ransom 2.08.20 – 213th overall
Joanna Branchett – 2.14.56 – 255th overall
Andrew Howes – 2.14.57 – 256th overall
David Whittley – 2.22.29 – 300th overall
Steve Russell – 2.35.33 – 339th overall

Clacton 10k and Half Marathon 2017

Clacton 10k and Half Marathon 2017 – 20th August 2017

4 Striders visited Clacton on Carnival weekend, the race courses were fast and flat out and back along the seafront with the following results:
Clive Crisp was first strider home in a time of 50.01 placing him in 32nd position overall in a field of 175 runners.
Sonia Crisp 56.47 placing her in 75th position
Clare Fox 1.10.52 placing her in 134th position
Half Marathon
Jeff Fox crossed the line in 1.46.02 placing him 81st out of 315 entrants.
Jeff and Clare Fox

Ironman Maastricht 2017

Ironman Maastricht 2017 : 6th August 2017  

James Brincat, Nick Bayntun, David Forman, Geoff Tyler, Neil Hacon, Lynne Hacon and Luis Diaz from Sittingbourne Striders Triathlon travelled to Holland to compete in Ironman Maastricht. The single day endurance event consists of a 3.8km swim, 180km bike race and then finishes with running a marathon. At 07:15 the cannons sounded and the 1600 competitors dived into the River Meuse to begin the race. Neil Hacon was the first Strider out of the water in a time of 1hr 7mins, followed by James Brincat 2 minutes later. All 7 Striders completed the swim comfortably within the 2hr 20min cut off.

Ironman Maastricht 2017
Left to right Luiz Diaz; Geoff Tyler; Nick Bayntun; Lynne Hacon; David Forman

Safely out of the water the triathletes swapped their goggles for bike helmets and started the 180km bike leg. The challenging bike course took the athletes out of Maastricht to the scenic surrounding Limburg landscape and through the iconic hills and mountains of Bemelerberg, Geulhemmerberg, and Hallembaye.


Ironman Maastricht 2017
Nick Bayntun


Despite James Brincat crashing on the bike course, by 4pm all 7 Striders had successfully made it to the third and final discipline, the marathon! The athletes were cheered through the historic city streets by friends, family and the superb support of the locals. Neil Hacon was first Strider home in 10hrs 35mins, followed by James Brincat 11hrs 14mins, David Forman 12hrs 31mins, Geoff Tyler 12hrs 46mins, Lynne Hacon 12hrs 53mins (4th in age group), Nick Bayntun 13hrs 05mins and Luis Diaz 13hrs 21mins.  Full Results

Ironman Maastricht 2017
James Brincat

Aylesham 5k & 10k

Aylesham 5k & 10k : Sunday 6th August 2017

Sheila Mary & Gavin Malloch took part in the popular Aylesham 5k and 10k this Sunday.