Five Go Iron in Vichy

Event: Ironman Vichy
Date: 28th August 2016
Location: Vichy, France
Distance: Swim 2.4mi, Bike 112mi, Run 26.2mi

5 members of the Sittingbourne Striders made the 600mile journey to the historic French spa town of Vichy in France. Glenn Davies, Bradley Clayton, Ross Pilcher, Joseph Lovelock and Lucy Hewett were to compete in the iconic Ironman, the first full triathlon for them all involving a 2.4m swim, an 112m bike and a full 26.2m marathon.

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Let’s go Swimming

With the water temperature a balmy 25degrees their fears of a non-wetsuit swim were confirmed. Undeterred, the self named Vichy5, lined up for the new rolling start method which has been trialled with good feedback at other Ironman races as a less stressful start for swimmers involving 3 athletes entering the water every 4 seconds. After 40 minutes all 1837 athletes had entered Lake Allier to tackle the 2.4miles, 2 laps that had to be completed in 2hrs and 20mins.

Get your wheels on

All 5 Striders were out of the lake for 2 laps of a fast flat bike course taking in exceptional views of the pretty French villages and rolling fields of sunflowers. Bradley Clayton had a job to catch up Glenn Davies who had made good ground from his quick swim finally finding him at mile 70. Joseph Lovelock thought his race was over when he was crashed into at one of the feed stations this cost him 25mins but luckily not the race as he continued trying to make up lost time.

The bike and swim have to be completed within 10 hours.

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Run …

Off the bike and onto the run for 4 laps along the shores of the lake and through the centre of Vichy to shouts of ‘Allez Allez’ from the spectators whose support was gratefully received as the Striders ran in the hot French afternoon sun. Red band for the first lap, yellow for the second and finally the prized blue band meant they knew they were on their final lap and on their way to becoming Ironmen!

All 5 Striders were delighted to finish the race within the 16hour time cut off with Bradley Clayton claiming the title of first Strider home in an amazing time of 11h 45m 33s placing him 155 in his division (M35-39) and 799 overall.

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