Testing conditions did not put 7 striders off as they entered the waters of the spectacular 38 acre Hever Castle Lake and River Eden. After completing the open-water swim of the Hever Castle Triathlon they hopped on their bikes for an undulating circuit through the High Weald of Kent which dipped into the stunning Ashdown forest. The largely off-road run circumnavigated the estate before returning to the award-winning castle grounds where they completed this challenging triathlon with a tree-lined finish beside the lake.
Steve Prince took part in one of the longer distance triathlons on offer…’The Guantlet’ middle distance triathlon involved a 1900m swim; 90km cycle & 21km run which he completed in 7.07.58 placing him 70th overall out of 182 entrants.
Andrew Howes was first home out of the 5 Striders who took part in ‘The Hever’ Olympic distance triathlon which consisted of a 1500m swim; 40k cycle & a 10,500m run.He completed the course in a time of 3:53:35 placing him 474th out of 631 who completed the event. Kevin Eastop was close behind him crossing the line in 3:55: 34 – 490th overall. Rachael Robertson 4:00: 21 – 513rd overall. Unfortunately some confusion lead Clare Eastop & Phil Robertson to not complete the full distance of the bike course but they still went on to finish the event.
Ellie Hynes took part in ‘The Anne Boleyn’ super sprint distance triathlon involving a 400m swim; 20k bike & 4k run. Ellie completed the course in 1:22:49 placing her 106th out of 827 competitors.
3 Striders kicked off the season by taking part in the Tonbridge triathlon – the event was held on May Day and consists of 400m Pool Swim; 25k Bike; 5k Run. Race day was wet with some treachorous roads, but the same came out for the Striders at the end of the race. Andy Baptie was first Strider home coming in 34th overall out o 262 entrants in a time of 1.27.53, Luis Diaz was next home in a time of 1.33.34 placing him 75th overall with Rachel Ward representing the female Striders coming in in a time of 1.41.45 placing her 132nd overall.
Event: Hever Castle Triathlon
Date: 24th/25th September 2016
Paul Bowditch entered the Sprint Plus on Saturday 24th, completing the 800m swim, 40k bike and 8k run in 2hr 27m placed him 66th out of a field of 343 entrants.
On Sunday 25th David Valenti, Joseph Lovelock and Ian Gower took on the Olympic distance event involving a 1500m swim, 40k bike and 10k run. Joe was first strider home, his first event since completing Ironman in August, in a time of 2hr 53m placing him 216th out of a field of 778 entrants. Ian was next over the line for the Striders finishing in 2hr 59m placing him 297 overall with David just behind him completing in 3hr exactly placing him 308th.
Event: Bodiam Castle Triathlon
Date: 11th September 2016
Location: Bodiam, Sussex
Distance: Swim 750m, Bike 20km, Run 5km
2 members of the tri club took part in a triathlon based at the pretty setting of Bodium Castle which was a Club Championship race. The conditions were more or less perfect. Matthew Norris finished 24th overall in a time of 1:11:40 and Matt Nunn was only 2 places behind him coming in in 1:11:51.
Event: 2016 ETU Challenge Walchsee European Championship Half Distance
Date: 4th September 2016
Location: Walchsee, Austria
Distance: Swim 1.2mi, Bike 56mi, Run 13.1mi
Both James Brincat and Lynne Hacon qualified to represent GB in their age group at the Outlaw Half triathlon in May.
The race had entrants from 32 different nations, 1163 men and 403 women. In the European Championships GB had the largest presence with even more athletes than the host nation Austria.
The swim was held in lake Walchsee, the warmest lake in the Tyrol region. The cycle is a challenging route taking in 3000 feet of climbing but the scenery is absolutely stunning with the mountains making a beautiful backdrop to the race.
The race finished with a run of 4 laps around the lake.
The weather on the day was quite warm reaching 27 degrees on the run.
Event: Helvellyn Triathlon
Date: 4th September 2016
Location: Lake District
Distance: Swim 1.5km, Bike 60km, Run 14km
Sold as ‘one of the toughest triathlons in the world’ Chris Rogers decided this was the next race for him to try and as only his 4th triathlon ever, he undertook the 1.5k swim in Lake Ullswater, finding it difficult as his weakest discipline, trying to make up time on the 60k bike ride including the notorious ‘Struggle’ climb up the Kirkstone Pass and finishing with a 14k off-road fell-run, which suits his fell-running background, up and down Englands 3rd highest mountain – Helvellyn. With perfect weather conditions Chris was pleased to come 199th out of 390 entrants in a time of 5h 18m and is determind to do it again next year!
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.
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.
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.
Event: Leeds Castle Sprint & Standard Triathlon
Date: 25-26th June
Location: Leeds Castle
11 Striders turned out over the weekend to take on the Leeds Castle Sprint and Standard Triathlons, which were the next races in the Club Championship. The weather was typical English summer but having the stunning Castle as a backdrop helped make the swim in the very shallow silty moat, the windy bike along the A20 and hilly off road run course slightly more bearable! Full Results
Event: Bridge Triathlon & Aquabike
Date: 19th June
Christopher Rogers and Tom Church took part in the Bridge Aquabike & Triathlon respectively in Dartford. It was only Chris’s 2nd event with the Striders and Toms first. Aquabike results; Triathlon results.