The Brett Ashford Triathlons and Aquabikes events produced some scorching results in the sweltering conditions at the Julie Rose Stadium and Conningbrook Lakes, with strong performances from local clubs, and one person travelling all the way from Carlisle to take part.
The standard distance triathlon consisted of a 1500m swim in Conningbrook Lakes, followed by a 40K bike ride through Hinxhill and Wye, and a 10K run around the lakes before a stadium finish. There was also a Sprint Distance Triathlon which covered half of all of these distances, that is a 750m swim, 20K bike ride and a 5K run.
The Aquabike events were very popular this year, as competitor numbers more than tripled compared to last year. The standard distance Aquabike consisted of a 1500m swim and 40K bike ride and the sprint Aquabike a 750m swim and 20K bike ride which are both ideal for those who preferred not to have a run at the end.
The standard distance triathlon was won by Peter Hogben of Deal Tri in a cracking time of 2 hrs 9mins 22 secs with his club teammate David Fowler of Deal Tri in second place in 2.10.00. The First lady home in the standard distance triathlon was Nicola Groom of Larkfield Athletics Club in
2.26.49, followed by Sally Smoker of Redhill Cycling Club in 2.36.42
Local teams took the honours in both the standard and the sprint distance triathlons. First home for the standard distance triathlon and beating the next nearest team by more than half an hour was Team Crosskeys, with its three man team completing the event in 2.12.29.
It was very tough for the competitors in the heat, and additional water stations attended by the Ashford Sea Cadets were added to cater for this. The Pirates Canoe Club from Ashford provided safety craft and crew for the lake swim again this year, however all events were completed without incident.
There were more first timers this year who were drawn to the shorter distance events and who thoroughly enjoyed themselves admitting that their nerves disappeared and that they now have the multi-sports bug. The crowd were very supportive, clapping loudly as the last of the competitors crossed the line and personal bests were broken by a number of individuals.
Age group prizes were awarded by Councillor David Smith and Gregor Mutch, the Managing Director of Brett Aggregates gave out the trophies for the main events. Darryl Spain from Brett Aggregates helped to organise the operation to spruce up the site in advance of the events by organising grass cutting and site cleaning. He also monitored the weed growth in the lakes with Mid Kent Fisheries to make sure it didn’t interfere with the lake swim.
Liz King, the Director of Tri Spirit Events, the company who organised the day said, “We have had some wonderful feedback about how much people enjoyed the day, and we are thrilled to have had so many local people turn out to participate and watch. We are also extremely grateful to the Brett Group for their continued support.”