Competitors in the fifth annual Brett Ashford Triathlons event in June raised thousands of pounds for a range of charities, including cancer research, military rehabilitation and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
The route led competitors through the beautiful Kent countryside around Ashford and Wye and took in the new Conningbrook Country Park, formerly a gravel extraction site for Brett Aggregates. Hundreds of competitors took up the challenge of sprint or standard distance triathlons or aquabikes, which exclude the run section of the triathlon. Conditions were excellent with the water temperature at a balmy 19 degrees.
The standard triathlon which comprises a 1500m swim, 40k cycle and 10k run was won by Noel Sutton of local club Deal Tri in an impressive 2.07.38, beating former winner and current course record holder Scott Wiseman of Ashford Tri Club into second place with a time of 2.10.10. Sarah Dowling of London’s Greenwich Tritons took first place in the women’s standard tri in a time of 2.31.53.
The standard aquabike was won by Steve Wand in 1.35.25 and the ladies’ standard aquabike was won for the second year running by Sue Macrowan of Trent Park in 1.44.20.
For the first time Tri Spirit Events, which organises the Brett Ashford Triathlons, worked with the On Course Foundation, which helps to rehabilitate injured ex-servicemen through golf. Godric Shoesmith, who raised £250 for the On Course Foundation took on the standard tri and finished in 2.59.07. On Course also had a team entry in the sprint tri, with Ian Wright, Craig Richardson and Cowan Botha who won the team sprint event in 1.25.41.
Cowan Botha, who had previously competed in Prince Harry’s Invictus Games, said: “The event was incredible and being with the guys made it so special. To finish first as a team was the best feeling, and hopefully not only pushed the word out about On Course Foundation, but proves to more injured Service personnel and vets that you can still enjoy the competition, and still come out fighting. I can’t wait to take part in another one.”
John Dodds of the On Course Foundation, said: “We thought it was superb, everything ran like clockwork. Our members had a fantastic morning, and winning the team event was the icing on the cake.”
The Guide Dogs for the Blind charity benefitted from the efforts of both team and individual participants. Clare Martyn, Jenny Martyn and Barry Martin competed as a team in the sprint tri, finishing strongly and James Addis also took on the challenge for the charity, raising £500.
Other charity fundraisers included Aaron Blumfield who raised £500 for Macmillan Cancer Support, Luke Edmonds who raised £300 for Starlight & Willow – two charities aimed at granting wishes for those who are seriously or terminally ill – while Dale Taylor of Surrey Police Triathlon Club raised £250 for Cancer Research UK. Jonathan Wileman of Tri Surrey, raised a massive £1,000 for The Children’s Trust, which provides specialist care for children with brain injuries.
Liz King, event director of Tri Spirit Events, said: It was wonderful seeing so many new triathletes taking on the events and enjoying the new run route using Conningbrook Lake Country Park.
“A big thanks to Brett Group for their continued support for our events, their input is vital in bringing these events together and we really value our continued working relationship.”