The Brett Ashford Triathlon became a Duathlon this year, when an bloom of blue-green algae in Conningbrook Lakes meant that the swim sections of both the Sprint and Standard Tri events had to be suspended. Both distances began instead with an additional run section of 2.5 km.
Those taking part in the event were none-the-less able to enjoy a route that led them through the beautiful Kent countryside around Ashford and through Conningbrook Country Park, formerly a gravel extraction site for Brett Aggregates.
Liz King, event director of Tri Spirit Events, who organised the Brett-sponsored competition said: “It often happens at triathlon events that the swim section is cancelled due to fog, the water temperature being too cold or blue algae.
“Competitor safety is paramount even though many were disappointed that the swim didn't take place. Those that did race had a very enjoyable day and many racing expressed how well we had coped with the changes.”
The Men’s Standard Tri event, which this year consisted of a 2.5k run, followed by a 40k cycle, then a further 10k run, saw Noel Sutton of Deal Tri Club first to finish in 01:54:12, with James Ellison (BBBC) in second place with a time of 01:56:53.
The Women’s Standard event was won by the Gibbens/Pitkin/Mader team from BDO Tri Hards in 02:28:50 with Katie Tomson in second place with a time of 02:34:30.
With no swim possible, this year’s Sprint Tri also began with a 2.5k run, then a 20k bike and 5k run to finish. The Men’s event was won by Matthew Finch in 01:05:51 with Stephen Hoare of Active Life Tri Club hot on his heels to finish in second place in 01:06:00. Sue Cooper crossed the line well ahead of her competitors in the Women’s Sprint event with a time of 01:18:18, with Helen Smithers coming in second in 01:33:54.
The Standard and Sprint Aquabike events went ahead without their swim sections, with Dan Duran of Crystal Palace Triathletes taking first place in the Standard event with a time of 01:07:22 and Nick Isaacson winning the Sprint event in 00:36:56.