After the perfect conditions of 2015 it was back to normal British summer weather for the send South Hams Triathlon on Sunday 12th June. It started with a cold choppy swim followed by a damp and skiddy bike leg and a slightly muddy run.
The red/green wave containing all the favourites were first off. First into T1 was Stephen Hammond a Vet 50 who managed the 750 metre swim and 200 metre run up the beach in a very impressive 12.02, Junior Harry Preston was less than a minute behind in 12.53 with Stuart Bereton in 3rd a further 15 seconds back.
But once onto the bikes it was eventual winner Philip Saunders who laid down the best bike split. He was riding a time trial bike, certainly the best choice on this course where the section from Slapton to Stokenham roundabout and back can all be ridden on the tri bars. Stuart Bereton, who was on a road bike rode strongly on the climbs but lost a little time on the flatter sections.
Into T2 Saunders led by just a few seconds from Bereton but produced the second best run split of the day to move away from Bereton, who finished second with Pete Moon in third. First Junior, Harry Preston finished just 5 seconds behind Moon.
In the Vets Andrew Longthorpe took the win from Torbay team mate Jon Parkinson by just over 30 seconds. Parkinson was literally running Longhorpe down in the run but ran out of track and couldn’t overturn Longthorpe’s lead from the swim. Neil Castree was third.
In the womens’ race Vet 50 Shirley Yarde was first out of the water in an excellent 13.58 ahead of Cherry Taviso and Lucy Richardson. Once on the bike though, eventual winner Sharn Hooper produced easily the best bike split of 40.20, a time beaten by only a handful of the men, and then put in a solid 23 minute run to take the win ahead of Shirley Yarde with Ellie Dominey in third place.
Emma Whitely was the first V40 woman. With solid performances in all three disciplines her overall time put her nearly five minutes ahead of second placed Jackie Shute with Nicky Deane-Simmonds, from the Vet 50 category third vet home.
In the Supersprint it was great to see many people taking on a sea swim and a triathlon for the first time. Up and coming Junior Drew Clark was first out of the swim in under 8 minutes well ahead of the rest of the field and eventually finished in 1:06:57 to win by over 7 minutes.
Unfortunately rain after a dry spell can lead to dangerous cycling conditions and four people came to grief on the last corner before the beach. Simon Eales, the worst injured was carted off to Torbay Hospital for X-rays and treatment. Luckily no bones are broken and after some stitches he’s hopeful of starting the Dartmoor Classic on 25th June.
We hope to see you all in 2016. We’ve taken on board all the feedback particularly issues with the run and improvements are planned for next year.
For full results see www.rogueracer.co.uk
For event photographs by Steven Draper see www.facebook.com/stevendraperphotography/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
Photo Courtesy of Steven Draper Photography ©2016