NEARLY 200 competitors tackled the inaugural Rye Triathlon.
The event attracted entrants from as far afield as North Wales, the Midlands and Yorkshire.
Unfortunately, the typical British bank holiday curse meant the sea swim had to be cancelled due to safety concerns about the strength of the current and the water temperature (10degC) which was just below the minimum British Triathlon Federation requirements.
The Standard distance competitors instead faced a 5km run, 31.30km cycle and 10km run, while the Sprint event competitors tackled a 2.50km run, 20.43km cycle and 5km run.
The cycle route took competitors up the one in four Chick Hill before a nerve-tingling descent of Battery Hill which was made even trickier by the wet road surface following overnight rain.
The run section was held entirely within Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, with the whole event based in the Harbour Field Recreation Ground at Winchelsea Beach.
Twenty-five-year-old Dan Sims from Kent-based RM Cycles won the Standard event in an impressive time of 1.51.33, finishing more than 10 minutes clear of runner-up Paul Mason from Kent-based Team Outrageous.
Sims recorded the fastest 5km and 10km runs in the Standard race, and was the only competitor to break an hour on the tough bike circuit.
Greenwich Tritons’ Deborah Coyle won the women’s Standard event in 2.07.56 which was more than six minutes clear of runner-up Colette O’Neill from Hillingdon Triathletes.
The men’s Sprint race was a much closer affair with 31-year-old David Fowler from Deal Tri winning in 1.06.27.
His stunning bike time of 36.30 for the 20.43km circuit was easily the quickest of the day and proved decisive, with Hastings-based Mike Beaumont finishing runner-up just 84 seconds behind after a blistering 5km run of 16.19, also the fastest of the day.
Beaumont’s training partners, Martin Tytherleigh and Jason Kind, won the M50-54 and M40-44 age categories respectively.
Caroline Terburgh of Larkfield Tri was a very impressive winner of the women’s Sprint race, recording the fastest times in all her disciplines. Her winning time of 1.15.58 was more than three minutes faster than runner-up Susan Freeburn from 7Oaks Tri and Hastings Runners.
Hastings Allsorts, comprising Mike Ellis (Hastings & Bexhill RFC), cyclist Scott Robertson and runner Stuart Piper (both Hastings Runners), finished fourth in the Standard race team relay to win the unaffiliated team trophy. 1066 Swimmers, comprising Josh Bishop, Joe Keen and Rob Thomas (Hastings Runners), finished 13th and took the trophy for the first swimming club.
Main sponsor Alex Clarke endured a torrid time in the first transition phase owing to bike problems which cost him nearly 30 minutes!
Another sponsor, Hazel Fulker, who manages the 20/20 Fit Gym in Rye, finished a very creditable 10th in the women’s Standard race.
Rye-based running coach and author Sam Murphy finished an excellent fourth in the women’s Sprint race, winning the F40-44 age category. Hastings-based Hannah Jordan won the F18-29 category.
Race organiser Nick Brown said: “I am delighted with the overall feedback from competitors in spite of the sea swim being cancelled. Many of them said that they are keen to come back next year as they just loved the area around Winchelsea Beach and the nature reserve. So hopefully the Rye Triathlon will become a regular fixture in the local sporting calendar.
“I would like to say a big thank you to all the marshals and helpers, in particular those from Hastings Runners, Rye Sea Cadets, Bexhill Lions and Icklesham Casuals FC. Also a huge thank you to Nicola Evans and Battle-based charity Young Pioneers, who provided free drinks and food to many of the competitors afterwards at Winchelsea Beach Community Hall.
“I am also very grateful to Icklesham Parish Council for allowing us to stage the triathlon at Winchelsea Beach, Rye Bay FC for all their help and use of their pavilion as the event HQ, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve manager Barry Yates for allowing the run section to be held within the reserve, and Frank Languish at Castle Farm where competitors parked to minimise disruption for local residents.”
Standard Race results (top 30 finishers): 1 Dan Sims 1.51.33, 2 Josh Hill 1.59.47 (Relay), 3 Jen Hamley 2.02.01 (Relay), 4 Paul Mason 2.02.03, 5 Chris Coyle 2.04.07 (Relay), 6 Peter Harrison 2.04.28, 7 Guy Holcroft 2.07.27, 8 Deborah Coyle 2.07.56, 9 Richard Sales 2.09.19, 10 Michael Ellis 2.10.43 (Relay), 11 Dan Chapman 2.10.55, 12 Steven Paddock 2.11.04, 13 Xavier Faux 2.11.29, 14 Torren Peakman 2.12.10, 15 Martyn Hawkes 2.12.25, 16 Holly Hamilton 2.12.25 (Relay), 17 Adam Spiers 2.12.45, 18 Jerry Hamley 2.14.01 (Relay), 19 John Cowx 2.14.08, 20 Colette O’Neill 2.14.12, 21 Clive Lett 2.14.24, 22 Stephen Winfield 2.14.35 (Relay), 23 Michael Dominguez 2.15.08, 24 Tim Marcot 2.15.12, 25 John MacTear 2.15.36, 26 Robert Gerber 2.16.26, 27 Christopher Davis 2.16.35, 28 Stuart Amblin 2.17.12, 29 Gary Shaw 2.17.29, 30 James Tregoning 2.17.37.
Sprint Race results (top 20 finishers): 1 David Fowler 1.06.27, 2 Michael Beaumont 1.07.51, 3 Henry Gurney 1.09.18, 4 Darren Bird 1.10.09, 5 Mikka Jay 1.11.45, 6 Gareth Brown 1.14.28, 7 Thomas Sherratt 1.15.43, 8 Caroline Terburgh 1.15.58, 9 Matthew Williams 1.16.41, 10 Robert Lawrence 1.19.10, 11 Susan Freeburn 1.19.42, 12 Jamie Rowles 1.19.50, 13 Jonathan Hussein 1.20.01, 14 Jason Kind 1.20.17, 15 David Waite 1.20.18, 16 Anna Holmes 1.20.40, 17 Stephen Cochrane 1.20.53, 18 Phil Gurnett 1.21.17, 19 Andrew Kitchen 1.21.21, 20 Sam Middleton 1.21.47.