Triathlon success despite bad weather

A competitor tackles the bike leg of the Rye Triathlon. Picture by TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY (DH23603i)
A competitor tackles the bike leg of the Rye Triathlon. Picture by TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY (DH23603i)

Nearly 200 competitors tackled the inaugural Rye Triathlon on Sunday.

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.