Event changed to duathlon
Brett Ashford Triathlon
The closure of Conningbrook Lake failed to dampen the enthusiasm of competitors in the Brett Ashford Triathlon on Sunday.
Toxicity levels more than 10 times the allowed limit for a blue-green algae led to the Environment Agency to advise against swimming or any other water sports taking place there, meaning the event took the form of a duathlon, with the first section in both the standard and sprint distances replaced by a 2.5k run.
Event director Liz King said: “The week leading up to the event was very challenging after being informed there was no possibility of using the water. At such short notice it was not possible to find an alternative venue.
“Most competitors were very supportive of the decision to change the event to a duathlon – something done as standard when it’s not possible to swim on safety or other grounds.”
Noel Sutton, of Deal Tri, won the standard event, made up of a 40k bike ride and 5k run, in a time of one hour 54 minutes 12 seconds, more than two minutes ahead of runner-up James Ellison (BBBC) in 1:56.53, with Shaun Wood (Ful-on-Tri) third in 1:59.58.
Tri Spirit’s Tom Stanley finished in 2:21.42, and Darren Clark in 2:31.50.
Katie Tomson won the ladies’ event in 2:34.30, less than a second ahead of Alexandra Robson in one of the closest finishes ever, with Emma Pope third in 2:36.40.
Tri Spirit’s Jacqui Maxted won her age group, coming home in 2:41.13,
Clubmate Tom Stanley finished in 2.21.42, with Darren Clark coming home in 2.31.50. Rhys Hunt, competing in his first ever multisport event, recorded a time of 2:45.46.
Matthew Finch won the sprint event in a rapid 1:05.51, with Stephen Hoare (Active Life Tri Club) second in 1:06.00, and Ashford Tri’s Ross Sadd third in 1:12.35.
Tri Spirit’s Damian Weiss (1:17.03) was followed by clubmates Chris Gibson (1:24.49) and David Whitehead (1:37.25).
First home in the ladies’ sprint event was Sue Cooper in 1:18.18, ahead of Helen 1.33.54, and Rebecca Hobby third in 1.44.56.
Aquabike competitors were hardest hit by being unable to use the lake. They started with a short run into transition, before setting out on their bikes to complete either 40k (standard) or 20k (sprint).
Dan Duran, of Crystal Palace Triathletes, won the standard event in 1:07.22, while the sprint section went to Nick Isaacson in 36.56.
Meanwhile, question marks still surround whether the Owler Triathlon will take place next month
King has said an alternative lake for the swim section has been selected if Conningbrook cannot be used.
More details will be confirmed at the start of July.
Far left, standard ladies’ winner Katie Tomson, runner-up Alexandra Robson (second left) and thirdplaced Emma Pope (third right), with event director Liz King, far left, and Mayor of Ashford Cllr George Koowaree and Charles Clark from Brett Group. Left, No.164 Ross Sadd, of Ashford Tri Club, third in the sprint event