Conditions bring out best
Hole Park races
Records tumbled in the spring sunshine at Hole Park, near Rolvenden, as more than 150 athletes took part in the series of races on Sunday.
Athletes could take on a sprint or standard mountain bike duathlon, a 5k or 10k trail run – with or without their dog – and a 40k or 100k sportive on the day.
First home in a record time for the standard distance MTB duathlon was local athlete Nick Collins racing for Torq Tri, in 1hr 58min 47sec, with Tom Baker in second place in 2:13.55 and James Taylor-Meadhurst third in 2:16.50.
Claire Hitchings, of Team Braveheart, won the ladies’ event in 2:18.39.
Sandy Matthews won the sprint tri in 1:25.32, with Leigh Harris second in 1:28.00, and David Liddle, of Brighton Tri Club, third in 1:31.09.
The 5k run was won by Yiannis Christodoulou, of Canterbury Harriers, who blitzed the course in 21.16.
Tri Spirit Team’s Chris Costiff won the ladies’ race in 25.40. The 10k was won by Matt Britton in 40.34, with Gill O’Connor, of Tri Spirit Team, taking the ladies’ race in 54.07.
The sportive saw Tom White, of Weald Tri Club, finish first in the 100k in 3:26.29. Polly Miller won the 40k in 1:39.13. The canicross events proved especially popular this year, with more people choosing to run with their dog than without.
The 5k canicross event was won by Medway Tri’s Rory Hopcraft, with Alison Bell, of Kent Canicross, crossing the line as first lady in 25.31.
Heather Jenner, of Brighton & Hove Canicross Runners, crossed the line as first lady in 23.22, with her dog Banjo.
The 10k canicross event was won by Andy Baptie in 48.28. Brighton Tri Club’s Leanne Garner finished as first lady, just behind in 48.34.
Liz King, event director for Tri Spirit Events, said: “It was an amazing day. It is rare for us to get such incredible weather and the lead-up to the event was also drier than normal, so the course was less muddy and made for faster times.
“Many athletes have returned for this event year after year but it was also great to see so many people getting involved in the canicross, too.
“We are constantly looking at ways to add to what we offer at this venue and we are considering adding an onroad duathlon to this event for next year to widen the appeal.”
Other Tri Spirit Team members taking part included Amber King (33.43), Clare Donovan (34.01) and Steve O’Loughlin (42.35) in the 5k, and Candy Hawkins, who finished the 40k sportive in 1:57.29. In the 5k canicross Alison Scantlebury (30.17) was running for the first time with her dog. The trout angler will see more surface feeding and the final hour in the evening can bring great rewards. The sea angler will find sport improving with the summer species arriving and let us hope the mackerel show, as they are among the nicest fish to eat in the sea. Freshwater anglers can look forward to those early and late sessions for the most iconic of summer species – the tench. Take a leaf out of the carp anglers’ book and just scale down a little on tackle and bait to enjoy some super summer sport. The latest open competition at the Sandwich fishery complex was won by venue regular Peter Joiner with a haul of 50lb 10oz. Drawn in a windward corner, he took full advantage of this to land carp to 10lb. Second from the same area was ‘Bamba’ with 28lb 10oz and third spot went to Aldrid Wright with a mixed bag for 18lb 6oz. I saw some lovely big perch in with the nets and would not be surprised to see a few big fish from this complex. Visit www.sandwichfishery. co.uk for more information. Dungeness angler Dave WoodBrignall went westwards to Hastings and came away a winner. He was top rod in the 34-angler match with 7lb 14oz that included the biggest fish. Second spot went to P Stevens with 7lb 4oz and third was B Arnold with 6lb 7oz. Dogfish and plaice featured in the catches.
Athletes ready for the off in the sunshine at Hole Park on Sunday