Safety fears shorten events at Tonbridge Triathlon

Safety fears shorten events at Tonbridge Triathlon
TRIUMPHANT: Jack Josephy with Lions Club President Tom Simmons

A total of 462 athletes took part in the sell-out event, which is organised annually by the town’s Lions club.

But the closure of the A21 bypass following a road accident meant that while the main race was unaffected, other contests had to be cut short.

The men’s winner of the standard distance event was Jack Josephy, who completed the 800-metre swim, 50km cycle and 10km run in 2hr 29min 30sec, while the women’s winner was Saskia Ricks in 2hr 44min 38sec.

For safety reasons the Sprint, Relay and Go Tri events were cut short – the cycling was curtailed, but the swim and run sections were able to continue.

The bike route for the main race takes in Hildenborough, Underriver, Seal, Ivy Hatch and Shipbourne. The bypass was closed at the two South Tonbridge junctions.

LEADING LADY: Amy Moore, the first woman, with Lions Club President Tom Simmons

The Lions had been given permission by the British Triathlon Federation to offer Go Tri, a new initiative, for the first time in Kent.

The shortened version is for those who want a relatively easy introduction to the sport.

Each distance is a quarter of the standard length  – 200m swim, 14km cycle and 2.5km run.

The event raised more than £10,000 for charity, which the Tonbridge Lions will distribute to Air Ambulance Kent Sussex Surrey, Hospice in the Weald and Libra, the Lions International Blood Research Appeal at Kings Hospital London and other local good causes.

The Lions have donated over £285,000 to charity since the first event in 1991.

The event organiser, former Lions president Bob Bartlett, said: “We were very pleased with the way the day went, everything went to plan, even the changes we made due to the A21 road closure went very smoothly.

“The competitors’ reaction to the event has been very positive and complimentary.

“Overall it was a very satisfying day,” he added. “I would like to thank all those Lions club members, their wives and friends, the Tonbridge ATC Squadron, Police Cadets and importantly the competitors for making this annual event an outstanding success.”

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