Clubmates triumph in town triathlon

Harry Ticknell Track Shot

A record number of entrants, which included some of the South East’s most experienced sportsmen and women, took part in the 25th anniversary Tonbridge Triathlon.

The Lions Club event on Bank Holiday Monday was hailed a big success, despite an accident on the cycling section of the course in which a competitor broke four ribs.

Emergency services were quickly on the scene and the injured man was taken to Kings College Hospital. He was later released after treatment.

Sam Begg of 7Oaks Tri Club won the standard category, which included an 800m swim, 50k cycle and 10k run, in a time of 2hr 18min 15sec.

His clubmate Catherine Linney was the female victor with a time of 2:46.17.

In the sprint distance category, the winning male was Mark Bruce, who completed the course (400m swim, 25k cycle and 5k run) in 1:07.13. The winning female competitor was Susan Fairfax in 1:20.41.

A total of 1000 spectators cheered on nearly 500 entrants, with competitors receiving a 25th anniversary medal presented by Lions club president James Lark. The event aimed to raise a total of £13,000 towards Kent charities including Slideaway and Headway.

Among the competitors was Team GB triathlete Scott Richardson, a former Tonbridge Athletic club runner, who finished fourth.

He said: “It was a good event and one that is quite challenging as there are some quite big descents for the cycling section of the course near Seal.

“I was pleased with my finishing position and I’d been looking to make inroads into my swimming time in particular, though my run time was a bit down on the previous year. But the Tonbridge event is well organised, and it’s nice to be back where I started out,” explained the triathlete, who works as a personal trainer in Tunbridge Wells.

As the 34 year-old explained, it was a privilege to represent Britain last year at European championships in Rimini, Italy. He is now in training for the squad’s event in Austria later this year, and said the Tonbridge triathlon had proved a solid warm-up for the challenge ahead.

Bob Taylor, of Tonbridge Lions, added: “We have heard from Andrew Adams who had the accident, and he would like to express his thanks to the two riders who came to his aid, the marshals and SE Medical who managed to be with him in minutes of his crash and the ambulance crew who took him to hospital.

“If we make £13000 for local charities Tonbridge Lions would be very happy. We would like to thank over 100 volunteers who gave up their time on a Bank Holiday to ensure the success of the event. These include club members, friends of Lions, the ATC and Hayesbrook School.”

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