Triathlon: Thompson beats infection and storms to shine in Transylvania
10th July 2019
TWO Tunbridge Wells athletes were competing in Romania for the Team GB Age Group squads at the ETU Multisport European Championships.
Michael Thomson took part in the standard distance duathlon (10km run, 38km bike, 5km run) at the Transylvania motor circuit.
He had a rocky build-up to the race, contracting a septic knee infection and receiving the all-clear only two weeks ago.
Heavy thunderstorms delayed the start, creating a wet and slippery course.
But he found some fast straights on the bike and used his technical skills to finish fifth M50-54 with a time of 2hr 11min.
Stephen Dunkerley (M55-59) took part in the middle-distance aqua bike (1.9km swim, 83km bike), which he completed in 3:26 to earn himself ninth place in his age group.
Three club athletes took part in the bucket list race, Challenge Roth in Germany (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km marathon run).
With more than 5,000 competitors and 260,000 spectators, support for the athletes around the course was unrivalled.
First home for the club was Kieran Fitzpatrick in 10:04, finishing the race with a strong three-hour, 25-minute marathon.
He was followed by Adam Dennis in 10:25, knocking over an hour off his previous best on this course, with Guy Whitby following in 10:37 after a strong bike leg.
Matt Bridgeman raced in Ironman Austria, with 3.8km swim taking place in beautiful Lake Wörthersee. During the bike course, a huge thunderstorm threatened to stop the race but he managed to finish his first Ironman in 15:56.
Closer to home, Tunbridge Wells was also represented well at the Castle Triathlon Series Festival of Endurance held at Hever Castle.
Three took part in The Bastion, a gruelling full Iron distance race (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run) looping Ashdown Forest and surrounding areas.
First home for the club was Grant Aitken (M50) in 12:06.25, taking first place in his age group, followed by Ed Moffatt (M30-39) in 13:33.48 and Steve Lindsey (M40-49) in 15:40.20.
The festival’s half iron distance race, The Gauntlet (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21km run), was completed by Sam Gibbs (M30-39) in 6:16.13 after what he described as a ‘brutal race, the hardest half I’ve ever done’.
The long distance aquabike (3.8km swim, 180km bike) was completed by club chairman Ken Macsporran (M40-44), won won his age group in a time of 5:47.34.
Lloyd Collier (M45-49) came third in his category in 5:45.51 and John Fuller (M45-49) was fifth in age group in 6:41.10.
And nine club members competed in the Outlaw Half, held at Holkham Hall in Norfolk (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run).
Richard Bysouth (M40-44) was first home for the club in 5:29.58, while Clare Roche (F60-64) gave a fine performance in her first attempt stepping up to this distance, finishing second in her age group with a time of 6:50.45.
Other athletes completing the race were John Kendall (M55-59) 5:59.37, Chris Dickinson (M55-59) 6:04.35, Richard Pearce (M35-39) 6:24.20, Jim Bonner (M50-54) 6:40.06, Su Bonner (F50-54) 6:40.07 and Laura Finch (F40-44) 7:22.34.