EVENING MAIL WRITE UP Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Easter triathletes have cracking time in Ulverston
A bright and breezy Easter Sunday saw hundreds of athletes and supporters descend on Ulverston Leisure Centre for the sixth staging of the swim-cycle-run challenge.
From youngsters enjoying their first taste of racing, adult novices making their triathlon debuts, to elite athletes bidding for the top places, the event catered for all age categories and abilities. Organisers Epic Events see the Ulverston Triathlon as a family-friendly occasion, and the staging of an early-morning aquathan for seven to 14-year-olds fitted in with that philosophy.
There were 27 kids who took the plunge, with seven-to-nine-year-olds swimming one length of the pool and running one 500-metre lap of the adjacent sports field and ten to 14-year-olds swimming two lengths and running two laps. Ulverston Tri Club chairman Wayne Singleton – whose son Reece took part in the aquathan – said it was a great way to start the day. “It was brilliant. And without exception everyone was saying, that’s what it’s all about, the grassroots stuff, getting all the kids enthused,” he said. “The kids were just bouncing and they got everyone else going.”
The triathlon saw three-times winner and reigning champion Chris Joyce beaten for the first time in his hometown race. Joyce finished third in one hour, 14 minutes and 26 seconds – three minutes behind winner, Brian Fogarty, of Blackburn and cousin of World Superbikes ace Carl – who finished in a brilliant 1:11:26.
Second place went to David Cullen (1:13:11) while the women’s race was won by Loughborough University’s Ella Thorogood in 1:22:22, with Ulverston Tri Club’s Lucy Jones second in 1:30:07.
There was success for Walney Wind Cheetahs in the relay, with the team of Helen Dooley, Christine Adams and Sandra Crease winning in 1:48:03.
Competitors swam 16 lengths of the 25-metre pool before switching to pedal power and setting off down the Coast Road. The outward journey was fast, helped by having a stiff breeze behind them, but what they faced after circling Rampside roundabout was a stiff headwind, making the eight-and-a-half miles back to Ulverston a hard slog. And a consequence of having to put so much effort in on the return bike journey was that there were plenty of heavy legs on show when athletes hit the 3.6-mile road section.
Singleton said it was a proud occasion for the Ulverston Tri Club, and thinks the success of the event can only help increase the popularity of the sport in this area. “It was an amazing day,” he said. “It was a really good family atmosphere. And from our point of view, being a fledgling club, it was great to have that many guys and girls competing – from Iron Man guys to a good few first-timers.”
Singleton said the club are weighing up the possibility of teaming up with Kendal Tri Club to stage another triathlon at the end of summer. With the club set to hold two six-week ‘Try a Tri’ training programmes in May and August, this would fit in well with their plans to sign up more beginners. “One of the things we are looking at through the ‘Try a Tri’ stuff is doing our own club event,” said Singleton.
“There is a possibility we will do a small event in September, it will be nowhere near the scale of yesterday’s race – maybe 30 to 40 people. “Some of the guys were talking about having it as an Ulverston and Kendal event, a local social event.”
For more information about Ulverston Tri Club’s ‘Try a Tri’ series contact the club on email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or twitter (@UlverstonTri)