Triathletes enjoy Chichester’s big weekend of action

Linda Roberts was one of the top performers in the Tri iT Sports triathlon
Linda Roberts was one of the top performers in the Tri iT Sports triathlon

A HEALTHY-SIZED field took part in a triathlon organised by Chichester-based Tri iT Sports.

Labelled the Big Weekend, the event on the South Downs was the first of its kind of the season and offered competitors the chance to take part in a number of cycling, swimming and running challenges.

The organisers’ aim is to reach to as many new and existing triathletes to make the sport one of the most popular in the UK.

Competitors were able to take part in three distances - long, middle and Olympic (standard) - with the swimming taking place on Saturday morning, cycling in the afternoon and running the next day.

James Long finished the 1.5k swim with an excellent time of 20.54 while Linda Roberts led the ladies with a respectable 26.01.

In the middle-distance swim, Frenchman Matthieu Cauchy-Duval covered the 1.9k in 35.25 while Kathryn Toms did it in 43.51, while over the long course, Lee Sawyer put in a really steady 60.43. Without too much competition, Joanne Plumbley managed an 81.19.

Andrew Soppit was the stand-out performer in the cycling, winning the prize of new racing tyres for being the fastest male hill climber while also being the quickest rider over the 86k course with a time of 2.42.31.

Mary Campbell performed brilliantly, winning the prize for fastest female hill climber and destroying the field in the one-lap standard distance race with a time of 1.24.50.

James Long added to his swimming event win by winning the men’s standard distance with a time of 1.21.19.

With the weather closing in and visibility reduced to about 20m, the long-distance competitors were forced to abandon their race.

Next morning, running specialist James Baker impressed during the middle-distance run before turning in a time of 1.16.16 in the two-lap half marathon. The star athlete of the competition, James Long, won the standard-distance 10k which secured him

the title of standard-distance winner.

Triathlete Linda Roberts won the women’s standard distance title, completing the 10k run in 50.57.

Chichester Westgate Triathlon Club stalwart Trycha Darling won the local vets’ middle-distance event. Damian Crawford took the male middle distance by coming second on the swim, fifth on the bike and third on the run.

Tri iT Sports hope the weekend will encourage aspiring athletes to take part in more triathlons in the future.

Winners: Standard Tri - Male James Long, Female Linda Roberts; Middle Tri - Male Damian Crawford, Female Trycha Darling; Long Tri - Male Lee Sawyer, Female Joanne Plumbley.