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Race aces' hot pace ensures triumph of the first triathlon

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: May 15, 2014

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ASHBOURNE'S first triathlon was a ''huge success'', with more than 430 competitors taking part.

The event, held on Sunday, was planned to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the opening of the town sport's hall.

Triathlon is a multi-discipline event involving three sports – swimming, cycling and running, with no break in between, apart from in the transition when competitors change from swimming to biking, and biking to running.

It was a beginner's triathlon – which involved a 400-metre swim in the leisure centre pool, followed by a 10-mile bike ride around the area's country lanes and finished with a 2.5km-run out and back through the Tissington Trail tunnel.

Ann Smith, town councillor and swimming instructor at the leisure centre, together with centre duty manager Carl Wingfield, had the idea to hold a triathlon in Ashbourne.

She said: "We had been talking about it for a couple of years but, when we looked closely at the organisation needed, we realised it might just have been too much for us to do. So we started looking at who might be able to help us, and we found a company called Punishing Events, based in Derby.

"Funnily enough, when we approached them, they told us they had been thinking the same – and that's how Ashbourne's first triathlon came about."

The competition attracted more than 430 entries, with nearly 400 people finishing.

The first man home was Andy Tarry with a time of 52 minutes and 49 seconds. The honour for first female went to Polly Veazey-Linskill with 59 minutes, seven seconds.

Punishing Events spokesman Peter Jackson said: "It was a fantastic turnout – and more than half the field were from Ashbourne.

"We are delighted that it was so well supported by locals and look forward to having even more people have a go at their first triathlon next year – as we are planning to repeat the event on the same weekend in 2015. Ann and Carl deserve the credit for having the original idea, and we want to say a huge thank-you to the Lions and Ashbourne Running Club for marshalling on the day."

Two teams taking part were the Pink and Blue Elephants – a group of friends made up of Louisa Duckmanton and husband Ian, Kerry and Matt Jones, Paul Laycock and Ria Symonds. They were competing in a series of three triathlons to raise money for the Isabella Peatfield Fund.

Isabella, five, was killed in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami while on holiday in Sri Lanka with parents Kim and Tristan, of Mappleton.

Louisa, 33, and Ian, 36, – both originally from Ashbourne – decided to raise money for the charity, which funds children's projects in Sri Lanka, as friends of the family.

Louisa said: "It went brilliantly – everyone got personal bests and the blue team came second overall in the team event.'

"The Pink Elephant team came a respectable tenth."

The blue team completed the triathlon in one hour, eight minutes and 19 seconds, with the pink team finishing in one hour, 19 minutes and 53 seconds.

Louisa said: "We had a great day, despite the weather, everyone swam, biked and ran their socks off.

"As well as getting personal bests we hopefully raised awareness of the charity and the fund-raising."

There will also be a donation to Ashbourne's defibrillator fund from Punishing Events.

Peter said: "We plan to make a presentation of £2,000 to Ann to buy another defibrillator for town.''

Results are online at www.punishingevents.com.

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