Several members of Cheltenham Tri club travelled up to Trentham in Stoke on Trent to compete in a variety of triathlons held there on Sunday.
The weather was atrocious, leading to a freezing, muddy and over-long swim, a dangerously wet bike and an uncomfortable run. Some members have vowed never to return to Trentham following their experiences.
Despite the appalling conditions Sue Bathgate (61), who described the race as "horrible" - won her age group and came sixth overall in the women's classic length triathlon (1500m swim, 45k bike, 10k run), finishing in a time of 3 hrs 7 minutes. Sarah Roberts (43) came 2nd in her age group and 13th overall in 03:18. John Wallace (37) also completed the classic length course in 03:03, earning him 8th place in his age group (34th overall).
In addition to the shorter races there was a half ironman event (1.2 mile swim, 58 mile bike, 13 mile run) in which four members took part. The most impressive was David Symes (47) who completed the course in 5 hours 40 minutes, coming 4th in his age group and 47 th overall. Steve Yarnold (52), who couldn't have chosen a more challenging set of circumstances for his first long event, was delighted to finish in 06:10 also 5th in his age group (83rd overall).
Two women (pictured above looking somewhat apprehensive!) from the club also completed the challenging half ironman distance. Ellie Millington (47) came second in her age group in a time of 6 hours 19 minutes (16th overall) and Elaine Edgeworth (54) completed her first half ironman event in 07:34, half an hour quicker than she dared to expect and the only woman in her age group to complete the course (32nd overall).
The most sensible members of the club were Helen Yarnold (49) and Brian Bathgate (64) who chose to compete in the mercifully short sprint event (500m swim, 28km bike, 5km run), which they completed in 2 hours 14 minutes (9th in her age group) and 1 hour 50 minutes (4th and in his age group) respectively.