Nine members of the Cheltenham Tri Club were among the 750 who took part in the 2011 British Triathlon Middle Distance (half ironman distance) Championships, racing to win the coveted Age Group British Championships at the Cowman Triathlon in Emberton Park, Milton Keynes. A half iron man consists of 1900m swim, 92km bike and 21km run.
It was the first half ironman for many of the club members, but they all finished, some of them with very credible times. Mary Welsh was the star of the day winning her age group (65-69) in 7 hours 31 minutes, so Mary is National Middle Distance Champion 2011. There were good positions for Karen Hilton (11th in the 40-45 age group), Shaun Hennessy (11th in the 25-29 age group) and Colin Watkins (14th, 55-59).
Doug Waymark, Rich Walklate, Dave Hodgetts, Ted Allen and Shaun Hennessy were off in the 6.30am wave, followed by Karen Hilton, Colin Watkins, Mary Welsh and Graham Beddis in the second wave at 7am. It was a bumpy swim with approx 375 in each group especially around the first 2 buoys but things settled down after that.
The bike was full of incident, with crashes, hospitalization of two competitors and a plenty of punctures (including Richard Walklate), and the run was undulating and hot. Despite this CTC all managed to finish, with Doug Waymark being the fastest in just under 5 hours.