Raceways | Multi Sport Event Management
After recent rain, the day dawned bright and clear for the fifth Avenger Triathlon in the magnificent setting of Ragley Hall, near Alcester in Warwickshire on 11 June. The only issue was a brisk wind to make swimming and the bike leg particularly challenging. There were three distances, Middle, Standard and Sprint and there was also the 10Km Ragley Off Road Run.
The start and finish for all activities was the Ragley Hall grounds, which also provide activities for all the family. The swim took place in the boating lake and was based on a 650m lap. From the lake there was a short, slightly uphill run to transition. The bike routes then took the triathletes along the drive and out into the beautiful, rolling Warwickshire and Worcestershire countryside, returning to Ragley Hall via the imposing main gates and up the sweeping drive past the Hall itself. The run course, used for the first time in 2016, was based on a 5km lap through woodland tracks, gardens, historic outbuildings and the rolling fields of the estate. This provides all the competitors with a chance to enjoy some of the spectacular scenery Ragley Hall can offer. The run course was tough, but stunning with great volunteer and spectator support all the way round.
With nearly 400 registered for the triathlons and a further 165 for the Ragley Run – a record for the event – organisation and smooth logistics were paramount and Raceways’ sincere thanks are extended to all the volunteers who gave so freely of their time to ensure the events passed off so successfully and safely. A number of local clubs provided marshals including Triathlon Redditch, Evesham Vale Triathletes, Red Kite Belles on Bikes and Alcester Runners.
The event was supported by Cycle Studio, which provide the winners prizes for the triathlons, Tesco and the Blakemore Foundation which provided the post race and volunteer refreshments and Carl Adams who provided the post race therapy. Jo’s Coffee and Savva Bars Co supplied the excellent coffee, cakes and hot food. The water safety kayakers are all members of Warwickshire Search and Rescue and the RLSS coordinated the lifeguards. So thanks to all of them.
Runners and volunteers alike enjoyed the balmy weather, at least by Long Marston Airfield standards, for the Spring Shakespeare.
First runner back was the 5km winner Philip Harrison of Edinburg Triathletes in 17:32, followed 10 seconds later by Gregor Kelling of Banbury Harriers AC with Jorge Sanchez of Solihull in third place with a time of 18:50. The women’s race was not so close. Fastest was Jill Pittard of Northbrook AC in 21:32 with Toni Gaskins of DO3 second in 23:036 and Rachel Edwards third in 24:02. Other notable results were 8 year old Jefferson Tear who was 17th in 29:02 and seven year olds Marjieka Tear, 12th female, in 30:02 and Arwen Fogarty who finished in 37:02
In the 10km, Richard Hayes of Penistone FR &AC was fastest in 36:05 while Matt Johnson of Hinkley RC just pipped Jason Brotherhood of Coventry Godiva for second place with times of 36:42 and 36:46 respectively. The fastest woman was Gail Audhali of Kenilworth Runners with a time of 44:08. Laura Foster of Kings Heath RC followed her home in 44:37 and Lucy Garrod of Witney Road Runners came in third in 45:48.
We were very pleased to welcome Stefan Couture and his daughter Chloe to the 10km race. Stefan propelled Chloe around the two laps in her wheel chair 54:29. Their story is an inspiring one, competing in various events including open water triathlons. You can read more about them in this article from Triathlon Plus.