Welcome to the Aldeburgh Fun Relay Team Triathlon website!
The fourth annual ‘Aldeburgh Fun Relay Team Triathlon’ took place on Sunday 16th September 2018, was supported by a large number of spectators and raised an impressive £1000 for both the RNLI and East Anglian Air Ambulance. Increasing in size yet again this year with 105 teams competing, the entirely voluntary locally-run event consisted of 315 participants either swimming, cycling or running in and around Aldeburgh for their team.
Now at an impressive total of over £10,000 raised for local charities in the four years the event has been running, the ‘Aldeburgh Fun Relay Team Triathlon’ has become an extremely popular and highly anticipated occasion within the local area, encouraging friendly competition with wide-spread participation in sport for all ages and abilities. With the integration of local businesses and community support, the sporting event has generated an excitement in the town.
On the day, action started with a free children’s fun run at 10:30 where participants received medals supplied by the Suffolk Coastal District Council. The RNLI lifeboat was positioned on the beach and the EEAA helicopter did a timely fly past and landed ready for the start of the main event. Racing off at the sound of the starters hooter at noon situated next to the famous Scallop Shell, the 105 swimmers made their way along the 750m course in the choppy North Sea to the Moot Hall transition area safely guided by the RNLI in-shore lifeboat, lifeguards from both Leiston & District Swimming Club and the RNLI beach Lifeguards and canoeists.
As the race continued, the sun shone brightly but the wind was still strong as the second member of each team completed the 22km cycle travelling two laps from outside the White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh, through to Thorpeness and Aldringham and back into Aldeburgh again. It was then the runners’ turn to spin their legs, encouraged by the ever-increasing crowds of supporters, they raced along the 5km coastal path to Thorpeness and back in the head wind.
The finish line was again this year heavily populated by spectators enjoying local refreshments, and as teams pounded across the line to the sound of cheering and whistles it was evident that there was a fantastic amount of sportsmanship and friendly rivalry out on the course. Bespoke medals and a well-earned drink, banana and apple kindly provided by the East of England Coop were given to the finishers as they soaked up the feeling of success.
Achieving a first-place ranking, the “Rock Estate” team were first to finish with an impressive time of 1hr 2mins and 20secs. The first mixed team finished an impressive 5th overall and the first all-female team to complete the race finished in 1hr 15mins and placed 29th overall. The organising team designed keep-sake unique display plates for each category-winning team to take away, and these were awarded to various teams ranging from the most outstanding (4 teams from Best Estates/Best of Suffolk), the overall winners, winning business (CHP Consulting), family teams and the winning team per age group (called rustic, vintage and antique!). There were teams of 3 generations taking part and the winning family team (5th overall) were all local cousins named ‘Bradley’s Warriors’!
This year, the triathlon’s success was highlighted by the feedback it received – with one team saying, “this is Aldeburgh at it’s very best” and another giving praise that the triathlon is “the highlight event of the year”. Teams having not entered before have expressed their desire to participate again, saying “we’ll definitely be back, better and fitter!”
All volunteers and organisers were once again delighted with the outcome of the event. Speaking on the triathlon, Race Director Matt Dye said; “we continue to amaze ourselves with the immense support and enthusiasm for this local fun sporting event. People are greatly impressed with the organisation and the atmosphere of the event, from the logistics of keeping 105 teams competing smoothly and safely, combined with the positives of working with the town and the many groups of local organisations”.
Commenting on their achievements, the organisers said “the support from local businesses, organisations, the community and clubs has been brilliant yet again this year, and our event brings a healthy feel-good factor into the area which encourages community support and togetherness. We are very pleased to have had the help of the Leiston Army Cadets again this year and also the use of event parking in Aldeburgh from the town council.”
With teams of all levels participating, from first time competitors to seasoned triathletes, the event has attracted a wide spread interest. The youngest competitor this year was aged 16 who took part with his parents, and the oldest at an incredible 80 years old (a cyclist). The youngest team had a combined age of 78 years old, with the oldest combined age coming in at an incredible 206 years of age and they weren’t the slowest! This year the average team age has increased but the speed of the teams has also increased, an amazing set of statistics. A large number of teams were all female, also making this a truly inclusive and versatile event.
There were some fantastic stories behind the teams taking part just like previous years, with various local businesses providing whole teams, and in a few cases multiple teams, like teachers from schools, business and clubs, having their own challenge to see who came out on top!
The independent event has attracted yet more significant local & national sponsors, whom the event could not run without. New large sponsors for this year were Alfa Systems and David James Wealth. EDF Energy were sponsors again, the T A Hotel Collection generously provided hospitality on the day and Munchies & Slate made some delicious food bags over the weekend for all the volunteering marshals and organisers. Other local businesses that have contributed greatly to the event include Best Estates, the East of England Co-Operative, O&C Butcher, Aldeburgh Fish & Chips, Gressingham Foods, Flick & Son, and Danes along with many more helping in various ways. As per previous years, it was fantastic to see teams from the named sponsors participating in the triathlon.
The organisers of the event would like to thank each and every one of the marshals that volunteered over the weekend and in the lead up to the event, as well as all sponsors and organisations including the local council, fishermen, RNLI, the Yacht Club and many more whom without their support it wouldn’t be possible to put on such a successful event. The fifth anniversary of the ‘Aldeburgh Fun Relay Team Triathlon’ is already in the planning and looks to be yet again a popular event on the local and sporting calendar.