Team Triathlon runs as a complete success…

…and planning is racing ahead for next year!

The second annual ‘Aldeburgh Fun Relay Team Triathlon’ took place on Sunday 18th September 2016, and raised an impressive £1000 for the RNLI. Doubling in size this year with 99 teams competing, the locally-run event consisted of 297 participants either swimming, cycling or running for their team.

Kicking off at 14:30 outside the Brudenell hotel with the Mayor watching and the maroon starting, the 99 swimmers were given an energetic warmup by Mint Fitness. Supported by many volunteers including the RNLI, Iken Canoe and lifeguards from Leiston & District Swimming Club, the swimmers safely completed the 900m tide assisted swim course along the shoreline to the waiting cyclists outside the White Lion Hotel.

As the race continued, the second member of each team completed the 22km cycle travelling two laps from Aldeburgh, through to Thorpeness and Aldringham and back into Aldeburgh again. The runners then took their turn, encouraged by crowds of supporters as they ran the 5km coastal path to Thorpeness and back.

The finish line was again heavily populated by spectators this year; as teams raced to the finish 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, sparked by last year’s inaugural event.

The addition of free children’s fun runs before the main event was also well supported, and this wasn’t the only addition from last year that made the event so popular; the racking of bikes in the transition area, road closure, chip timing system, professional event photo company, more awards and sponsor prizes as well as great weather proved to really enhance the event.

This year, the triathlon’s success was highlighted by the feedback it received – with one team saying the whole thing has been a triumph, incredibly enjoyable and well organised, with a positive energy throughout” and another praising the “very professional” team, the organisers are delighted with the outcome of the event. “Complimented by a witty and energetic commentary” from Race Director Matt Dye, teams were “greatly impressed with the organisation and the atmosphere of the event, from the logistics of keeping 100 teams competing smoothly and safely, to the versatility and richness of the results data, to the good support facilities and atmosphere”.

Commenting on their achievements, the organisers said “the superb support from local businesses, organisations and clubs has been brilliant for the local community, bringing a healthy feel-good factor into the area”.

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 just 13 (a runner), and the oldest at an incredible 78 years old (swimmer). To celebrate this, the organising team provided awards for not only the fastest overall team, but also the fastest family team, fastest all female team, and gave rewards based on combined age of the teams. The youngest team had a combined age of 61 years old, with the oldest combined age coming in at a respectable 173. This year the average team age was 118 years old, with the average age of each competitor sitting at just under 40.

There were some fantastic stories behind the teams taking part, with one team consisting of a bridal party that had their hen-do just the night before, to a team that were pulled together on the very morning of the event.

The independent event has attracted significant local sponsors including EDF who sponsored the chip timing system, and the T A Hotel Collection for their generous hospitality efforts on the day. Other major businesses that have contributed to the event include O&C Butcher, Aldeburgh Fish & Chips, Gressingham Foods and Flick & Son, and this year it was fantastic to see teams from the named sponsors participating in the triathlon.

A full list of the results from the triathlon can be found at http://www.whatsmytime.co.uk/index.php/race-results/2015-09-16-20-02-55/2016-06-07-09-45-15/aldeburgh-relay-triathlon, and the professional photos can be accessed by following this link and creating an account online – www.diss-eventphotography.co.uk. There is also a range of photographs on the event’s Facebook page (search Aldeburgh Triathlon) which is where you’ll also find the ariel video footage from the drone, and information on how to access this on YouTube.

The organisers of the event would like to thank all of the marshals that volunteered on the day, as well as all sponsors and organisations including the local council, whom without their support it wouldn’t be possible to put on such a successful event. The third ‘Aldeburgh Fun Relay Team Triathlon’ is already in the planning, and looks to be another popular event on the local and sporting calendar with a provisional date of 10thSeptember 2017.

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