Sunshine seals triathlon success

MORE than 300 athletes took part in the Bexhill Lions Club Triathlon, which was hailed as a major success for the town.

The event was a year in the making but more than repaid all that effort and hard work by bringing competitors and visitors to Bexhill for the spectacle of sporting endeavour and achievement along the seafront.

The race comprised a 750m sea swim, a 20km road cycle, and a 5km run along the promenade '“ and young competitors did a 100m sea swim, 4km cycle, and 2km run.

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The transition zone was set at the foot of Galley Hill where much of the action was centred.

Organiser David Burstow said: "It was absolutely fantastic. If you had written down a list of all the things you wanted from the day to I think it would have fulfilled all of them.

"The weather we had no power over '“ but it was glorious.

"The sea was cold, but there were no complaints '“ it was apparently 13 degrees, and there was quite a strong current from east to west which meant swimmers were being carried beyond the second buoy, towards Eastbourne direction, and so they had to swim more than the 750 metres.

"But it was perfect really."

He said a highlight of the day for him was seeing so many people enjoying the event.

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"For our team to have everything come together as we wanted is fantastic.

"To see so many people on Bexhill promenade on a glorious day having so much fun... I still cannot believe we pulled it all off, and it worked so well.

"We brought in hundreds of people to the town '“ most of them came along with loved ones, family and children, and from what I am told the guest houses and hotels were full, while all the cafes along the seafront had lots of people there. t was very good for the town.

"We feel sure we have raised a good sum for the Sussex Air Ambulance and St Mary's Hospice and we always said we would have something for the Lions charities as well.

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"It was a terrific day. We are all on a high '“ it was great."

There were a number of different categories '“ for instance, 19 competitors were Tristars, aged between 13-16, and there were 10 relay teams of three members, each taking care of one of the disciplines, and one para-athlete who was teenager Tom Harrison.

The winner of the men's category was Bexhill's Paul Holdaway, of Team Lifestyle, while Susie Casebourne, who is a teacher at Charters Ancaster school, led the women home.

Monty Wilson was the fastest Tristar male and Alice Reed won the Tristar female category '“ both belong to the Bodyworks team from Eastbourne.

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David and his team from Bexhill Lions have many helpers, supporters and volunteers to thank '“ they were Dean Baker from St Mary's triathlon team, Russell Varney from St Richard's Catholic College, Rother District Council, Bexhill Sailing Club, Bexhill Sea Angling Club, Hastings lifeguards, Brian Storkey, and those who took on jobs as marshals, including members of Bexhill 100 Motoring Club.

David added: "It was just great to see Bexhill at its best, with so many entrants and spectators enjoying thesmelves in our lovely town and raising money for wonderful worthwhile charities.

"It was a great achievement for everybody."