An intrepid group of Matlock Athletics Club (AC) members decided that the best way to wind up the triathlon season was to tackle the prestigious Sandman event at Newborough Forest in Anglesey.
And what a venue and event they proved to be. The triathlon was brilliantly organised in a setting of golden sand, bright blue water and shining sun, with the undulating bike-route through countryside offering some stunning views, followed by a challenging run through forest and sand dunes.
John Simmons was the pick of the Matlock bunch, finishing tenth U23 male in a time of one hour, 29.52 minutes in only his third triathlon. Christine Howard, who is still recovering from a broken elbow she sustained in the summer, also ran well to clock 1.28.11 and coming home as the fifth Vet 40 runner, while Alison Pye completed her first season of triathlons in 11th position in the female open race with a time of 1.33.11
Not to be outdone by the seniors, Ellen Patten and Lizzie Webster competed in the junior event, finishing second and third respectively, despite a tough time on the off-road bike course that was more suited to mountain bikes than their cyclo-cross bikes.
The following day, Howard also took part in the full triathlon, which comprised a 1km sea swim, a 60km bike-ride and a 10km trail run. Another fantastic result saw her finish 5th female Vet 40 in 3.20.30, ahead of teammate Gavin Simmons, who was 128th male Vet 40 in 3.38.20 in one of his first full-distance triathlons.
Elsewhere, two Matlock runners were among the 8,000 who took part in the 32nd renewal of the Robin Hood Half-Marathon in Nottingham city centre. Colin Davenport finished in 1.22.34 and Roseanna Croft in 1.49.11.
On the same day, Matt Haywood tackled the inaugural Stone-on-Trent European City of Sport Triathlon, and completed the Olympic distance course (1500m swim, 40km bike-ride and 10km run) in 2.27.22, only 14 minutes behind the winner.
Meanwhile the mother and son combination of Emma and Ted Phillips distinguished themselves in the monthly Alfreton Park Community 5k, organised by Ripley Running Club. Emma clocked 27.20 minutes, not far behind Ted in 19.59.
Matlock’s Billy Cartwright also deserved plenty of plaudits for his performance in the T’Owd Man Race at Wirksworth, which stretched over 22.4km. He took second place in a time of 1.34.22, while Alan Pickering was the first male vet 50 home in 1.52.13. The ubiquitous Christine Howard was also on song as the first female vet 40 runner in 2.5.50, while Jan Forrester was the first female vet 60 in 2.26.20.