Record numbers at town triathlon

Action from the cycling stage of the Bank Holiday triathlon competition, the first event to be held at the new Arc Leisure Matlock sports centre.
Action from the cycling stage of the Bank Holiday triathlon competition, the first event to be held at the new Arc Leisure Matlock sports centre.

A TOTAL of 182 people crossed the finish line on Monday at the ninth annual Matlock Triathlon, the first event to be held at the new Arc Leisure Matlock venue, writes race director Karl Webster.

Arc is arguably the finest facility of its kind in the country for a demographically comparable town.

Thanks, first of all, must go to the Derbyshire Dales District Council for their tenacity in holding out for such a great finished product in the face of frustration and criticism over the past decade.

It has been a passionate project for many individuals and the people living and visiting the area can now look forward to making best use of it.

The beauty of such a wide pool is that many competitors had the luxury of a lane to themselves and hardly anyone had to share with more than one other.

Thanks must go to the Matlock and District Swimming Club members, along with Steve Holt and Randell Tassell from Matlock Athletic Club who administered everything at the start and the poolside.

The bike route, which has been used since the first MARS Triathlon back in 2003, was too good to consider changing, although the bank holiday traffic was beginning to build up towards the end of the event.

There’s not a lot to be done about that but it demonstrates the reason for the early 7am start. The cycle route marshalling was looked after by Chris Mottram and his team from Matlock Cycling Club and they deserve special thanks for their patient work that morning.

It was evident that the transition area needs some tweaking for next year but sterling work was done by members of Matlock AC, who somehow made it work.

It was unfortunate that the area used for the run route was limited by the temporary fencing surrounding the recently seeded sport pitches, although it was said by a number of people how the three-lap format kept their focus sharp. Nevertheless, a two-lap route was the original plan so next year will have something a little different.

I would particularly like to thank John Hurley from Matlock AC for the use of his brain in calculating the finish times. The man is a mathematical genius who stands there for hours on end each year with hardly a break for a cup of tea and produces instantaneous results. I’ve never had an error based on John’s work pointed out to me in nine years of running the event.

Many were clearly grateful of the tea service provided by our stalwart volunteer ladies who handed over £130 by the end of the morning to be added to the event’s profits.

These profits are increased by the sponsorship of the prizes for which we are very grateful. This year support was given by:

Stanley Fearn’s Cycles (Matlock’s quirkiest shop and a long time supporter of the cyling club), First Ascent (outdoor gear suppliers based in Matlock), Kick Off Sports (all round sports shop run by the Lowe family on Firs Parade, Matlock), John Palin Wholesale (fruit and veg merchants co-owned by Dave Newton of Matlock AC who always puts together a few nice boxes of fruit for their races), Nourish Me Now (a new milk-based recovery drink venture of Lynwen and Rachel who had their product for sampling at the race and provided a few bottles for prizes), Total Fitness Nottingham (TFN) (triathlon shop in Beeston owned and run by people who really know their sport).

So, these profits, which in the event’s past have gone towards the Arc project via the Matlock Area Recreation and Sports Group (MARS), are now being distributed a little differently. Half will be split three ways for use in developing the 3 organising clubs (MAD Swimming, MCC and MAC) and the other half will be split 2 ways between charities chosen by the winning man and winning woman.

Therefore I will be forwarding £470 to Wirksworth Rotary Club’s Aquabox project which sends these water purification devices to parts of the world lacking a safe supply of drinking water due to disastrous circumstances, natural or otherwise which has been chosen by the winning lady Christine Howard.

The winning man Steve Penney will be letting me know his decision about where the other £470 will be going in due course.

Finally, the biggest thanks must go to the competitors for taking part, whether it be the experienced athlete picking up yet more honours to add to an already impressive collection, a novice tackling the great sport of triathlon for the first time ever or the regular participant who turns out to give the best account of themselves on the day.

I hope everyone involved can be proud of their achievements.