There was fun for all ages last Saturday (11 July) as 800 participants took to Dorney Lake, Buckinghamshire, to take part in triathlon and duathlon events.
The 2015 BananaMan Triathlon offered up six different triathlon events, meaning something for everyone. If that wasn’t enough, for the first time in the event’s history there was a duathlon for competitors who didn’t fancy a swim.
Those participating could choose from a selection of disciplines ranging from team time trials to relay, sprint to the complete triathlon distance. The triathlon distance known as the Whole Banana (800m/31.8km/7.5km) proved to be the most popular and the men’s category had to be split into over-40’s and under-40’s.
Matt Clarkson and Carol Bridge recorded the fastest individual times over the triathlon distance, while James Repper and Kate Sharland won the inaugural duathlon.
The Whole Banana
As previously mentioned the men’s category had to be split into two age groups – the over-40’s and the under-40’s. The course consisted of an 800m swim, a 31.8km bike and 7.5km run in the sunny Buckinghamshire sun.
The over-40’s kicked off the Whole Banana and, showing the youngsters how it’s done, Matt Clarkson finished the course in the fastest time of the day with 1:33:56 – two seconds ahead of Michael Marzetti. Scott Forsyth completed the top three.
Mark Chamberlain, from Southampton Tri Club, won the under-40’s individual triathlon finishing ahead of Mark Furth and Jack Knight. Chamberlain’s finishing time was three minutes behind the over-40’s winner Matt Clarkson.
With the men’s event done and dusted it was the turn of the women to take to the lake. The women’s category wasn’t split into the two age groups so all competitors raced together.
Carol Bridge, from Rhondda’s Triathlon Club, finished 14mins ahead of her nearest competitor. Bridge not only recorded the best swim, bike and run times of any women, but also beat any of the men’s swim time – delivering a split of 10:03mins.
The inaugural duathlon (5km/21.2km/2.5km)
James Repper and Kate Sheppard were the first winners of the event’s duathlon, named the Banana Fritter. Repper’s run was the stand-out performance and the decisive factor in his victory. He posted a 17:54mins split over the first 5km and then a 9:21mins slit for the final 2.5km, the quickest in the field.
Repper finished ahead of Gerold Tudor, who posted the best bike split in the duathlon, two minutes faster than Repper. Tudor couldn’t make that advantage stick though and he finished second. Jonathon Walker rounded off the top three.
Kate Sharland was the clear winner of the ladies’ duathlon, finishing 4mins ahead of Amanda Peart and 5mins ahead of third-placed finisher Cathy Taylor.
Sharland posted the quickest first and second run, 22mins and 11:22mins respectively. Her bike time was also the fastest out of the women, posting a 45:15mins split over the 21.2km bike ride.
The rest of the action
For those who wanted a shorter triathlon distance than the Whole Banana, there was a shorter distance known as the Banana Fritter (400m/ 21.2km/ 5km). Again the men’s category was divided into two age groups – the over-35’s and under-35’s.
Jason Emmet, from the Evolution Tri club in Windsor, took the victory in the over-35’s win despite not having the best splits in the race. Tom Scott won the under-35’s race and Sonia Spearing won the women’s category (which wasn’t split up).
Glen Barlow (M25-29) racing the Banana Fritter
Team Bumblebee from Berkshire Tri Squad won The Team Time Trial, beating fellow Berkshire Tri Squad team Windsor Old Boys. Team Bumblebee posted the quickest bike split of the whole race of 49:33mins. Feegle, Bingo & Snorky, also representing the Berkshire Tri Squad, completed the top three.
Team Banana Cake, also from Berkshire Tri Club, won the women’s relay race. The Ultimate Threesome team claimed second and Team Bloomberg Women took third spot.
Berkshire Tri Club also featured heavily in the Bunch of Bananas Relay, taking both first and second. Team Simple Minds won the race, 38secs ahead of their Tri Club partners Team Woodland Animals. Team Turning Horse School took third place, ensuring that the podium wasn’t completely Berkshire Tri Squad.
For the athletes who prefer running, the BananaMan Triathlon offered a 200m swim, 5.3km bike ride and 25km run. Sam Atkins won the men’s category and Anja Heijnen won the women’s.
Young teens were given the chance to have a go on a course consisting of a 200m swim, 5.3km bike ride and a 1.5km run. Harry Gurney took the title completing the 200m swim in just 2:29, the quickest swim over 200m.
No confirmed sightings of Eric though…
BananaMan Triathlon 2015 champions
Men’s Whole Banana (800m swim/31.8km bike/7.5km run)
Matt Clarkson – 1:33:56 (Over 40’s)
Mark Chamberlain – 1:36:03 (under 40’s)
Women’s Whole Banana
Carol Bridge – 1:36:08
Men’s Duathlon (5km run/ 21.2km bike/ 2.5km run)
James Repper – 1:08:40
Kate Sharland – 1:21:04
Men’s Banana Fritter (400m swim/ 21.2km bike/ 5km run)
Jason Emmet – 1:01:53 (over 35’s)
Tom Scott – 1:08: 57 (under 35’s)
Women’s Banana Fritter
Sonia Spearing – 1:06:45
Men’s Team Trial Race
Team BumbleBee – 1:34:34
Women’s Team Trial
Girls Going Banana’s – 1:56:04
Men’s Relay Race
Team Simple Minds – 1:34:00
Women’s Relay Race
Team Banana Cake – 1:40:00
Did you race the BananaMan Triathlon? Let us know in the comments below!