More than 200 competitors descended on Devon for the first ever Croyde Ocean Triathlon last Saturday, with the organisers hoping to raise £10,000 for charity. The new Olympic-distance triathlon put seasoned triathletes and first timers through their paces.
The new course, which was designed by professional cyclist Chris Green, took competitors from Putsborough Sands in North Devon, through the coastal villages of Braunton and the Victorian town of Llfracombe and back to Putsborough Sands.
Competitors had to overcome 1.5km swim in the Atlantic Ocean followed by a 40km bike route across the steep hills of North Devon. Participants then complete 12km off-road trail run allowing the athletes to take in the beautiful panoramic views of Putsborough, Saunton and Croyde Bays.
Local success in the individual category
There was a running theme for first ever Croyde Ocean Triathlon, with winners in the men’s individual, men’s relay and mixed relay all coming from the local area.
Sam Petty, from Barnstaple, was the first winner of the Croyde Ocean Triathlon, finishing 16secs ahead of runner-up Andrew Cole.
— Sam Petty (@SamPetty3) July 11, 2015
Claire Moodie, who also hails from Devon, took second in the women’s individual category, rounding off a magnificent day for triathletes from the South West. Jessica Parry-Williams saw off Moodie to take the win.
Passing the baton
James Hardiman, Jon Hall and Mike Everett, all from Croyde, were the first male team to finish the course, with Mike putting in the strongest swim to leave his team in a strong position.
Sisters Lucy and Ruth Tighe, who travelled from London, won the women’s relay race in a highly competitive field.
Sibling success spilled over into the mixed relay as Kevin and Sarah Sheppard, based just 8km north of Croyde in Braunton, teamed with Andrew Cork to take the victory.
Event Directors Mike Morris and Lyn Strahan were delighted with how the event went and is already looking forward to next year. Mike said: “The atmosphere has been brilliant and everyone has embraced the beach and coastal vibe making for a fantastic event.
‘The course makes for a tough triathlon but we really wanted to encourage everyone to take part, regardless of experience. We really saw that today- we had a great mix of serious triathletes taking part alongside those simply wanting to give it a go.”
Where’s the money going?
Four charities are set to benefit from the first ever Croyde Ocean Triathlon, two local to the area and two international. Surfers Against Sewage, Surfers Not Street Children, Croyde Surf Lifesaving Club and Children’s Hospice South West were all named as the events charities.
Croyde Ocean Champions
Sam Petty – 2:35:27
Jessica Parry- Williams – 2:50:49
James Hardiman, Jon Hall and Mike Everett – 2:57: 32
Lucy and Ruth Tighe – 3:14:51
Mixed Relay team
Kevin Sheppard, Sarah Sheppard and Andrew Cork – 2:35:39
For full results: http://croydeocean.co.uk/croyde-ocean-triathlon-north-devon/
Organisers hope that the Croyde Triathlon will become known as ‘Destination Triathlon’. They want to encourage competitors to make a weekend out of the event and explore the surrounding towns and villages, which have become a holiday hot spot for families.
Were you racing in Croyde last weekend? Let us know in the comments below!