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Alnwick Tri at the Northumberland Triathlon festival
Alnwick Tri at the Northumberland Triathlon festival

In one of the biggest turn-outs the club has ever had, a quarter of Alnwick Tri competed in the Northumberland Triathlon festival on Sunday.

The festival was at Druridge Bay Country Park so this is the closest to a home race as we get for any triathlon with an open-water swim.

There were two races during the day over the same course with the swim taking pace in Ladyburn Lake, the bike on the A1068 between Widdrington and Amble, and the run being laps on the path around Ladyburn Lake.

The sprint distance comprised a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5.2km run, while the standard distance was double the sprint with a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10.8km run.

A total of 211 triathletes lined up in the lake at 8am to start the sprint distance race.

This was a mixed race which was a mass start, all males and females together, allowing club members to race each other head to head.

A one-lap swim of almost the whole length of the lake turned out to be nearer 900m than the advertised 750m.

Alnwick showed the quality of their athletes by having a number of members out of the water in the front of the pack, including Amy Thorne in seventh overall and third female on her first triathlon.

She was quickly overhauled on the bike by the top men. Out on the bike the head-to-head race took shape with Alnwick Tri’s Steve Carragher and Geoff Whitman moving through the field into the top 20 and Tracey Sample and Denise Drummond putting in the respective second and third-fastest female bike times of the day to get off the bike in fourth and fifth positions within a second of each other, accompanied by a number of Alnwick Tri Males who really did not want to be beaten by the girls.

Out onto the run, Carragher ran himself into 10th place with Whitman running superbly to finish in 17th.

Despite the fantastic performances on the bike, neither Sample nor Drummond could make any further inroads onto the ladies in front finishing in fourth and fifth females.

Sue Bolam finished in 11th position and with all these three getting podium spots in their respective Age Groups, boding well for the European Triathlon Championships next weekend.

There was a smaller field in the standard-distance race with 150 lining up for the deep-water start.

This race started 10 minutes after the sprint race so just as the first competitors were coming out of the water.

Ian Simon took only 21 minutes to swim the 1500m, coming out in sixth position. He lost a bit of time on the bike, but paced his race well as he was reeling competitors on the third and fourth lap of the run to finish in seventh overall.

Marie Drodzowicz, who has just returned from the Duathlon World Championships this week, came out of the swim as 11th female and then moved up to sixth after the bike, again managing to hold position on the run.

Congratulations go to Amy Thorne, Robbie Sutherland, Raury Slater, Brett Slater and Rod Smith, who all took part in their first open-water triathlon.Also special mention to Jock Bolam who finished 30th overall in the sprint race having completed his first triathlon after returning from knee surgery just four months ago.

Alnwick Tri had a fantastic day with seven club members coming away with seven trophies.

In the sprint race, Tracey Sample was first Vet 40-49, Denise Drummond second Vet 40-49, Sue Bolam second Vet 50-59, Amy Thorne second Junior and Steve Carragher third Vet 40-49. In the Standard race, Ian Simon was first Vet 40-49 and Marie Drodzowicz first 50-59.

Full results: Standard Distance: Ian Simon (7) 2:05:23; John Horsley (32) 2:21:06; Marie Drodzowicz (6) 2:31:19; Mark Oldfield (56) 2:27:40; Gary Hall (62) 2:29:58; Stu Bruce (109) 2:48:11; Mike Makin (121) 3:26:59.

Sprint Distance: Steve Carragher (10) 1:09:15; Geoff Whitman (17) 1:10:56; Hesus Kidd (27) 1:13:36; Jock Bolam (30) 1:14:21; Colin Davies (39) 1:15:33; Tracey Sample (4) 1:16:40; Denise Drummond (5) 1:18:20; Amy Thorne (7) 1:18:55; Graeme Leathead (65) 1:21:26; Sue Bolam (11) 1:24:50; Kim Rdpath (13) 1:26:25; Raury Slater (99) 1:27:23; Robbie Sutherland (121) 1:32:43; Jackie Prouse (31) 1:35:18; Haley Wilkinson (39) 1:41:58; Brett Slater (133) 1:43:12; Rod Smith DNF; Lisa Williams DNF.