Cranbrook Sprint Tri 7th June 2015
by Clive Bradburn
Let me introduce myself. I am an Age Group Triathlete which means I am old. It is not often that those of us on the fast descending spiral towards oblivion have the opportunity to rub shoulders with greatness. On Sunday 7th June I took part in the Cranbrook Sprint Tri. I have competed in this three times before and on each occasion won my age- group. Well done old boy, you must be thinking, but no, the reason I haven’t shouted my own praises is that I have always been the only one in my age-group, I do love this event! Turn up and win we call it in the upper age groups. However, this year was different. We had categories and I was in SSV category. I was impressed. No idea what it meant but I think it has something to do with being very, very old. I have since checked up and it is for the age group 65-99. Now being relatively young in that group, once again I managed to win, but this time there were others in my category. OK so most were older than me, but that’s not the point. So I was well pleased to know I was getting another nice little shield.
Now to the best bit, after the results were finally sorted, after they repaired the computer damaged in the sun and rectified all of us who were shown as a DNF, the presentations were announced. What an honour it was to congratulate Sam and Val, fellow club members, for winning the overall races. They really did us proud, each taking the top overall spots. Sam’s dad kindly took some photos and along with Glenn Karpeta also a category winner, I was invited to join our overall winners in the photo. What an honour that was, it was almost like being on the podium which of course, I have never been on in my life.
The race itself was also something special. Unlike most triathletes I am a reasonably good swimmer and a rubbish runner. Our start time was based on submitted swim times so I was one of the last to go alongside the “elite”. I got very excited when Val and I managed to exchange positions on the bike leg over about 3 miles until there was a hill and that was the last I saw of her! However, it was great fun keeping up for a short while with the eventual ladies winner. As for Sam he came past me as a blur to the shout of “C’mon Sevenoaks!” What a team player he is.
I arrived back after the run, just before dark when they were packing up the burger van, but I was made very welcome and it was lovely to make the acquaintance of teammates from 7Oaks Tri, who I rarely meet as I live and train miles away.
I am not a great one to worry about times/splits and all that sort of stuff, when I was young we didn’t even have triathlons let alone, energy gels, tri- bikes and the like, but it is with great admiration to record for you our winners times. Young Sam Begg went well under the hour with a 58:03:45. That leaves me speechless let alone breathless and Val Place showed all those younger ladies how to win with a time of 1:11:50. As for me I have to say I was pleased with my time of 1:18:54. If only I had not tried to chase Val on the bike my legs might have worked on the run! Out of a field of 192, Glenn was 9th overall in 1:04:19 and Ben Bridges was 8th in 1:03:58. Three of our club in the top 10! Superb! …and what an achievement by Leanne Sizer who made a comeback in 1:25:04 after a short maternity and injury break finishing well and smiling throughout.
No complaints about the event, well organised except that the transition is a bit lacking in security compared to other events, but all credit to Velocity Events in coming up with best feature of all. Every entry over the age of 65 goes free!. Ok this year but it might mean I might have some competition next time. Still, must be positive and look foreword, in only 32 years time I can compete in the 100+ category.