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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

7Oaks Tri now live



In what was one of the wettest days of the drought so far, two events were under the coverage of the Sussex Sport Photography umbrella last Sunday- The Cambridge Town and Gown 10k (more later) and the 7Oaks Triathlon. The 7Oaks Gallery is here http://bit.ly/7Oaks-Triathlon-2012-Official-photos with free downloads - enjoy !

Checking twitter early on Sunday (you can follow us on @UKsportphoto) we heard about various people heading off to marathons around the country (Milton Keynes, Manchester and Shakespeare), and then heard about the Shakespeare Marathon being cancelled with 10 minutes to go before the start, it had us wondering what was going to happen to our races.

 I had personally taken the option of returning to the town I grew up in Cambridge and stayed locally with Dad, so was woken up by a phone call from one of the team at Sevenoaks (Neil) at about 6:50am letting me know that the 7Oaks Triathlon had become the  7Lakes Aquathlon due to the rain, wind, locusts, trees, plague and other biblical problems that the overnight rain conditions had brought down onto the Sevenoaks triathlon cycle route.

Managing logistics at arms length is always good fun - so it was a series of quick phone calls and text messages to everyone involved scheduled to be in place at different times and to move about the course to a different plan, and all before 7am and a cup of tea. With no Cycle it meant the photographer covering the run had to be in place much sooner, and fortunately he's the type of guy who turns up from the very start and very early - so that was covered.

The new pool exit foot cleanse dip-bath hadn't been heated
The chap scheduled to be covering the Cycle course (Mike) was just leaving his house when he was phoned by Neil - so he diverted to take photos of a cycling time trial going on near Crawley, and then it was a case of making sure Neil went from the swim exit plunge pool over to start covering the first runners finishing - which is a shame because the swim exit photos were looking like good fun. That extra hour of bike ride taken from the schedule meant he had to move about an hour earlier to the finish photos.

Some tried to swim out of the pool to T1
269 brave individuals still turned out regardless of the weather, although it's not clear how many brought mountain bikes instead with them just-in-case. It was the first time we have seen the Sportstik race tattoos being used - so yet another first for 7Oaks tri !

Fastest man on the swim was Richard Evans (#431) from Met Police with 5:06, a T1 of 29 seconds (second fastest) and a run of 34:13 (fifth) for 3rd place overall. It took most people about 29 seconds to run through the transition area without stopping, so I guess on the bright side he didn't have to dry off much. How he got his shoes on that fast ? - I do not know.

Fastest Lady on the swim was Victoria Kenny (#396) from Trisprint Team and Charmain Brown (#191), both with a 6min swim, but after that the difference showed with Victoria going on to spend just 37seconds in T1, and a sharp 39:24 around the run course for 46:02 and 2nd overall. Charmain lost touch with a 1:10 in T1 and then 43:53 in the run for a 51:04 and 8th overall.


Nothing like being interviewed in the rain covered in mud

The Fastest Man overall on the day was Christopher Wolton (#393) from Tunbridge Wells, who compared to Richard Evans snow ploughed his way through the swim in 6:27 (19th), stopped for a cup of tea and toast in T1 and a towel down for 1:38 (156th), obviously taking time for strapping on his jet pack, and then destroyed the run field with a 29:46 - despite falling over at every opportunity turn and slope if the mud on his shoulders was anything to go by.

The sonic boom behind Jill knocked over the barriers
Queen of the course was Jill Cliff from Deal Tri (#350) with a 6:21 (15th) swim, a sensible 59 seconds in T1 (62nd), and then a motorised 36:12 run (13th) for a 43:32 overall for 1st lady and 8th out of the whole field. Jill has obviously been tapping into the subconscious that you run faster when you smile - because she is in almost every shot we took of her, or she was enjoying a morning off re-scheduling the Deal Half marathon http://bit.ly/Deal-half-marathon-2012-entry  (entries still open for May the 13th)


Big congratulations to Martin Brown and the team from 7Oaks tri club, I've not personally set eyes on the goody bags but I have seen the photos of the medals, which were huge, and the smiling happy faces of their Evergreen competitors who have completed more than five 7Oaks Races, which with about 75 of them on the books now means they have a fair number with priority entry.
Yaay for the medals reinstated this year, tricky to read his number tattoo though !

On a cold tough day where frankly dragging themselves around even a cleaned bike course would have been an unpleasant experience the vast majority of entrants managed a smile at the finish, and many of the competitors stayed behind for the prizegiving at the end, which sums up the collective yet competitive spirit of this event. Plus of course - there was the prizedraw they looked forwards too (laptop, wetsuit, race entry...etc)
Happy to be out of London, CP Tri revelled in the rain

To sum it up I had an email from one of our photographers Neil today - "Definitely some of the wildest weather I've worked in [...] and you were right about them [competitors and organisers] being a friendly bunch, that's what made the day more than anything else."


So if you've got an internet connection pointing at Sevenoaks - make sure you're watching for the 2013 entries being opened - I think you can register for an email notification

Hard running in the wind and rain along the valley of Knole Park


Pushing it up the hill into the finish for a 45:54 with a 36:29 run

Catherine demonstrated correct use of the Number tattoo - perfect to read in all weathers,
 
Jill - still smiling with her new medal


Rebel Tri team shot - all fully survived the course

Despite the weather these Evergreens keep returning for more !


If you're looking for a race to warm down from this for the bank holiday weekend then I can suggest the following races:
http://bit.ly/Sussex-marathon-weekend-2012-entry
2x10 mile races and a 10k race to add up to a marathon over three days - or just do one of them ?
Haywards Heath, East Grinstead and Burgess Hill for the 10k

I'm pretty sure the REP steyning Tri is now shut - but on the bright side it won't be snowing like it did a few years ago, I hope.
The only race taking entries on the day for sunday is the Three Forts Half marathon - over near worthing - http://bit.ly/Three-Forts-Half-Marathon-2012-entries

So, fingers crossed for the weather and enjoy the bank holiday weekend,

Until next time
Anthony




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