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Triathletes keep on smiling despite deluge and floods

An overnight downpour was not enough to put 135 enthusiastic athletes descending on Haverhill Leisure Centre for the town’s sixth HaverTri.

Flooded roads resulting from the downpour meant that the cycle leg was cancelled for safety reasons, with competitors at HaverTri – the Adams Harrison Triathlon Festival completing an aquathlon (swim and run) instead.

First home in the Sprint distance, completing a 300 metre swim and a six kilometre run out through Sturmer and returning to Haverhill on the historic railway line walk, was Emma Elston, ten seconds ahead of David Taylor.

HaverTri 2019 (18835072)
HaverTri 2019 (18835072)

Doubling the distance in the Sprint+ race, Rafael Bertoli-Mitchell was first home in 52 minutes 52 seconds, with the first lady Rebecca Kilby in one hour seven minutes seven seconds.

Duathletes completed their two run loops without the cycle leg between them. Mike Salter won the Sprint race in 50 minutes 41 seconds, with Giacomo Mevio the first to cross the line in the Sprint+ race in one hour ten minutes 51 seconds.

Twenty eager future triathletes entered the aquathlon, with children aged eight and above competing various distances of swimming and lengths of the railway line.

The festival was again held to raise money for Haverhill Scouts and Guides’ new building fund; they have raised £7,000 for the local charity since beginning in 2014.

HaverSports director Jack Tappin said: “It was really unfortunate we had such heavy rainfall, and for the first time we had to cancel our bike leg as the route was just not safe for athletes. However all of our athletes were understanding and agreed it was the right decision.

“In the event we still had 135 triathletes swimming in and running around Haverhill, enjoying themselves despite the miserable weather. Although we were unable to see any course records broken without the bike route included, it was fantastic to see a woman being the first overall finisher in one of our triathlons, which I believe is a first in the six years we’ve been doing events!

“We look forward to blue skies and sunshine when (the) festival returns for the seventh year in 2020, and hope that our athletes will join us to close their season at Moreton Hall’s Skyliner Sports Centre on Sunday 27 October for the St Eds’ Running Festival!”

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