THIS year’s quirky Tandem Triathlon event at Bishops Castle was hailed as a resounding success by the organisers.

Probably the only event of its kind in the world, and renowned for its inclusive, but competitive nature, the triathlon is now in its 32nd year and attracts a wide variety of competitors from all over the UK.

Unusually the cycle section is on tandems, and this offers an unexpected challenge for serious triathletes, but also offers opportunities for less able bodied athletes.

Athletes start with one team member completing a one km swim in the leisure centre pool, teams then tandem a 35km road route with two gruelling hill climbs, the team runner then completes a 10km run (said to be the most challenging of the three disciplines) around the stunningly beautiful Forestry Commission owned Bury Ditches Hill Fort.

This year saw some very competitive results from all categories, and a few personal bests too.

Two teams competing to raise funds for their charities both found themselves on the prize table. Matt Morgan and his daughter Rebecca finished as First Local Mixed Team with a creditable time of 2.27.36, raising over £500 for SpArC Leisure Centre funds, and Matt and Anne Scott riding for PSP Association finished First Bishops Castle Team with a time of 3.10.00.

The first team home were brothers Joseph and Matthew Hammerton, from Romsey, Hampshire and Stockport, Cheshire, who finished in just under two hours, and first ladies home were hot on their heels, Sarah Watton and Charlotte Martindale from Shrewsbury, who finished in 2.40.54.

“As always the event relies on a big team of volunteers without which it would be impossible to stage not to mention the support of the community and villages en route. Pencil the date in your diaries for next year, June 30, 2018, and watch the website for more information,” said Nikki Pugh.