Apart from a slight headwind on the outer part of the bike leg, conditions were almost perfect for this year’s Ludlow South Shropshire Triathlon, in contrast to the sometimes quite wet and often blustery conditions of last year. This efficiently organised and well-marshalled event has turned into a popular finale to the sprint triathlon season, with 302 competitors completing the course this time. A short swim of just 400m in Ludlow pool gives way to an undulating bike ride of 17 miles in a counter-clockwise direction around scenic Corvedale. A fellow competitor was overheard summing up the run as follows: “the run goes on for ever but at least it’s short”, which sounds ilogical until you bear in mind it’s a 3.8 mile out and back course alongside the A49 as far as the Ludlow Food Centre that tests mental as much as physical stamina.
So how did the Crofters fare you ask? And who am I to define what a Crofter is when so many of our number compete under more than one banner – ever ready, like Mediaeval mercenaries, to switch sides as chance and opportunity dictate? Laying to rest such matters for now, we must congratulate Nikki Turvey, competing for Hereford Tri on another comprehensive win in the Vet50 category in a superb time of 1:32:56 yet still a full 4 minutes behind daughter Suzanne (Cardiff AAC) who finished 3rd lady overall in 1:28:41, a truly stunning performance for a newcomer to the sport. As for me, I was pleased to knock nearly 1 minute off my PB for Ludlow triathlon, with a time of 1:35:30 (123rd place of 302) even though my wife, with exquisite cruelty, pointed out that Nikki was faster than me in every part of the race, including the transitons. Ashley Robinson, competing as a Vet60 achieved an excellent time of 1:40:15 (162nd) and the evergreen Bryan Markham completed the course once again in 2:07:47 (287th).
Next year let’s hope for more Crofters in the race, some expensive new bikes have been purchased lately that are just itching for the competition. But book early – Ludlow is a popular event.