It is a bumper crop that WVTri take to Bolton

Nikki Knowles and Charlotte Chattaway excelled in Bolton
Nikki Knowles and Charlotte Chattaway excelled in Bolton

Welland Valley Triathlon Club’s biggest-ever entry into a full Ironman distance event came in Bolton at the weekend.

They had 14 people entering Ironman UK on its 10th anniversary – and for many it was their first attempt at this distance with most since before Christmas.

This popular race on the circuit attracts over 1,800 athletes from all over the globe and is well known as a tough course.

There were some doubts last week whether the 2.4-mile swim element was actually going to happen due to blue green algae at Pennington Flash Lake.

However, the water quality was passed just hours before the race was due to begin and the swim was back on which was a relief to all concerned.

The race organisers also had to make some last-minute changes to the cycle route to avoid areas which have been destroyed by the recent fires which hit the news headlines.

This still meant a challenging and hilly 96-mile bike course rather than the standard 112 miles through the picturesque Lancashire countryside faced all the competitors.

Once off the bike there was the mere challenge of the 26.1-mile marathon course which involved four laps starting in Queens Park and taking in Bolton town centre before finishing in Victoria Square.

All 14 members completed the course – a fantastic achievement given the temperatures last Sunday.

Charlotte Chattaway and Nikki Knowles – both competing in their second full-distance events – were third and fourth in the female 25-29 age group category with their finish times of 10:49:31 and 11:15:32 respectively.

Terry Nicholls (12:05:56), Clem Willis (12:09:23), Jim Chattaway (12:30:52), Stuart Rees (12:32:20), Chris Lydall (12:49:16), Stuart Porter (14:22:35), Sue Henley (14:37:23), Stuart Taylor (15:35:12), Carol McDade (15:53:04) and Cara Rees (16:42:14) were all making their debuts at this level of event.

Jonathan Greaves –competing in his second Ironman event – finished in a time of 12:47:13 and the club’s head coach Darren Thoirs finished this, his fourth full-distance race, in a time of 15:11:49.

The long distance theme also continued for club member Guy Watson who took part in the Long Course Weekend in Tenby Wales as part of his Ironman Wales training.

His total time was 12:22:00 which was made up of a 2.4-mile swim on the Friday (1:18:00) , 112-mile bike on the Saturday(6:47:00 ) and a 26.1-mile run on the Sunday (4:16:00).