Had to invent the date...
This event was arranged hastily and therefore was not advertised in the newsletter. It was really a revival, in a slightly modified form, of an event grandly called “The Peatman triathion”. This \'triathion\' had been organised by Kay Whittle about a decade ago. The three disciplines were running, cycling and drinking. In those days as long time club members will testify, the beer at the Sportsman was not really up to much and competitors were quite prepared to down a pint, only to bring it rapidly back up again, as part of a good competition. These days the beer is much more to be enjoyed, and so the drinking was taken out of the competitive part of the event , although it did make a significant contribution to the post race atmosphere.
15 participants turned up on a warm Saturday morning with a variety of bikes, some well tuned for racing, others having been dug out from the back of garages needing cobweb removal. However the competition was serious, not a saddle bag or bicycle clip in sight. It seemed that the \'Miss Marple award\' was not to be contested this year. Most of the participants warmed up briefly on their bikes, rather than their legs and then there wag the usual pre race banter, which was less about injuries than usual. Colin Henson recalled his bygone wheeling days to an admiring audience. Dick Pasley
proudly displayed his ancient steed. Paul Sanderson queried whether he was allowed to ride his 750 c.c. bike as the race rules were rather ambiguous about this. There was much mutual admiration of men ( and Hilary ) and machines .
The race started with two laps of the Sportsman field which was intended to break up the field a bit and prevent a pile up of cyclists in the Sportsman car park, but the early emphasis was on conversation rather than competition and everyone was pretty close together at the end of this first stage. Some competitors, notably the race organiser, discovered the difficulties of getting Walsh studs into toe clips. I narrowly avoided a collision with the pub\'s advertising board and Mary Sant (a keen spectator ) in trying to complete this manoeuvre. By the time the race reached the end of the road at Redmires reservoir the field was quite strung out. Mike Greaves and Chris Barber had established themselves in 1st and 2nd place, positions which they were to maintain. The main run stage was from the end of the Redmires road to Stanage Pole, Stanage trig, Cowper Stone and back to the bikes. It was hoped that some people would be tempted to cut across the moor from Cowper Stone. Mike Greaves, being a road runner and not knowing the crossing chose to retrace his steps along Stanage Edge. Chris went with him and this proved to be the quickest option as they increased their lead over the chasers. Roy Small went via Friars Ridge, as I think did Andy Moore. I went towards Rudd Hill for some inexplicable reason and lost two places by the time I got back to my bike. The bike ride back to the Sportsman was exhilarating. The final lap of the Sportsman field was fiercely contested, with several positions being decided on this stage.
The rest of the morning was spent delightfully enjoying the sunshine and the beer. Hopefully this event will be repeated next year, with a slightly different route , but similar weather.
Grateful thanks to John Manthorpe (start and finish marshall and timekeeper); Martin Fox (bike watcher) and Mary Sant , Colin Lago and Jeff Harrison (spectators).
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