Triathlon awards for Torbay's finest endurance athletes

Torbay Weekly

In the annual Triathlon England awards, Torbay Triathlon Club has won two prestigious regional accolades.

The first was South-West club of the year and then, for popular coach Jon Parkinson, the ‘outstanding contribution’ award, for his commitment to supporting the club and its members in achieving their goals.

One of the founding members of the club, which has seen membership more than double in a year, ‘Parky’ knows exactly what it’s like to develop in all three disciplines. Having set out on his triathlon career 25 years ago as a runner, but by his own admission, neither a cyclist nor a swimmer, he learnt from others and went on to race at all distances, from sprint to Ironman, representing Great Britain in his age group.

Jon now relishes the chance to pass on the knowledge and coaching he valued along to the way to other club members, whether entering their first triathlon or pushing for a podium. His very sensible advice is “just get out of the front door, turn up and enjoy a laugh with like-minded people at #teamtango…and enjoy the free cake!”

The results of all that training and encouragement were evident this week, with a swathe of orange Tri club shirts at Exeter’s half-marathon. Using the early season two-day event as a chance to kick off what looks like being a great year for the club, they achieved some fantastic race times and camaraderie.

Saturday runners saw the best of the weekend weather; Jason Hurford powered through to a podium finish, taking third place in 1:15:07, with a trio of PB’s from Tom Hutton (1:26:38), Lewis Cholerton (1:28:28) and Nigel Fenn (1:30:40), closely followed by Matthew Botting (1:41:56) and Peter Hayward (1:45:33).

On a wet Sunday, Darren Francis finished with his usual speed in 1:22:53 to take seventh place. Bobby Singh was happily singing in the rain at 1.54:12, Samara Taylor splashed in under the two-hour mark in 1:58:59 and Amanda Francis almost made it…in 2:02:40; loving every mile, despite the weather, she’ll smash that next time. They were extremely delighted to finish, grab those medals and dry out over Sunday lunch!