2017 Goodman Masson Diamond Triathlon Race Report

26th June 2017

After the sweltering heat of the preceding week, more hospitable conditions came as a relief to the 500 participants that arrived at Dorney Lake on Sunday morning for the 6th edition of the Goodman Masson Diamond Tri.

Conceived in 2012 as a sporting celebration of that most glorious of summers which saw the country unite in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics, the event continues to inspire triathletes of all experience levels and retains a friendly, fun-filled atmosphere reminiscent of simpler times and indicative of how sport can allow us to forget our divisions and disagreements, even if just for a morning. Much of the festive atmosphere in the event village came as a result of the installation of inflatable human table football, and bungee trampolines by new title-sponsor Goodman Masson, who, with close to 60 of their own staff taking part, had really got into the spirit of the Diamond Tri.

The competition began in raucous fashion with another edition of the kid’s Scootathlon. Seeing dozens of 4-8 year olds whizzing around the perimeter of the event village at breakneck speed was enough to get any of the adults spectating fired up for their own sporting endeavours later in the day. This edition was particularly wild, leading the event announcer to speculate that some of the athletes might be using performance-enhancing fizzy drinks!

Next to that start-line were the slightly more sedate duathletes taking on a 5km run, followed by 21.2km on the bike, and finally another 2.5km run. Dominating a small field, the fastest man was Lee Imrie (1:03:16), who finished well ahead of Alexander Self (1:14:05) in second and Sam Cruickshank (1:14:24) in third. In a much closer women’s race, first place went to Vivienn Irvine (1:30:56), who had come all the way from Leeds and was adamant that her husband would be doing the driving on the way home while she slept. Not far behind in second and third respectively were Florentine Hegemann (1:32:42) and Sarah Fardon (1:35:38).

Despite the cooler air temperature, the placid, clear, shimmering water had retained its warmth at a very pleasant 21.4°C. The swimmers in the first wave of the day, the women’s Olympic distance, therefore eagerly entered the lake at 9:45am. A few hours later, Boo Smith (2:41:29), was first across the finish line. Katy Toms (2:43:21) took second place, with Leanne James (2:46:02) in third.

The men’s Olympic distance trophy was heading back to Kapfenberg in the Austrian state of Styria after the city’s native son, Florian Heigl (2:07:21), dominated the race. Steve Fell (2:12:05) was second, and James Wootton (2:12:57) third.

The women’s sprint distance was won comfortably by Carol Bridge (1:07:52), whilst Sarah-Jane Walker (1:17:32) narrowly pipped Rebecca Pierce (1:17:54) to second place. The men’s race was a fantastic duel between two James, messrs Goymour (1:05:05) and Cox (1:05:28), with the former just edging out the Hampstead Triathlon Club man to take first place. Third went to Adam Tanner (1:05:57).

Both the Olympic and sprint distances also featured relay and mates waves. The Olympic relay was won by the Three Crazy Foos (2:08:10), whilst the first sprint threesome to cross the line were Chubby Harrison (1:12:51). The mates waves were an opportunity for friends, colleagues and family members to race together regardless of their age or gender.

The programme was completed by the various beginner’s waves, with these relative newcomers to the sport enjoying excellent support from the more experienced athletes who had already crossed the finish line. In the novice event, which featured a 400m swim, a 10.6km cycle and a 2.5km run, the fastest man was Simon Poulter in a very un-novice like time of 42:58. Second went to Stuart Barnes (43:48) and third to the young Callum Carlisle (43:59). The fastest woman was Natasha Button (47:36), with Liana Smith (49:18) and Gillian Craigie (50:28) in second and third respectively.

In the adult taster wave (200m swim, 5.3km cycle, 2.5km run), the male and female races were won by brother and sister Louise (26:27) and Byron Brown (25:24), suggesting the family have uncovered a hitherto unknown talent in their gene pool. Second and third women were Debs Fraser (30:36) and Ann Tigerstedt (32:13). The remaining steps on the men’s podium were occupied by Danny Doyle (28:37) and Chris Thorne (31:09).

The children’s taster race was a rapid affair and brought proceedings to a close for another year. First amongst the boys was Bertie Pettit (21:06), second was Nile Battey (23:28) and third was Alex Titley (23:47). The quickest girl was Jasmine Caley (24:07), with Nellie Hodgson (25:48) in second and Madison Foxcroft (27:07).