Report: Lidl BananaMan Triathlon 2016
11th July 2016
What a bananas day at Dorney for the Lidl Bananaman Triathlon 2016.
With 20 waves going off throughout the day, 2,000 burgers being barbecued and 1,200 participants it really was an action packed fun filled day.
And what better way to kick start the day than to have 100 4 – 8 year old’s taking part in the scootathlon, which sees them scoot, bike and then run around a 290m loop. Scooters were flung (at the terrified marshals), pelotons were formed and Usain Bolt would have been under pressure on the run, but regardless of time or position all that took part were welcomed across the finish line with a medal and a high five.
New for 2016 was the draft legal youth performance waves. First in the water was the youth boys SuperSprint wave (14-16 year olds), although they weren’t in there for long, with the first swimmer heading into T1 in under 5 minutes! As expected it was a highly competitive display all round with only 15 seconds between gold and bronze, but it was Marcus Dey who took the Gold in an overall time of 30:56. Daniel Slater and Sam Hart took silver and bronze respectively in 31:07 and 31:11. The girls then followed suit showing an equalled impressive display of athleticism and determination. Overall winner Grace Dempsey (44:14) got off to a flying start covering the 400m swim in 5:44, a massive 8 minutes ahead of Imogen Moroney who went on to finish 2nd. Moroney flew through T1 and clawed back 5 minutes over Dempsey on the bike before then smashing the run and taking back another 3 minutes which eventually saw her finish the line only 2 seconds behind in a time of 44:16. 3rd place went to Sinead Clark in 44:59.
Next up was the 17-19 year old’s covering the classic Sprint distance. The scent of BBQ and testosterone filled the air as the boys lined up in the balmy waters ready to go as the Lidl staff starting serving breakfast baps for all. But it was Barclay Izzard who was most keen to get his hands on the first Lidl Burger of the day as he sprinted over the line in an impressive 58:15. Closely followed by Alex Chantler-Mayne and Archie St Aubyn in 58:23 and 58:44 respectively. The girls then closed the day of BTF racing in true style, with Kate Waugh finishing almost a full 2 minutes ahead of her nearest rival after running an outstanding 18:34 5km to finish in an overall time of 1.05:26. Sophie Alden and Megan Mcdonald had a real battle over their podium positions after coming out the water together recording the same time and completing the 21.2km bike within 7 seconds of each other. But it was Alden who took the Silver in 1.07:22 with Mcdonald crossing the line 3 seconds later.
It was then time for the more appropriately named races that are true to the Lidl Bananaman spirit! Set off in close succession was the duathlon, comprising of a 5km run, 21.2km cycle and 2.5km run and the Jumbo Olympic triathlon consisting of a 1500m swim, 42.4km bike and 10km run. In the Duathlon Nev Watson proved to be a class above the rest, sprinting the entire 5km to clock a time of 16:48 and finishing over 5 minutes ahead of 2nd place in an overall time of 1.01:50. 2nd place went to Denzil de Bie and 3rd to Gary Armstrong. In the women’s Duathlon it was Kate Silbermann who took to the top of the podium finishing in 1.16:44, with Sarah Winstone and Amanda Ruks taking 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Meanwhile in the Jumbo Olympic triathlon, the longest distance on offer of the day, it was Mark Furth who showed pure multi-sport talent with consistently strong performances across the three disciplines earning him gold in a time of 2.12:23. In 2nd was Martin Rogers with 3rd going to Andy Gajraj. In the Women’s race it was Megan Mellive who was leading the pack going in to T2, but after strong runs from Kirsty Shannon and Lucy Collins it was all change in the top three, with Shannon taking gold in 2.36:06, Collins in silver with 2.38:49 and Melville in bronze with 2.41:20.
The Bunch of Bananas Team Time Trial, which requires all three team members to complete all three disciplines (800m swim, 31.8km bike, 7.5km run) before crossing the line together were the next to make a splash. The first male team to finish were Team BeasTie boyS in a time of 1.35:52 and Team BTS LyndalLouiseEllie were the first all female team in a time of 1.52:46.
Whole Bananas were next on the menu (800m swim, 31.8km bike, 7.5km run) which saw winner Michael Marzetti finish in a time of 1.31:05. Joining him on the podium was Adam Labbett (1.32:12). The winner of the women’s race, Hayley Rigby had less of a battle on her hands making all three disciplines look like child’s play, finishing an impressive 17 minutes ahead of second place in a time of 1.45:41. Crossing the line in 2.02:52 was Andrea Williams and in 2.03:31 was Elsa Laglbauer.
Friends of Human Race, ERDINGER managed to find time to enter 5 teams into the Bunch of Bananas relay as well as ensuring all athletes were being rehydrated on the finish line, with two teams finishing in the top 3, quite the multitasking performance! The relay covers the same course as the Whole Banana, with each team member doing one leg each. The first all male team to cross the line, beating both ERDINGER teams was Team Turing House School in 1.31:23. The first all female team was Team BananaPowell who finished an impressive 19minutes ahead of the 2nd team in a time of 1.39:06.
The Lidl BBQ was in full swing by this point, with burgers and sausages being generously handed out to all who’d worked hard out on the course either competing, supporting or working, whilst CLIC Sargent, the official charity partner of the event were busy cheering on the cyclists as they completed their laps of the lake.
But there was still plenty of action to come, including four Banana Fritter waves, the Half Banana and the Split Banana!
The first of the Banana Fritter waves (400m swim, 21.2km bike, 5km run) was for Lidl employees, who had over 50 staff members taking part. Hot on their heels was the under 35 male wave shortly followed by the over 35’s. But there was only one man that come home in under 1 hour and that was Lee Thompson in an impressive time of 58:20. Jason Emmett (1.01:55) and Jonathan Crowley (1.02:11) clocked the 2nd and 3rd fastest times of the day over the Fritter distance. In the women’s race it was youth athlete Mary Hodgson who led the way finishing in a time of 1.02:50 which was particularly impressive given that earlier in the day she had been forced to retire from the Youth Sprint race with a puncture; great to see her return with such determination and form.
The Half Banana was the penultimate distance on offer for the day, with many first timers taking on a 400m swim, 10.6km bike and 2.5km run. But it was youth athletes Casper Grundy in the men’s race and Lily Burnet in the women’s that sprinted to victory over their rivals finishing in 40:38 and 41:55 respectively.
Last but not least were the adult and children’s (11-14 year olds) Banana Split waves which consists of a 200m swim, 5.3km bike and 2.5km run. Once again it was the next generation showing the men how it should be done, with youth athletes Thomas Whitton clocking the fastest time in 27:21 and Ollie Kenward the 2nd fastest in 28:06. 3rd place went to Andrew Wride in 35:08. In the women’s race Lucy Wiggins lived up to her family name leading from start to finish clocking a time of 29:01. Katie Wride (31:48) and Jo Smith (32:10) finished in 2nd and 3rd.
A massive thanks to all our partners and sponsors for making the event possible and contributing to the brilliant atmosphere on the day, but an extra special thanks goes to Lidl for providing everybody with such a fantastic spread throughout the day. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.
View pictures from the event on our Facebook page