Published: April 29, 2012
In photos: 200 battle severe weather to complete Burnham aquathlon

Dozens of athletes braved gale-force winds and heavy rain to take part in Burnham-On-Sea's spring triathlon on Sunday (April 29th), which partially went ahead despite the horrendous conditions.

The severe weather led to the organisers from Burnham Swim and Sports Academy cancelling the cycling stage from the event amid safety concerns, but the swim and run still went ahead as scheduled, turning it into an aquathlon.

91-year-old Burnham pensioner Arthur Gilbert - who was last year named the world's oldest triathlete and will be carrying the Olympic Torch during May - was due to take part but understandably pulled out due to the harsh conditions.

However, 109 adult competitors and over 100 youngsters battled against the weather to complete the event, which was won by Jim Bishop from Bristol and District Triathletes in 14 minutes and 11 seconds.

In second spot was Burnham-On-Sea Tri Academy's Scott Jenkins who was just six seconds behind despite competing in the 15-17 age group - an outstanding performance. Local athlete Celia Miall was the first lady home in a time of 15 minutes and 7 seconds.

The adults swam 10 lengths of the pool, and ran 2.5km along The Esplanade to the jetty and back. The junior event was also well supported, with entries from as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall, plus 40 of Burnham's junior tri team.

The event's organiser, Martin Rogers, told "The weather was not with us today, but safety is always our top priority and we made the right decision to remove the cycling stage. With such strong gusts, the cycling would have been unsafe."

"Despite the conditions, we had a really good turnout and huge thanks go to all our athletes and marshalls. It was a great success and everyone went home safely."

The Academy's Mark Cox-Conklin added: "Congratulations go to all our athletes and marshalls who battled the extreme adverse weather conditions. We cannot thank the athletes enough for showing true grit, determination and flexibility in battling it out on the swim and run course."

The full results are available here: Adults, Tri Star 1 Girls, Tri Star 1 Boys, Tri Star 2 Girls, Tri Star 2 Boys, Tri Star 3 Girls, and Tri Star 3 Boys.


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