Pensioner Arthur Gilbert was among the finishers of Burnham-On-Sea’s annual Triathlon on Sunday (June 1st).

A total of 250 athletes ran, swam and cycled their way around the challenging route, but it was 87-year-old Arthur (pictured) who got the loudest cheers from the spectators when he finished in a time of just over two hours and 20 minutes.

Arthur, who received an MBE for his charitable efforts earlier this year, told “It was tough this year, but I enjoyed every minute of it and hope to be back again in 2009!”

Sunday’s event was won by athlete Kit Stokes in a new record time of 57 minutes and 52 seconds. He said he was “delighted” to have won. The first lady home was Kira Thorpe of Weston Athletics Club who finished in a time of one hour, ten minutes and 13 seconds. Click here for a full results round-up and more photos here.

Despite heavy rain in the second half of the event, the race was again declared a success by its organisers. Rob Semple, who oversaw Sunday’s race, said: “It couldn’t have gone better – it was good to see a new record fast time being set by the winner – and to see so many people taking part from the whole region.”

He also thanked his team of marshalls who helped to ensure the event was another safe one. “A big thank you goes to everyone who helped us, including Alan Pendleton for his work in setting it all up at 5am today, plus Laura Griffiths and Naomi Chandler for their hard work on the results and admin.”

The event consisted of a 500m swim followed by a 20km cycle and a 5km beach run. Participants started at Burnham Pool, cycled to Lympsham and Berrow, and ran from the pool to Berrow golf course and back.

The triathlon was under threat at the beginning of this year when the town’s swimming pool faced closure, but when its future was secured in April, the event was fortunately saved. The pool’s new bosses, Sara-Jane Cox and Mark Conklin, were at the triathlon’s award ceremony on Sunday to give their support to the event.

A crowd of spectators cheered on the athletes at the finishing line

A heavy downpour of rain during the later stages of the race provided slippery conditions for the cyclists

Burnham’s swimming pool was alive with activity during Sunday’s event

The beach provided the perfect setting for the 5km running stages of the triathlon

Organiser Rob Semple (left) and Cllr Neville Jones (right) present a prize to the second-placed entrant, Iain Hindes

Town councillor Neville Jones thanked Sara-Jane Cox and Mark Conklin, the new leaseholders of Burnham pool, for their continuing support of the triathlon

The winners and organisers of the 2008 Burnham Triathlon took a well-earned breather at the end of Sunday’s successful event