Barbara's super show in landmark Ribby Hall Village Triathlon
Organisers hailed Sunday’s Ribby Hall Village Triathlon the most successful yet, with a record entry of around 300 athletes taking part.
Super vet Barbara Holmes of Fylde coast club Team Windmill took pride of place as the overall women's winner. Conditions were perfect for this 10th annual event, which marked the 25th anniversary of Ribby Hall and launched the 2019 Fylde Tri-logy, which continues with triathlons at St Annes and Fleetwood.The event comprised a 400m swim in the health club’s pool, followed by an 11-mile cycle to Lytham and back, and finally a 5km run.For the first time the run took place entirely on the Ribby Hall site, with athletes using the woodland trail which skirts the complex instead of the nearby roads.The fastest time was recorded by Mark Bennett with an overall time of 55mins, 55secs.Second was John Garnsey in 56.45 and third Chris Ashworth (57.50) as 11 broke the hour barrier. Women's winner Holmes completed the course on 63.06 to finish 27th overall and the first super vet at the age of 60 - a remarkable achievement.
Two-time world champion Barbara, also a member of Lytham St Annes Road Runners, first got involved in triathlon through the Fylde series organised by Tim Armit. “I first entered about eight years ago and got hooked,” she told The Gazette. “I’ve gone from strength to strength and have won British and world titles. “I was second in the world championship last year despite an injury and will be going for the world title again in Switzerland.”
Second woman was Rhianna Parkinson of Manchester Tri, 18 seconds behind Barbar,a and third Vanessa Townshend of Tri-Preston in 64.19.Blackpool Wyre and Fylde’s Caroline Betmead was fourth lady in 65.34The leading two juniors were both members of Blackpool Aquatics Triathlon Squad (BATS): Adam Smith, who recorded 71.35, and Luke Johnson (78.36). John McIlwham, director of estate maintenance, was among the 50-plus Ribby Hall staff and members who took part. He said: “ It was a brilliant day and there was such a buzz about the place. “We want to thank all the local people who acted as marshalls on the day. They did a fantastic job.“Ribby Hall Village loves hosting this triathlon and welcoming lots of new people to the Village. “Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely and we are already looking forward to next year’s event.”