The annual endurance test that is the Fleetwood Triathlon was made all the more gruelling by torrential rain.
The terrible conditions made the fast times recorded for the 400m swim, 20k bike ride and 5km run all the more remarkable.
The hardy competitors began with the swim at the YMCA pool on the Esplanade and proceeded to get even wetter as they ventured outdoors to hop on their bikes.
The race winner was Duncan Anderson of Tri-Preston, who broke the hour barrier with a combined time of 59.55, which broke down as 5.24 for the swim, 36.51 for the bike ride and 17.39 run the run.
Second was Dave Marsh of Peak XV in 61mins exactly. Third and first veteran was the unattached Martin Coulthurst, also in 61mins.
First lady was Lauren Brook of Rossall Triathlon Club in 70.12 for 31st place overall. Just 24 seconds behind in second with Rhianna Parkinson of Salford Cycling Club, with Georgina Milner-Day olf Marple Swimming Club third in 71.59.
Caroline Betmead of Blackpool Wyre and Fylde AC had to settle for 10th place in the women’s race and 71st overall in 1.15.08 but this was enough to see her crowned Fylde Tri-logy women’s champion for 2017.
The Fleetwood race is the last in a series of three on the Fylde coast, following the Ribby Hall and St Annes events.
Caroline’s total time for the three was 3.27.34, over four minutes clear of runner-up Nicola Cracknell from Team Bath in 3.31.53. Dawn Hodgkins of Ribby Hall Tri was third in 3.35.18.
The overall men’s champion was Andy Unsworth of www.votwo.co.uk with a combined time of 2.57.29.
Also on the overall podium, as they were in Fleetwood, were second-place Coulthurst in 2.58.50 and Marsh, third with 2.59.14
Winners in the youth category at Fleetwood were John Harrison (40.14) and Jessica McIntyre (49.02).
Boys’ winners were: Harris Rollaston (18.33), Luke Rawcliffe (24.30), James Rollaston (31.12) and William Grundy (9.12)
Girls’ winners were: Gracie Scott (18.49), Emma Pomfret (26.24), Poppy Bridge (33.14) and Rose McIntrye (11.39).
Organiser Tim Armit was delighted that everyone involved rose to the challenge on a difficult day. He said: “The conditions were simply vile, with biblical rain and a head wind to stop cyclists in their tracks.
“The marshals were amazing, standing out there for four hours in all conditions to make sure the race happened.
“Everyone had a sense of humour and enjoyed the day, and even in that weather there were some amazing times.
“It was a tough day but everyone was amazing, especially the kids, and had a great day. Let’s see you again in 2018.”