Ashford Tri Club’s 10th year of triathlon this year
2015 is the tenth year of triathlon for ATC so I thought you might be interested in how it all started – are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin….
July 2005 saw the British Triathlon Federation stage its National standard distance age-group championships at the Julie Rose stadium with the swim in Conningbrook Lake, bike out to Charing via Molash, and the run on the lanes towards Brook and back. The lake hadn’t been used for swimming before and had to be modified for the event; a small causeway separated the big and small lakes and this had to be breached to allow a sensible 1500m swim route.
On the day of the race with hundreds of athletes, registered, racked and ready to go, a thick fog that had settled on the lake refusing to lift; you couldn’t see to the first turn buoy. The start was delayed and the swim was going to be abandoned in favour of a dualthlon. However, the fog lifted a bit and the race went ahead, about 3 hours late, with a 300m swim instead.
In spite of all this excitement, the event created a lot of interest in triathlon locally, with BTF and Sport England and Ashford Borough Council expressed an interest in having a tri club in Ashford. At the time I was a member of Deal Tri, travelling miles for training and I used to race the sprints at Leybourne lake, run by Team Outrageous. A few of us based in Ashford got together and looked in to setting up a tri club nearer home. An initial meeting at the end of Summer with our local BTF rep was held at the Julie Rose and the council indicated its support. We found out what we needed to do to set up and register a club and a core group decided to go for it.
The first official meeting was held at the Ashford International Hotel and we agreed the club name, worked on the logo, drafted a constitution and set about registering with BTF. We agreed roles as follows;
- Chairman – Me
- Secretary – Nicki Barron
- Treasurer – Annie Jefferies
- Coach – Christine Johnson
- Social secretary/welfare – Jayne Puckeridge
- Press/Publicity – Liz King
The next priority was club kit and I remember spending an interesting afternoon in the bar of the Holiday Inn, trying on tri-suits from different suppliers. We agreed on the logo and club colours, we got some running vests printed up and bought fleeces from the outlet and had them embroidered with the logo. Training sessions were a Thursday evening run from the Stour centre, a Saturday run in Kings Wood and Sunday bike rides. We managed some swim sessions at the old Police College before that closed down.
Some of the other early members are still with us, Bohdan Rainczuk, Terry Foreman (ex-Chairman and treasurer) and Kate Austen of PodPlus who have supported us from the start.
Our first team outing was at the A&D 10k in Feb 2006 and the ladies (i.e. the rest of the club) won the team prize.
The rest, as they say, is history.