More than a marathon effort from members of the Ashford Triathlon Club

Combat StressThree members of the Ashford Triathlon Club are taking on a marathon challenge – not only are they running the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 17 April wearing military boots, combat trousers and carrying a Bergen rucksack weighing 26kg but at each mile point, they will be doing 26 reps of an exercise like a press up or a burpee!

Dave Cooper, from Ashford, came up with the idea for this amazing challenge to raise money for Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity.

“I was watching the Brighton Marathon last year, cheering friends on and loved the atmosphere.  I thought it would be fun to do and mentioned it to a friend.  We were both in the Armed Forces many moons ago and together we dreamed up the idea of wearing boots and carrying a Bergen as well as the reps at the mile markers to make it more of a challenge for us, more interesting to those watching, and of course to raise more money for charity,” says Dave.

He will be running the marathon with Steve Williams and Jason Brown (also both from Ashford).  They will be supported along the way by two club members, Julie and Martin Abbott, who will run alongside them, encouraging them and collecting money from supporters as the guys do their reps at the mile markers.

“Due to the weight of the Bergen’s and the fact that while Steve and I are relatively fit blokes for our age, we are both ‘old soldiers’ we plan to speed march the course rather than run it.  I think it will take us around six and a half hours.

“We chose to support Combat Stress as Steve and I are both ex-Forces and know how important the work of the charity is.  In addition, in my current role as a police officer I see former military personnel come into police custody as a result of action they have taken whilst suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  For those veterans with mental health conditions, Combat Stress is a charity they can turn to as it provides free specialist treatment to ex-servicemen and women across the UK.”

Tom Wilman, Senior Volunteer & Community Fundraising Officer, Combat Stress, said, “Dave, Steve and Jason are taking on an awesome challenge for us and we’re so grateful for their fundraising efforts with this marathon challenge.  The money they raise will help us to continue to support veterans with mental health conditions across the country.”

Dave added, “With just a few weeks to go, we’re on course with our training and getting sponsorship for each of the mile markers where we will do the 26 reps.  There are still a few available for sponsorship though – for £26 you can decide the exercise we have to do.”

For more information or to sponsor Dave and the team, visit



Triathlete Makes it 5 Marathons in 5 Days

Ashford Tri Club member Steve Williams took on the challenge of 5 marathons in 5 days and smashed it in style. Running along the coastlines of Kent at Herne Bay, Birchington, Margate, Folkestone and Dymchurch, the weather throw as many challenges as it could but Steve managed each marathon in under 4hours! Fellow club members joined him with Karen Allnutt completing the Folkestone and Dymchurch races back to back, while Jon Cearns, Julie Abbott and Amanda Nicholson completed 1 each at Birchington and Folkestone.

On the Sunday, other club members took part in the Brett Half Marathon and 10k race from the Julie Rose Stadium, Ashford. Ross Sadd ran the half marathon in 1hr31m, taking 7th overall and 1st for ATC members.


666 :: Devilish Run a Sell Out

The infamous Ashford Tri Club 666 trail run in Kingswood took place on 15th November with a sell out capacity. The weather was dry and blowy but the course was wet, slippery, muddy and challenging in all the right places and the runners were treated to hellish hills, evil climbs and beautiful leaf covered mud pits in equal measure.

ATC members delighted in setting up the 6.66(ish) miles course on the Saturday, adding little sadistic twists to paths and trails, all to enhance the runners’ experience of course. On race day itself, numerous ATC members where out on the course to marshal the race, offering encouragement, slightly false information – note: it’s never the last hill! – and first aid for the odd bump and bloody knee. Other members’ ensured registration went smoothly, car-parking organised, chip-timing provided plus the dirty task of removing the chips from mud encased shoes at the end.

First runner back was Lee Mameekin of Medway and Maidstone AC in a fantastic time of 47mins 16 secs – obviously ATC need to make the course harder next year to slow him down a bit. First female runner home was Candy Hawkins in 1hr 45 secs. And the most represented team was Dover Road Runners. All winners received a small trophy.

This popular run will be back next year – be ready to book your place to hell and back!

Ashford Tri Club Members tackle Beachyhead Marathon in style

10 members of ATC plus Chewie the dog tackled the challenging Beachyhead Marathon on Saturday.  The weather was perfect and the course is so scenic it takes away the pain of completing this amazing event. To make it more interesting, it was Sam Maybury, Julie Abbott and Chewie’s 1st ever marathon – what an event to choose ladies!

Times are never fast for this run – the total elevation is higher than Snowdon and mountain goat skills come in useful at times. Even the start is straight up a steep hill with the added challenge of it being the finish too – not easy on the knees.

The course includes the Seven Sister Hills, the ‘Steps’ at Westdean as well as the infamous Beachyhead Clifftop. Throughout the marshalling was great and included many water stations plus a couple offering tea, coffee, cake and sausage rolls – those stops were hard to move on from.

First member home for ATC was Mark Fairbrother in a great time of 4hrs 45 mins.  After that two groups formed, each one crossing the line holding hands in 6hrs 20 mins and 7hrs 11mins a piece.

Results for ATC members:

Mark Fairbrother :4hrs 45mins

Karen Allnutt : 6hrs 20 mins

Garry Curley : 6hrs 20 mins

Sam Maybury 6hrs 20 mins

John Kearns 6hrs 20 mins

Nick Brisley 6hrs 20 mins

Martin Abbott : 7hrs 11mins

Robert Swinerd 7hrs 11mins

Mandy Swinerd 7hrs 11mins

Julie Abbott 7hrs 11mins

Ashford Tri Club members successful at Chilham Castle Duathlon

Members of Ashford Tri Club took part in this year’s Duathlon at Chilham Castle in both the Sprint and Standard Distances. Allan Streatham completed the Sprint Distance Race (5km run/20km Bike Ride/2.5Km run) in 1hr.36mins coming 17th overall. Joey Chasseaud meanwhile won his Age Group Category in the Standard Distance Race (10Km run/40km Bike/5km run) in a fantastic 2hrs.35mins, also coming 17th overall.

Givaudan 10k Run

With an amazing 27 club members taking part in the Givaudan 10k race from the Julie Rose stadium, the last Ashford Tri Club Championship Race of the 2015 season was hotly contested. Jennifer Kearns won the Female category in 50.45 mins meaning she retained her title from last year, making her the first woman in the club to win the championship race for a 2nd year.  Alex Milne also retained the Male title, with a time of 36.29 mins. And with conditions being near perfect, many members recorded a PB, some by as much as 5 minutes.

ATC members are celebrating 10 years of Triathlon and next month members will celebrate with a Hollywood style ball, but won’t have long to nurse the hangovers as the Club’s notorious 666 race will be run on November 15th. Set in Kingswood, this challenging 6.66 mile race is a muddy, tough and seriously good run.


Ashford Tri Club – Brett Ashford Triathlon 2015         

Ashford Tri Club member were out in force to take part in the 2015 Brett Ashford Triathlon on Sunday, and gained some impressive results.

The Aquabike Sprint – Para Triathlete Adrian Heathfield took 2nd place in 52mins:47secs.

The Sprint Triathlon Distance – 5 members took part and came home with very good times each, with Tristam Burgess finishing first for ATC in 1hr23mins.

The Standard Triathlon Distance – 22 members took on this challenge, many for the first time at the longer distances. Scott Wiseman was the first for ATC home and second overall with an amazing time of 2hrs10mins. There were also 5 age group winners for ATC too – Dan Green, Sally Aspital, Paul Barron, Jon Pearce and Julie Abbott.