Ribby Hall Triathlon triumph at tough time for organiser's family

Competitors get on their bikes in the Ribby Hall Triathlon'Picture: JULIAN BROWN
Competitors get on their bikes in the Ribby Hall Triathlon'Picture: JULIAN BROWN
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The 2018 Fylde Tri-logy began in ideal weather with a location to match at Ribby Hall. gh time for organiser's family

With the swimming and running sections of the triathlon taking place within the Ribby Hall village, the central cycling section took the competitors through Wrea Green and Lytham on flat, fast roads.

This ninth annual Ribby Hall Triathlon again launched the three-part Tri-logy, which continues with the St Annes Triathlon on May 20.

The winner by almost three minutes was Peter Gaskell of The Endurance Store in a combined time of 51mins, 40secs.

The other podium positions were keenly fought as Martin Coulthurst was second (54.29), Paul Beverley third (54.39) and Andrew Woodward of Blackpool Aquatics Tri Squad fourth (54.44)

The ladies’ race included world champions among its elite competitors and was won by Barbara Holmes, who was 17th overall n 58.36.

Second lady was Rhianna Parkinson (59.37, 21st) and third Tracy Hampson (61.09, 28th). Blackpool Wyre and Fylde’s Caroline Betmead was fourth (61.31, 30th).

First female junior was Georgina Milner-Day (62.18, 37th) and first male junior Dillan Nicholson of Ribby Hall Tri Club (69.32, 94th)

Organiser Tim Armit thanked the marshals and Apple Bikes, who supplied prizes. He said: “It was brilliant to see the likes of Georgina come up through the children’s race to now race with the adults and still show incredible speed in this significant leap up in distance.”

The first of this year’s Fylde coast events came at a difficult time for dedicated Tim, following the discovery that his partner Ruth had a form of breast cancer.

The cancer was thankfully discovered early because Ruth responded to an invitation for women under 50 be screened. She has since undergone a mastectomy to prevent the pre-invasive cancer called DCIS developing into the full disease.

Tim explained: “This came out of the blue and has been a shock to all family and friends as Ruth is only 47 and a very fit marathon runner.

“But cancer just doesn’t care who you are. She now has at least two months of not driving, working or doing much with the children at all.

“The physical shock is what you would expect but the mental turmoil is so much more. In her own words, she is so scared of who she will be going forward.

“With a mastectomy there would be no radiotherapy or chemotherapy and there was a very high chance there would be no chance of cancer in the future.

“If Ruth had not been tested or had waited, the DCIS would have turned to full cancer with all that brings. So get yourself checked and don’t put it off. It might save your life. “

To raise money for Cancer Research UK, Tim and Ruth’s 12-year-old son Matty shaved his head.

According to Tim, this was some sacrifice for a boy “so vain about his floppy hair”.

Matty can be sponsored at https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/mattys-head-shave