Competitors came and conquered the Bastion iron-distance triathlon, declared by many who took part as the ‘toughest long distance event in the UK’ on Sunday 10th July. It’s toughness is matched by its beauty and the warm friendly, supportive atmosphere from the team at the Castle Tri Series. The Bastion battle was won by male winner, Robert Fryer (Portsmouth Hill CC) with a time of 10:28:59 and female lead, Lucy Biddlestone (Triactiv Lanzarote) who came in at 11:54:34.
Set within the stunning and iconic grounds of Hever Castle in Kent, triathletes from across the UK, Spain, Lanzarote, Japan, America and Czech Republic, assembled to take on the epic 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.km iron-distance, being held for the 3rd year. Following the successful editions in 2014 and 2015, the event has grown into a ‘Festival of Endurance’ and now includes hundreds of other endurance-addicts who were racing one of the other races on offer – including The Gauntlet Half-iron distance race, long distance aqua-thon, aqua-bike and open water swims.
Perhaps summing up the event perfectly was first Bastion woman Lucy: “That was really good, really beautiful but really brutal. It’s a perfect race for testing your concentration; it’s even harder than Ironman Lanzarote but I can honestly say I have never been to such a friendly race.” The men’s champion, Robert added; “I loved the swim, the loop around the island was so unique. I’ll be back.”
The Bastion attracted 19 competitors back for the second time and five incorrigible competitors back for a hat trick including Steve Berry (who sadly DNQ due to back injury after leading the bike leg into T2), Matt Dowell who took third place on the podium and already signed up for a fourth year in 2017, Anthony Gerundi who admirably claims his 116th iron distance, Craig Rousell who came in 16th and 62 year old Peter Dry from Kent.
Bastion competitors walked away with more than a lifetime memory but the ultimate goody bags including a KitBrix transition bag, Dryrobe, KitBrix viser, Wet bag, High Five and Bike cover. The winners both took the most incredible trophy of a knight in battle.
Hundreds of competitors took on the July Gauntlet thrown down by the Castle Triathlon Series, which was taken, by Andy Greenleaf – Team Freespeed (04:36:44) and Ruth Purbrook – Ful on Tri (05:05:14) with admirable timings.
The races were thrilling but what will live longer in everyone’s memories are the smiles, shared achievements, new friends made and old friends seen and of course, a lifetimes worth of bragging rights from all those who crossed the finish line.
The Bastion 2016
Robert Dyer – 10:28:59
Lucy Biddlestone – 11:54:34
Andrew Cox – 11:10:38
Melissa Rayner – 13:21:40
Matt Dowle – 11:17:27
Cathy Drew – 13:35:42
The Gauntlet 2016
Andrew Greenleaf – 04:36:44
Ruth Purbrook – 05:05:14
Matt Chipping – 05:04:57
Alice Jenkins – 05:17:11
Kieran Hill – 05:05:13
Hana Kolarova – 05:18:56