10/08/2019 – Howard has a night to remember with win on long-distance debut
Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club Athletes were taking part in the Midnight Man in Dartford. This full distance triathlon (3.8km Swim, 180km Bike, 42.2km Run) started on Saturday evening and continued through the night finishing on Sunday morning. The clubmates were scheduled to complete their first iron distance race in Nottingham two weeks ago, however due to the weather the main portion of the race was cancelled. Determined not to let their months of training go unrealised they entered the Dartford race with the added complexity of racing in the dark, sleep deprived. In the lead up to Saturday the weather was threatening to disrupt the race once again however on the day of the race it was announced it would go ahead but with a slightly later start time (6pm) and due to further unforeseen circumstances the bike leg had to be altered to be 26 laps of a 7km course.
Claire Howard (F40-49) and John Fuller(M40-49) all had strong swims on the 4 lap course, Howard exiting the water first in 1hr 27m, followed by Fuller in 1hr 35m. On to the flat and windy bike course with over 100 dead turns. The support at the start was great for the athletes but as the crowd went home to sleep, save for a few family members, the athletes had to steady their resolve, as for most 6+ hours in the saddle beckoned. The marathon run was 8 laps of a 5.3km course that saw the athletes running through a sunrise. Howard finished in 1st place overall setting an impressive debut time of 11hr 47m for the distance. Next to cross the line for the club was Fuller in 13hr 20m 9th in category.