Sevenoaks triathlon is back after absence of two years

After an absence of two years due to covid and ground works through Knole Park, this sold-out race returned with a bright and early start at the Sencio Leisure Centre, starting with a 400m swim. The undulating 25km bike segment took in the steep descent of Riverhill and a climb up Shipbourne Hill (where competitors competed for the Queen or King of the Mountain award) followed by a challenging 5km run in Knole Park – to finish in front of a crowd of supporters enjoying the sun and atmosphere.

Nicola Lilley (Medway Tri) and Peter Hogben (Deal Tri Club) were the overall winners in 1:15:25 and 1:07:40. Nicola was crowned Queen of the Mountain and the Male Mountain Goat was Julian Aliphat (2nd male overall). Nicola, who was 20th overall was closely followed by Saskia Ricks in 1:19 and Deborah Hope (Medway Tri) in 1:20:09. Second and third for the men were Julian Aliphant of Hampstead Tri Club only 20 seconds behind Peter, in 1:08:00 while Joe Bosson finished out the podium 45 secs later – but was fastest in both the swim and run.

There were some very fast times in all the age groups. Rob Parry 40-49, (Crystal Palace Tri Club) 1:09.59; Simon Crook 50-59, 5th overall (Epsom Tri Club) 1:10:10; Martin Leat 1st male 60-69 yrs and John Harley 1st over 70 in 1:31:31.

Special mentions to another septuagenarian, Edward Oatley who completed for the 36th time – missing only one event in the history of the race. In the ladies age groups Ashleigh Pearson won in 1:21:16. Julie Blackley was the over 50’s lady winner less than five mins slower. Another notable female competitor was Steph Cook MBE, who was the Olympic modern pentathlete in 2000 – 2nd in the over 50’s and 20th female overall.

The race is always popular and with a maximum of 500 participants, it usually sells out quickly. Although very much a local event, it attracts participants who have competed in local, national and international events.