Army Dominates Inter-Services Triathlon

Scorching temperatures and fierce competition at the Inter-Services Triathlon made for a tough contest between athletes.

Scorching temperatures and fierce competition at the Inter-Services Triathlon made for a tough contest between athletes.

As if taking on a 1,500km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run was not enough, the triathletes also had to contend with temperatures in the high 20s.

The competition, which was sponsored by the Officers’ Association, celebrated its 30th birthday this year and was hosted by the Royal Navy at South Cerney in Gloucestershire.

A total of 118 triathletes from across the services and guests from HM Prison Service and Police took part, competing in individual and team categories including male, female and veterans.

Senior Aircraftman Luke Pollard was first out of the water, first home from the bike and first over the finish line – to secure his fourth win in four years in one hour, 52 minutes and 26 seconds.

SAC Pollard is now just one win away from equalling Major Charlie Pennington’s five-year record over the Olympic distance.

SAC Pollard said of Major Pennington: “He’s an incredible inspiration to not only myself but everyone else.”

Apart from SAC Pollard in first place and Flight Lieutenant Ben Terry in third, the top 10 spots in the men’s competition were dominated by the Army, securing them the team win.

Lieutenant Harry Eaton finished second overall, after clawing his way back up from finishing seventh on the swim.

Other triathletes who made impressive climbs throughout the day included Major Aaron Gwilliam, who finished 42nd in the swim but his fast cycle helped him secure sixth place, and Sergeant Ellis from the RAF, who came in 80th after the swim but finished 15th overall.

The Army also won the women’s title after four of their triathletes came in the top five places.

They were led to victory by Second Lieutenant Rosie Wild, who finished 11th in the swim but was first on the bike and run, completing the triathlon in two hours, 16 minutes, 52 seconds.

2nd Lt Wild said: “I came out quite late on the swim and I knew I was playing catch up for most of the race.

"On the run I had no idea how many girls were in front of me until I met my teammate on the last lap and I said, ‘What are you coming?’ and she said, ‘First! First!’.

“So we started running together and then we were arguing over who was going to run with who and I said, ‘You go’ and she said, ‘You go’.

“But I prefer running and she prefers swimming so that’s when we sort of split off.”

Corporal Hannah Lyons was hot on 2nd Lt Wild’s heels – finishing just 39 seconds behind her. Flight Lieutenant Samantha Rose came in third position just over a minute later.

Overall the Army came top in both team events, with the RAF second.