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Jenkins and Fowler win at The Bastion
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 13th July 2015

Tags  Bastion  |  Bethan Fowler  |  Darren Jenkins  |  Hever Castle  |  Karl Alexander  |  The Bastion

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New champions crowned at The Bastion triathlon in Hever Castle

Gerundi races his 100th iron-distance

New triathlon champions were crowned at Hever Castle in the second edition of the iron-distance Bastion event (12th July 2015). Professional triathlete Darren Jenkins was the first to cover the huge 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run; storming the final discipline to take overall victory with a time of 10:01:15 from second placed Karl Alexander. The women's race was won in dominant fashion by professional triathlete Bethan Fowler, who led from start to finish with a time of 12:04:19.

Bethan Fowler

Whilst the impressively fast times were being set by the professionals in the field, much of what made The Bastion special was the stories of incredible physical feats by the other athletes taking part in what has been heralded ‘the toughest UK iron distance triathlon' by many.

Whilst most would consider doing one iron-distance triathlon a life-time achievement, Anthony Gerundini hit the incredible milestone of completing 100 iron-distance triathlons at The Bastion. Having completed the feat he commented afterwards:

“I'd forgotten how good this event was having done it last year. It is truly stunning. There are so many marshals we are spoilt and the Castle Triathlon Series really look after us. The bike course is a dream.”

Anthony Gerundini

Race winner Darren Jenkins said:

“I've done 20 Ironmans around the world and that is the toughest course I've done anywhere. You get a great personal experience here, you are not ‘just a number'. How many other events have this stunning castle backdrop?”

Darren Jenkins

Second placed Karl Alexander said:

“I went off well and was first off the bike but kudos to Darren, he was the best on the day. This was the toughest event I've ever done. If you're going to do one, make it this one, it has serious bragging rights.”

Elsewhere Scott Mitchell would complete The Bastion in aid of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and raised an amazing £5,000 for the charity. Two other competitors chose to raise money for the NSPCC – the official charity of the Castle Triathlon Series.

Peter Dry returned to compete at The Bastion after finishing here in 2014 and was once again the oldest competitor at 63. He would go on to shave over one hour from his previous time.

Despite its reputation as tough, half the fields were first timers at the distance – perhaps drawn by the friendly reputation and athlete care package that the Castle Triathlon Series offer.

The Bastion proved a draw internationally with athletes travelling from as far afield as Norway, Portugal, Belgium and Australia.

The Bastion iron-distance triathlon – 12th July 2015

Pos Male Female
1. Darren Jenkins 10:01:15 Bethan Fowler 12:04:19
2. Karl Alexander 10:24:50 Ruth Thompson 13:48:22
3. Matthew Dowle 10:45:35 Louise Clinton 15:50:11

The 3.8km swim started the long day at the Italianate loggia, taking competitors down the length of the main lake before passing the Japanese teahouse and heading into a scenic, river section.

The 180km three-loop bike course represents arguably the toughest iron-distance route on offer in the UK with around 2,800 metres of ascent covering ‘areas of outstanding beauty' in the High Weald area of Kent, before passing through Hartfield and over the Ashdown Forest.

The marathon covers a four lap run route mainly an off road trail run, circumnavigating the two stunning estates of Hever Castle and Chiddingstone Castle before an iconic finish in front of the Hever Castle drawbridge that once gave passage to King Henry VIII.

Athletes were treated to an amazing event village to top off the whole experience, with live bands playing throughout the day, a climbing wall, archery, catering, bike support from VO2 and more. The presence of the Dream Team TV crew added to the sense of atmosphere and occasion.

The Bastion Triathlon is set to return to Hever Castle on the 10th July 2016 as one of the biggest iron-distance triathlons in the UK. Pre-registration is open now for those who want to have the first opportunity to enter the event before it goes on general sale.

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