Frosty Aquathlon 2017
The Frosty Aquathlon is a great swim/run race organised by Tuff Fitty and is open to everyone.
The event is a very successful annual event with 2018 scheduled to be the 23rd staging of the event. The Frosty is traditionally held on the first Sunday in March each year and as the name implies we have seen frost and also snow as well as fine sunny weather. Many competitors view this as a curtain raiser to their new season and with it the chance to see how successful their winter training has been. The Frosty covers two Aquathlon races:
The Frostbite:400m Pool swim and 5k run or
The Frosty:800m Pool swim and 10k run
The swim takes place in Littlehampton Swimming Pool (Littlehampton. West Sussex - postcode BN16 2NA) which is a 25m Pool. The run takes in a circuit around the local boating lake and then out onto the seafront promenade. Subject to weather conditions the course is flat and can produce some fast times. It is worth mentioning that Transition is indoors along the side of the swimming pool, so if weather conditions are inclement competitors can pull on their running shoes indoors before departing for the run. Competitors receive a memento for completing the course, plus prizes for the following:- 1st Male and 1st Female senior competitor and 1st Male and 1st Female Junior competitor. Entries are available on-line for both races with an entry fee of £25 for BTF members or £28 for non-members. The first wave will be off at 7am prompt.
See the write up in the May/June 2017 edition of Triathlon Plus, describing the Frosty as one of the best places to test yourself:
The longer Frosty Race, also has a team event. This comprises four competitors, at least one of which must be a Female. Each competitor can enter individually, and they race as such, but by entering a Team name these four nominated competitors will see their individual result combine to produce one overall time. The team with the quickest time will be declared the winning team. The team event has become hotly contested over the years in it's own right. Horsham Amphibians had a great record but Brighton Phoenix took over and retained the team title on multiple ocassions. Tuff Fitty snatched some wins more recently and are the 2016 champions. The prizes awarded in the Frosty are:- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Male. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Female. 1st Veteran Male and Female (over 40) and 1st Super Vet Male and Female (Over 50), plus the team prize. Competitors in this race also receive the memento for finishing.
5th March 2017 Frosty Aquathlon Race Report
As competitors drove down onto the coastal road in Sussex for the Frosty Aquathlon, many would have been excused for asking themselves why they had got up so early. The Littlehampton seafront was faced with 46 mile an hour winds and the flags opposite the finish had already started to bend.
The Frostbite was the first race off and commenced with a 400m pool swim. Always on the first Sunday in March, transition is indoors just in case of inclement weather. The Met office describes the wind speed as ‘Fresh Gale’ and competitors exited the pool to be met by the wind driving straight off the seafront. If that was not enough, it had started to rain and after a while there were hailstones as well.
The Frostbite saw a loop of the local park before battling the full force of the wind on the promenade for a 5k run. First out of the pool was Shaun Challis (UK Fire Service) in 5:32 (inc transition), but once on the run Clive Patterson-Lett from host club Tuff Fitty started to chase him down. Patterson-Lett would secure the best run split in the Frostbite of 17:56 but could not quite catch Challis who was the first competitor home, by 9 seconds. The first male junior home recorded an equally impressive time. Bradley Burke was the third person overall in a time of 25:58.
For the ladies, the Juniors were again to the fore with Naomi Fonteyn from Brighton Tri Club the first lady overall in 26:56. As a junior she elected to take the overall female trophy so the junior trophy was awarded to the next junior; Lauren Hodge of Tuff Fitty.
The main event was the Frosty which comprises an 800m swim followed by a 10k run. The wind had done little to ease off, but at least the driving rain had stopped as Sam Wade exited the pool in 1st position with a swim/transition time of just 10:36. The unusual format of wave starts enables competitors to see who they need to charge down and Jacob Cross had an equally strong swim of 10:53.
The Frosty Aquathlon has become established on the race calendar with 2017 being its 22nd year. Many of the course records have stood for a long time, 14 years for the ladies and 8 years for the men. It was a shame that the weather conditions would conspire keep many of those intact. Well Sam, competing for Team PedalCover, wasn’t going to be stopped by the wind. He completed the 10k in just 33:23, to cross the line in 43:59. This broke the record set by Gareth Evans in 2009 by 24 seconds – a superb performance. The next four men all broke the 50 minute barrier with Rob Sherwood (Team THE), 2nd overall and Charlie Foster (Steyning AC) 3rd. The 1st Male Vet was Mark Furth, also from Team THE. The first Male supervet was Malcolm Hughes who is a regular racer at this event from Brighton Phoenix.
Michelle Peckham was the 1st Lady home in 59:27 (Horsham Amphibians) and 28 seconds behind, Lucinda Potten was second. Alice Kennedy was third in 61:45. Mary Campbell from Chichester Westgate took the award for female vet and Martine Burke the female supervet.
Running parallel to the individual race is a team competition where teams of four, including at least one female competitor, combine their times. The recipients this year were Horsham Amphibians.