Report and Picture from John Coxon
Samantha clocked an impressive 1:03:40. Chester Triathlon Club's Kelly Crickmore was second overall this year( as in last year's race) this time in 1:05:22. Vicky Wade, ( Manchester Tri Club) was third overall in 1:06:56. Eunice Alexander was the fist vet home in 1:10:34 with Maureen Douglas ( Chester Tri Club) first Super Vet home in 1:23: 34. In addition nine relay teams took part with "Turrell's Tops" taking the honours in a time of 1:20:28 . Originally a record 231 signed up for the race including ten relay teams. 41 did not make the Sunday morning get up but apart from one unfortunate athlete who suffered a leg injury at the water exit the remainder of the field finished.
The swim, with a deep water start ,was organised in two waves by category to minimise congestion starting at 10.00 and 10.15 respectively with a single lap 750 metres of the impressive Manley Mere Lake. Affable Chester Tri Club Welfare Officer , Colin Wilson, was on hand , strategically placed at water exit offering motivational free hugs to those who felt the need , thus providing encouraging comfort that was deeply appreciated by many. Competitors then splished through the muddy lakeside transition area to bike up and then hit the road turning left from the Sports Sail Centre onto the somewhat inappropriately named Manley Lane for a 16 Km open road race through largely quiet but deceptively undulating country lanes. On return a flat 5 km run, two laps along the lakeside path before the finish.
Chester Tri's Sally Napthen was largely responsible for the event organisation. She commented" The Deva Diva triathlon is a demonstration of the club's commitment to encourage more women to train and take part in achievable short distance races with the emphasis on fun. To this end we arranged a beginner's seminar prior to the race, provided detailed training plans , and held specific pre-race training days at Manley Mere. We also arranged a wetsuit buy-back scheme courtesy of our sponsors Royles. For many of the competitors this was their first triathlon and happily they all finished successfully apart from one minor race ending injury. To emphasise the fun aspect of the event MC / race commentator Simon Blackburn awarded a range of spot prizes at the finish for example for muddiest legs, putting on a spirited spurt in the finish straight .
Simon also organised the spectators to give Wilmslow's Liz Hill a rapturous reception at the completion of her first triathlon gamely coming home second from last home and she was overcome with elation and emotion on the finish line. Last home , and another first timer , Middlesbrough's Geraldine Handley was encouraged over the Tannoy by Simon during her final solo lap from across the lake , one of the local earlier finishers went out and ran with her for half a lap and then Simon organised a spontaneous guard of honour , a funnel of spectators and athletes in front of the finish to provide Geraldine with a wildy cheering triumphal arch to ensure the moment was truly memorable for her.
For full results check out Chester Tri Club
For over 500 photographs illustrating the flavour of the event check out the Deva Divas Album
photo Getty Images