Bexson braves treacherous conditions to triumph

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EMMA Bexson was celebrating after finishing first in her age group at the annual Ironman event in Copenhagen.

The Stratford Triathlon Club member, along with six other team-mates, were in Denmark along with a strong contingent of supporters to cheer the athletes through a gruelling event that is defined as the toughest one-day sporting event in the world.

Bexson clocked a stunning time of 10.10.26, which also saw her finish as 15th female overall.

She stuck to a rigid race plan, which she demonstrated with accuracy and determination throughout the tough weather conditions on the day.

Horizontal driving rain and winds challenged all the athletes throughout both the bike and the run, however the team supporters proved hugely beneficial throughout, keeping spirits high and motivation strong.

Second home from the club was James Cusack in 12.03.36. This was an excellent performance for his first full ironman finish, and he thoroughly enjoyed every minute of his success.

Alison Bagnall on the bike leg at the Copenhagen Ironman. The Stratford TC member finished 13th in her age group.

Next home for the club was Alison Bagnall, who took 13th in her age group in a extremely tough category of performance athletes.

Her time of 12.15.36 was a PB over this distance, and she said of her race: “The atmosphere on the run was superb and very motivating through all four laps.”

Sam Nicholson was also new to the distance and despite a persistent injury to his foot he managed to complete the event in an impressive 13.15.14.

The remaining trio of iron distance finishers included Andy Smith in an exceptional time of 13.34.17, a fantastic result on his first foray at this distance. He will undoubtedly be back for more.

Smith was raising money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK in the hope that he could use this challenge to show other sufferers that they can push themselves beyond what they think is achievable.

Clive Shepherd, who has been unable to run for the last three months due to injury, had a solid swim and bike split and also exceeded his expectations with a negative split run, taking the first half very carefully before finding his rhythm in the second half to finish strongly in 14.55.27.

Club legend Richard Eden completed his first ironman distance. Despite being physically and mentally drained, he took a moment just before the finishing line to sink to his knees and propose to his partner, Cherry, with a ring he had carried throughout the bike and run elements of the course. They finished crossing the line together in 15.49.00.

To complete the Stratford success, Alex Adams ran the Ironkids race over a course of just over 2k. Adams led from start to finish, winning by 65 seconds.