Broken records, searing heat and romance at the Croyde Ocean Tri
Based on course statistics, we once named the Croyde Ocean Triathlon the fifth-hardest Olympic-distance triathlon in the world.
Having done 2019’s event this weekend in North Devon (and finished in 323rd place), we can confirm this is one tough cookie of a challenge, with a sea swim, relentlessly-rolling 40km bike and a mixed terrain 12km run along coastal paths where, for us at least, the only option was a rueful smile and to walk the multiple inclines. And all in scorching conditions with barely a breeze to sooth the skin.
Sunday’s race was the fifth consecutive Croyde Ocean Triathlon, and its sell out field of 480 (150 were on the waiting list) and number of repeat athletes is testament to the friendly feel of the race and a jaw-dropping course (is there a better view in UK tri than the run course one over Saunton Sands?) that entices multiple visits to this gorgeous corner of Devon.
The race saw two-time winner and local lifeguard Jack Hutchens exit the 1.5km swim alongside Bristol’s David Langston in just 19:31, before Hutchens extended his narrow advantage after the steep transition run and T1 to 29secs.