Well, what a season!
Firstly and most importantly, a big thank you goes to you! Thank you to everyone that has taken part in one of our events. Another thanks goes out to our lovely marshal volunteers who cheered on all our awesome finishers! We are so grateful to you all for supporting Challenging Events.
We started 2023 frozen at Romsey 5 back in January. It was a super chilly day with the finish line water actually starting to freeze! The run was hot though with an incredible turn out of runners.
Winchester 10K was in Feb and slightly warmer than Romsey, we even had a turtle run the course!
In Feb we won a few awards! Thruxton won Large Event of the Year, Southampton Fast Twitch won Small Event of the Year and Kelly was recognised as Outstanding Contribution to Triathlon by Triathlon England South Central. Bournemouth also won the Large Event of the Year in the South West so we were feeling confident going into the height of the season!
Now moving on to warmer times, we headed off to Lanzarote in March for our training camp with an awesome group. We spent 7 days swimming, biking, running and making friendships (which are still going strong now!)
In April we beat the tide and ran on the beautiful sands of Bournemouth with our Beach Run.
April opened the Triathlon season! Southampton Fast Twitch is in everyone's diary as it's the perfect season opener and a great way to catch up with friends that you haven't seen all winter! Kelly took part again for the second year in a row but it’s Jo's turn next year!
May - things started to ramp with a very busy Hampshire Hilly Hundred and a sunny Huntsman Middle distance. Yes you heard it right, a SUNNY Huntsman!
In May Jo had her thumb operated on and was in a cast and not being able to drive for 2 months - it’s safe to say, Kelly missed Jo very much! But she is now back to events fighting fit with a working thumb!
June was HOT! We had the (possibly) last New Forest Rattler where people cycled on Saturday, swam Sunday morning and ran Sunday afternoon up to marathon distance, some taking part in all 3 events - very impressive!
We then had the much loved Swashbuckler! What a day! It's always an epic event and we loved seeing the beautiful sunrise on the opening swim.
Kelly then went off to Belfast to deliver the Chase the Sun event. This is an epic bike ride from the East coast in Belfast and ending on the Atlantic coast in Ireland. Jo stayed at home and delivered the Sundowner - a super sunset 5 hour party swim!
July we both headed to Swanage. Always a team favourite as we make a great weekend of it staying together at the YHA. The views from the course and the amazing athletes never seem to disappoint, we particularly loved cheering on our final finisher, Garfield.
However the most important event of the season was Jo’s Wedding in July! Congratulations to Jo and Lawrence and we wish you all the best. (PS, Jo didn't recognise Kelly at first in non-sporting clothes!)
The lovely Holly Hill Triathlon was back in August this year and saw many newcomers to the sport we love! Kelly actually then managed to take a holiday and left Jo in charge! However she did take her work laptop and couldn't resist the odd email! The holiday was much needed as what was to come was the biggest test yet… September!
September was JAM PACKED!
We started off with one of the biggest New Forest Middle Distance to date. It was a fabulous weekend, especially now we are allowed to camp at the venue again!
The following weekend saw us take on our BIGGEST ever Bournemouth International Triathlon. Over 700 athletes registered for the World Sprint Qualifier which was a little terrifying, however what we didn’t plan for was for Terry (Kelly’s husband) to have a serious motorbike accident the Thursday before! (Don’t worry after 2.5 weeks in hospital, Terry is now out, back at home and on the mend and YES the bike is going to the scrap yard!) Back to Bournemouth. It was INCREDIBLE! The atmosphere was electric and there were some incredible times!
A rare weekend off, then a small corporate event for Fit For Hospitality on Bournemouth Beach in the week before the epic Winchester Half Marathon. We took over Winchester Half from our friends at Rees Leisure quite late in the day. After causing Jo a few grey hairs in the lead up we were ready come 9am Sunday 24th September! It was all worth the hard work once that starting gun went and we saw so many of you take on the hilly half.
No rest for the wicked and we quickly moved onto the Thruxton weekend. Saturday morning, we helped British Cycling run their Para Cycling National Championships and the afternoon saw lots of runners do a 5K or 10K for the Thruxton Circuit Run. Onto Sunday, was again our biggest ever Thruxton Mass Attack Duathlon which showcased a World and European Age Group Team Qualifier. It was so exciting to watch the draft legal race and some incredible racing achieved.
Our end of season ended at the Halloween Spooky Swim and what a great way to end! A chilly, slightly wet, spooky night swim with a bit of a party and Kelly’s famous chilli to warm up with!
Thank you again for everyone that has supported Challenging Events this year and we can’t wait to see you again in 2024.
Kelly and Jo x