Robin Stocks a cyclist decided to organise an open water event in Cleveland in October 1982 after reading about an Ironman in Hawaii. These were the days before wetsuits and the water was a perishing 49* F, The course; 800 meter swim, 35 mile bike and a 10 mile run was completed by 13 hardy souls, not bad for the first local event of its kind.
In 2009 we celebrated the 20th Sprint event and the 25th Short Course, our events; distances and venues have changed dramatically over the years and have had many organisers. Richard Hartfield has kindly cast his memory far back and written us a brief history of Cleveland’s Triathlons.
In 1985 there were very few triathlons in the north. In order to promote the sport Dick Hatfield organized an event based at Acklam Sports Center. It was named the Cleveland Short Course,1/2 mile swim, 23 mile cycle, and 6 mile run. This first event was run on 6th October 1985. Entry fee was £3 which included a snack, medal and prizes presented by BTA national Champion Mike Harris, a member of Tyne Tri Club. 82 competitors took part and the event was won by John Willis from Tyne area in 1 Hour 56m 58s.Other competitors included Duncan Robb & Peter Coulson who became top officials in the BTA.
The following year 1986 Cleveland Tri Club introduced two more events, the Cleveland Long Course based at Ruswarp near Whitby and the Cleveland Relays at Acklam Sports Center.
In 1990 the Cleveland Mini Tri Replaced the short course at Acklam Sports Center. Kath Blakey organized the 1991 Mini and 18 years later she is still doing a great job.
The short course moved and changed to an open water swim, firstly at Bishopton and then at Ellerton lake.
The long course also moved from Ruswarp to become the Cleveland Steel Man (1/2 Iron Man Distance). A few characters from those very early days are still around and are the backbone of the club, namely Kath Blakey (Treasurer) Sandra Main (Secretary) and Tony Main (Head Coach & Referee). Over the years many people have run our events, Leon Kirton, Dave Swallwell, Ronnie Fletcher, Erika Enisz, Jen Milson, Jonathan Skidmore, Paige Mcleod, Amanda McGough, Amanda Waller and of course the above mentioned Dick, Kath & Sandra.
We welcome athletes of all abilities and all ages, we have coaches on hand to give you advice on how to get started and improve. Many of our members join the bike rides organised by Cleveland Wheelers on Saturdays and Sundays (see their website for details). During the warmer months we meet up for open water swim sessions, once again coaches will be on hand.
We have an established Junior Academy offering youngsters an opportunity to be coached in Triathlon and gain the experience they need to participate in junior events.
Our events now consist of:
Cleveland Sprint: this is a pool based triathlon which is suitable for beginners and is an ideal Triathlon to start the season.
Cleveland Junior Duathlon: a junior run/bike event held on closed roads, suitable for all abilities.
Cleveland Short Course: a shorter open water event suitable for first time open water swimmers.
Cleveland Steelman: The only half Ironman event in the area, for the more experienced triathletes.
Cleveland Triathlon Club also prides it self on its social section, meeting in the local pub on a Sunday after our swimming session to chat about upcoming events etc. We also regularly hold BBQ’s and parties as well as our annual training week end, in the idyllic Pine Croft Cabins in the Yorkshire Dales.