The 2016 Inter-Services Triathlon, sponsored this year by the Officers’ Association, was held on 27th July at the Cotswold Water Park, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire…

Over 90 entrants across the three services (Army, Navy and RAF) competed in various categories: Male, Veterans (40-44yrs) and Masters (45+ yrs) and Female, Veterans (35-39 yrs) and Masters (40+ yrs) to head up the leader board.

Winner of the male race for the second year in a row was Luke Pollard, age 24 from the RAF, in a time of 2 hours, 2 minutes and 00.7 seconds. Luke took up triathlon soon after joining the RAF in 2011 and has since been recruited into an elite athlete scheme within the RAF. He hopes to compete in the Elite European Championships in 2019.

Speaking shortly after crossing the finish line, Luke says of his win: “This is a very important race not just for me, but for the whole of the RAF and I am thrilled to have won again. I have been training very hard, an average of around 30 hours a week and I felt mentally strong beforehand.”

Speaking about his love of triathlon, Luke continues “I relish the challenge of competing in three different sports in the same race. I usually find the swim is the toughest part for me, but in this race I was where I wanted to be when I came out of the water, although I knew I had to push hard whilst also saving some energy for the run at the end! I now need to make a quick recovery and prepare for my next event in a few weeks’ time.”

Samantha Rose, age 27, who has recently joined the RAF as a dentist at Brize Norton, was the winner of the female race in a time of 2hrs, 14 minutes and 13.5 seconds. She says of her win: “I am very pleased to have been the fastest female today. I have been a triathlete for five years and competed in around 30 different triathlons, but this has been one of the nicest courses I have experienced.”

Samantha continues “The swim is my strongest area of triathlon and today was great as the water was very clear. I was the first to come out of the water in my race and then I felt like I was being chased for the rest of the race!”

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Stuart, Commanding Officer of 13 Air Assault Support Regiment and Chairman of the Army Triathlon Association (ATA), organised the event this year and says: “The weather has been kind to us and we are delighted with how the event has gone. The venue is superb and the triathletes I have spoken to all said they’ve really enjoyed the day. We are very grateful to the OA for being our key sponsor this year as it has given us new opportunities to make this event the success it is.”

Officers’ Association CEO Lee Holloway presented awards to the fastest male and female Officers at the event: Captain Edward Charlton-Weedy who achieved a time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 32.3 seconds and also came second overall, and Samantha Rose who was also the fastest female overall.

Lee says of the event “We are delighted with how today has gone. I personally have really enjoyed it and been very impressed with the competitors. The OA recognises the importance of physical fitness whilst serving and after leaving the forces. Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in the UK and gives competitors the opportunity to show leadership and cope better with stress. Over half of the field are Officers and we hope this sponsorship will be the start of a longer term relationship with the ATA and events such as this.”

A full list of results from the Officers’ Association Inter-Services Triathlon 2016 are available here for further information on the OA.