FIFTY six brave souls hit the Cam Forest on Sunday to take part in the 15th Wo/Man v Bike v Horse organised by the Triangle Triathlon Club.
The runners did 10 miles and the bikers and horses had the pleasure of 15 miles.
It's normally fairly cold in the Cam at the best of times but last Sunday saw the thermometer refusing to budge above two centigrade with driving rain and there were still patches of ice on the course.
Everyone who got around was a hero. On the finish line there were casualties everywhere as hypothermia set in. Local competitors included Dave Sexton of Springwell; Chris Denton of Pegasus; Marcus Christie, the Irish junior cycling super star; Sarah Chestnutt of Springwell, just back from the Dublin marathon; Gerry O'Doherty who recently gained a vest for Ireland in the Senior Cross Countries; Johnny Steede of Ballymena Runners; Kyle Cole, thirteen-year-old cycling star with the Roe Valley Cycling Club; Chris Sharp from RVCC doing the race for the first time in 15 years; Enda Marron the legendary rower from Belfast; Peter Ferris MBE marathon runner extraordinaire; Peter Cole member of Springwell Running Club and RVCC (who competed despite a dodgy hamstring); Gary Kendall of the Bann Wheelers with wife Kay Hack, just back from the World's 70.3 Championship in Florida; Paul McLaughlin, canoeing start; Simon Walton, Tuesday night swimmer; Mervyn Marshall RVCC; Keith Sharpe ditto; (the organiser spoke to Keith on the finish line and it took him 30 seconds to realise that it was actually Keith behind all of the mud on his face!); Brendan O'Brien, cyclist extraordinaire; Johnny Dempsey, one of Ulster's leading Vet bikers; Neill and Elaine Robie of Coleraine; Anne Paul, Ireland's most successful Triathlete, Duathlete and runner; George Boyd RVCC biker and coach and there was also a sprinkling of competitors and Belfast and other parts.
There organisers were delighted that five horse turned up and everybody paid tribute to Davy Armour and Davy and Claries kids Matthew and Ellen were there on the start line.
Over 300.00 was raised for the Matthew and Ellen Trust which was a very good total on such a miserable day.
First winner across the line was Johnny Steede from Ballymena and he won the watch sponsored by Moore's Jewellers of Irish Green Street, Limavady - well done to Sammy for not only starting, but also finishing despite falling off once or twice!
The ladies winner was Anne Paul who came in a minute behind and who won the watch supplied by R.G. Connell & Son Solicitors and Marcus Christie was the first biker home in 64 mins - Marcus then started to suffer from hypothermia and was warmed up the back of various cars etc.
Thanks are due to Peter Crooke who did registration; Bill Deehan; Gavin O'Kane and Raymond Rowe who marshalled and also to the Department of Forestry for providing such great facilities.
The next TTC event is the inaugural Hill Climb on January 10 at 11.00am at the Springwell Forest (the path that links the Ringsend Road, to the Coleraine Limavady Road, this is a 1K challenge with soup being provided by the Rotary Club of Limavady - please turn up for the crack.
The TTC wish all of their members a splendid Christmas and a Cool Yule and we hope that their training is already under way so that goals can not only be aimed at but achieved in 2009.