Triathlon trio’s triple triumph

Date: 11 August 2017

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Pictured: ‘The Pendle Witches’ - Gemma Blackmore, Helen Doyle and Tessa Palfry 

A team of physiotherapists from Pendle have beaten the fastest and fittest NHS staff in the north of England to win the annual NHS Triathlon for the third time. 

The superfit trio of Gemma Blackmore, Helen Doyle and Tessa Palfry – who go by the team name ‘The Pendle Witches’ - swam, cycled and ran faster than 300 competitors at the NHS FunTri in Horwich recently.

NHS FunTri is a sprint triathlon competition in which teams of three race over a 400 metre swim, 16 kilometre bike ride and 5 kilometre run.

First up for ‘The Pendle Witches’ was Tessa who completed the swim in nine minutes and 20 seconds. Tessa handed over to cyclist Helen who finished the cycle route in just 33 minutes and 42 seconds and the Pendle power trio claimed first place as Gemma completed the run in 20 minutes and 56 seconds.

The talented triathletes - all Band 6 Physiotherapists in the Integrated Therapy Team based at Pendle Community Hospital – claimed the gold medal in the ‘Female Team’ category. In fact, the Pendle Witches combined time of under one hour four minutes saw them finish ahead of many of the all-male teams!

This summer’s NHS FunTri success is the team’s third in the past four years, following on the heels of wins in 2014 and 2016 (the ‘Witches’ missed the event in 2015 for maternity duties).

“We’re so proud of Tessa, Gemma and Helen and we’re delighted to see a third trophy joining the (quite crowded) shelf in our office,” said colleague and fellow Advanced Physiotherapist, Karen Martin.

“To win once is a great achievement but three NHS FunTri wins in three years is amazing!”

  • Summary:

    A team of physiotherapists from Pendle have beaten the fastest and fittest NHS staff in the north of England to win the annual NHS Triathlon for the third time.

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