Sunday, August 21, 2005

Full Ironman in South Somerset and Dorset

This morning I was at the start of the UK's Full Ironman event. One of 23 Ironman around the world 1500 competitors swam, cycled and ran from Sherborne Castle to Dorchester and to Yeovil and beyond.

The commitment and fitness to just do one Ironman Triathlon is beyond my comprehension but for one of the competitors to be competing in their 59th is just astonishing.

We are very fortunate to be on the world stage with this event and when I left after the swim segment the beautiful weather was looking to build up to quite a temperature, a possible problem for some competitors. I expect they were happier with that than with the mist that delayed the start for 2 hours as it hung over Sherborne Castle and its surroundings.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Green Flag Award and Civic Trust

10 days ago I was fortunate to go to Swansea's Brangwyn Hall together with the Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture and 2 of our Countryside Rangers to pick up 2 Green Flag awards for Excellent Open Spaces - Ham Hill and Yeovil Country Park were both awarded the prestigious award at the first time of entering which is a great achievement.

Whatever building development is needed to enhance the competitiveness and viability of locales such as Yeovil there must be a continuing balance with sustaining the access to green spaces and the development of easily reachable natural, relaxing areas. Research cited at the award ceremony indicated that unless there is green space was within 5 minutes easy travel then people do not bother to go to it, and miss out on essential release and relaxation.

The awards are sponsored by the Civic Trust, a national organisation that also works with excellent civic design, urban regeneration and has assisted in the Market and Coastal Towns Initiative so important to the balanced development of South Somerset. I met today with Paul Davies of Civic Trust and look forward to exploring how we might work together.