‘Plastic-free’ podium for Team Intrinsic at Croyde Ocean Triathlon


Team Intrinsic’s Matt Cox celebrated Shark Awareness Day limbs intact by coming 3rd overall at the ‘plastic-free’ Croyde Ocean Triathlon.

He completed the Olympic distance course in 02:27:52.7 to achieve a top three category and gender ranking. Moreover, Matt shaved more than 4 minutes off the previous year’s finish despite getting snarled up in traffic and a minor mechanical on the bike.

“This year’s race was the UK’s first single use plastic-free event and although Team Intrinsic competes annually, it was especially important for us to get behind this year’s initiative,” commented Intrinsic Facilities Engineering director and fellow Team Intrinsic competitor Chris Roberts.

“Pollution and sustainability pose growing challenges for the property sector: more than half of the global population live in cities and this figure is expected to increase to 66% by 2050. These urban dwellers contribute around 75% of global pollution. At IFE we are committed to best practice in the built environment as the sector strives towards sustainable development that enables the planet and its population to thrive.”

Matt finished the ‘stunning and savage’ course in time to enjoy the friendly rivalry between younger brother and guest Team Intrinsic triathlete Jon Cox who celebrated a new course PB of 03:24:23.6 a few minutes ahead of Chris in 03:28:22.3.

Matt Cox Race Report from ‘plastic-free’ Croyde Ocean Triathlon, 14th July 2019

Back safe from a great weekend in north Devon. We warmed up for Sunday’s event playing table tennis, surfing, paddle boarding, and checking out the local eateries the day before with Intrinsic FE director Chris Roberts and Team Intrinsic guest triathlete, my little brother Jon Cox.

On the whole race day itself went well. I shaved over 4 minutes off my 2018 finish and was only just outside my course PB the year previous. My swim was solid in good conditions, and again not far off 3 minutes quicker than last year. Maybe that had something to do with it being Shark Awareness Day as well!

The bike started well, and I felt pretty good as I grew into it. However, traffic on the fast section on the main road held me up, which was frustrating. And just before T2 I had a mechanical coming up the last hill, which meant I had to jump off and just pull the chain out.  Nevertheless, still as quick as last year’s cycle and my legs felt good going onto the run. I was aware of someone who’d overtaken me after my chain incident – they were my wave too so T2 was quick.

Family rivalry across the line

I put the burners on for the first mile which is largely flat to try and get a gap. From that point it was a case of digging in and enjoying the spectacular run course, and spectacular hills! I slowly caught people from earlier waves all the way through the run, and I felt pretty good until the last 2km when I really had to grit my teeth to make sure l finished well. Once again, an amazing race in an incredible place.

It was then a case of waiting for Chris and Jon. I knew that they weren’t separated by too much on the bike despite Chris starting two waves earlier. I got some live times from the run start and realised it was just 6 minutes separating them on course. Knowing both of their recent times I knew that they would be close. Chris came over the line first, but Jon wasn’t far behind and close enough that his time was quicker. Those two both put in awesome performances on a difficult course, and it was good to watch the competitiveness between the two of them come out … obviously runs in the family!

Team Intrinsic Race Statistics – Croyde Ocean Triathlon, 14th July 2019


Matt Cox (Male Senior <40) – 02 :27 :52.7 (O/Pos 3/388, Cat Pos 3/131)

Swim     00 :23:32.6 ; Swim to T1/T1 00 :03:17.3 ; Cycle 01:10:29.8 ; T2 00 :00 :31.4 ; Run 00 :50:01.3


Jon Cox (Male Senior <40) – 03:24:23.6 (O/Pos 230, Cat Pos 91)

Swim     00 :32:04.1 ; Swim to T1/T1 00 :08:54.9 ; Cycle 01:26:22.8 ; T2 00 :01:13.6 ; Run 01:15:48.0


Chris Roberts (Male Supervet 50-59) – 03:28:22.3 (O/Pos 245, Cat Pos 29)

Swim     00 :35 :19.7 ; Swim to T1/T1 00 :05:31.7 ; Cycle 01:30:06.9 ; T2 00 :01:53.4 ; Run 01:15:30.4



  1. Team Intrinsic represents the combined interests of Intrinsic Facilities Engineering Ltd and Intrinsic Facilities Management Ltd
  2. Croyde Ocean Triathlon 2019 – course details
  • Swim (1.5km) Ocean swim along Putsborough beach with steep uphill run into transition
  • Bike (38km) Out and back tarmac course with 584m elevation gain
  • Run (12km) Demanding, hilly (253m elevation gain) and 2km longer than standard Olympic distance includes a beach run along Croyde surfing beach and classic headlands overlooking Putsborough, Saunton and Croyde bays
  • Headline sponsor: The Pickwell Foundation, supporting charities working with displaced people and those combating climate change
  • Charity partners:  Children’s Hospice South West, 10:10 Climate Action, Plastic Free North Devon
  1. UN World Urbanisation Prospects

All smiles for Team Intrinsic at UK's first single-use plastic-free Croyde Ocean Tri

Clockwise left to right: Perfect conditions for race day - Team Intrinsic's Chris Roberts (extreme left of photo) heads to set up for T1; Cliff-top view of Putsborough beach for race spectators; Chris Roberts steams towards the finish; Jon Cox can't resist a smile at new course PB