THOUSANDS of spectators amassed to watch the Bournemouth Triathlon as it got underway on September 24, 1989.

The gruelling test of physical endurance had been growing in popularity, much proved by the impressive turnout.

The first hurdle faced by the 400 competing athletes was a mammoth 1,500-metre swim around a triangular course adjacent to Bournemouth Pier.

Three waves of athletes set off at 15-minute intervals, the clock starting at the beginning of the swim and only stopping after a further 40 kms on bike and 10 kms of road running.

It took little more than one hour and 30 minutes for the winner, Howard Fulford, to complete the race.