Seven records were shattered last weekend at the 11th Norwich Olympic Triathlon, with 500 competitors taking to the streets of Norfolk in what proved to be a highly successful event for GB athletes.
With a number of professional triathletes present, it was no surprise that this year’s event was a fiercely competitive one. Iain Robertson and Kimberly Morris retained their crowns in the Olympic distance while Joe Skipper and Becky Schofield were first to cross the line in the two sprint distances.
Over the two days, an estimated 220 participants were taking part in their first triathlon with a growing percentage of those being women.
Records fall in the Sprint Distance
Before the Sprint Distance on the Saturday evening, Joe Skipper was singled out as one of the sprinters to watch and he duly delivered – winning the event in record time.
Joe completed the 750m swim, 18km bike and 5km run in 0:55:58, just 01:48 ahead of second placed Sean Watson.
The former Notre Dame pupil didn’t have it all his own way. Sean, a GB athlete running for Leeds Triathlon Centre, was first out of the water and onto the bike. Unfortunately for Sean, who was returning to Norwich during the university holidays, he couldn’t keep up his pace and finished second.
Left to right: Joe Skipper 1st (with dog Massie), Sean Watson 2nd and Simon Brierley 3rd. (And no, Joe didn't race with his dog, nor was it his prize)
Simon Brierley, representing Seychelle’s, completed the top three and pushed both Joe and Sean all the way. The top three all finished the course in under an hour.
The women’s sprint winner, Becky Schofield, also had to come from behind in order to win. Becky, representing the Tri-Anglia Club, had to close a one minute gap after Zoe Cresswell raced ahead following a strong swim.
Becky overtook Zoe to win the race with just a second gap between the two. Amy Pressland completed the top three. On her way to taking the women’s sprint distance crown, Becky broke the ladies' sprint bike and run records.
Left to right: Amy Pressland 3rd, Becky Schofield 1st, Zoe Cresswell 2nd
Old guard reign supreme in the Olympic Distance
Iain Robertson returned to the Norwich Triathlon and added another victory to the two he already owns on this course.
It was however Sam Proctor, of Tri-Harder, that emerged first from the swim. Sam set a new record of 20:26 in the 1.5km swim but he lost the lead when both GB athlete Jay Lingwood and the 2014 champion Iain overtook him on the bikes.
Left to right: Tri-Anglia Chairman Paula Lee, Simon Proctor 2nd, Iain Robertson 1st (Torq), Jay Lingwood 3rd (Rock Estate)
Sam was able to re-take second place from Jay on the run, however Iain’s lead was insurmountable and the two-time champion was first past the post.
Things were a lot more straightforward for the women’s standard distance champion. Kimberly Morrison, who hails from Fakeham, dominated proceedings and finished 12mins ahead of second place Verity Smith.
On her way to an emphatic victory, Kimberly broke the ladies' run record and the ladies' overall time record across the standard distance.
Norwich Olympic Triathlon 2015 champions
Sprint Distance (750m/ 18km/5km)
Joe Skipper – 0:55:58
Becky Schofield – 1:06:43
Olympic Distance (1.5km/ 38km/10km)
Iain Robertson – 1:57:49
Kimberly Morrison – 2:10:57
Taking place at Whitlingham Country Park, the event is fast becoming an established fixture on both the local and national calendars, gaining a reputation as a fantastically organised and friendly event, encouraging entries from top level racers, seasoned athletes and weekend warriors to first time novices.
Did you race in Norwich? Let us know in the comments below!