Over 3,500 adults and children, including 50 families, came from all over the country to take part in the Markel Hever Castle Triathlon at the weekend.
The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle provided a spectacular backdrop for this, the final event in the 2011 Castle Triathlon Series, with competitors raising money for Help for Heroes and Jigsaw4u.
The Castle Triathlon Series has grown dramatically since conception in 2009 and attracted over 5,000 participants for this year’s events, held at three castles in the UK and one in France. Now in its third year, the Markel Hever Castle Triathlon is the third largest triathlon in the country and one of the largest children’s events in Europe (450 children took part this weekend). Participants of all ages and abilities competed, from first timers and families through to elite triathletes.
The Olympic distance, the longest of the six races, was won by David Bishop with Mark Threlfall coming in second making him the 2011 Castle Triathlon Series champion. Mark Threlfall represents Great Britain internationally, most recently achieving bronze in the U23 World Cross Triathlon Championships in Spain.
Threlfall commented: “I am really pleased with my result and have loved all four races. Signing up for next year is a sure thing. This is my last race this season and what a great way to finish!”
Triathletes started with an open-water swim in the magnificent 38-acre Hever Castle Lake, followed by the cycle which took place on a 20km circuit through the High Weald of Kent, an area of outstanding natural beauty, with one lap for the sprint and two laps for the Olympic distance. The runners circumnavigated the estate and castle grounds before making the dash to the finishing line beside the lake.