This weekend (25-26 July) saw another fantastic venue open its gates to the sport of tri, as 2,200 competitors took part in the annual 2015 Castle Howard Triathlon.
The Castle Series pride themselves on being newbie friendly and all levels competed from starter sprint level (200m swim, 13k bike, 2.5k run) upwards, with 500 children also taking on the challenge. Stealing the show though was 8-year-old Bailey Matthews, competing in his first-ever triathlon.
Bailey, from Doncaster, has cerebral palsy and was cheered over the line by hundreds of spectators after completing a 100m lake swim, 4,000m bike and 1,300m run. The emotional crowd shouted its encouragement when Bailey stepped away from his walking support to finish the last 20 metres of the race unaided – and into the proud arms of his parents Jonathan and Julie Matthews.
Longer-distance athletes had the Gauntlet to contend with. Reigning Scottish Middle and Olympic Distance Champion, Nikki Bartlett was pipped to the post by New Zealand champion and Commonwealth medalist, Sam Warriner following a gruelling 4hr 48min challenge.
Warriner led from the swim, through the bike and into the run, with Bartlett slowly closing the gap and giving away just three minutes after T2 and into the run. Bartlett chased down the leader but an extra kick from Warriner bought her in just three seconds ahead. Laura Sarkis following behind the front two to take the last place at the podium with a time of 5h25m.
In the men’s Gauntlet race, the win went to Brennan Townsend (4hr 21min) taking the lead 3k into the run and finishing ahead of Colin Hill in second place. Hill finished with a respectable time of 4h33m ahead of Matt Dewis (4.34m) in third.
In the Olympic distance Catherine Jameson (Team Jackpot) kept up her winning run with a comfortable win (2h25m), whilst Ian Robertson (2h16m) from Anglia-Tri took first place in the men’s race. Robertson’s partner Becky Schofield (2h40m), also from Anglia-Tri, took second place in the women’s race ahead of Lynsey Carveth (2h54m), from Royal Air Force Tri, while Robertson beat off competition from Max Hazell, also from Team Jackpot (2h17m) and James Phillips (2h20m) for the male trophy.
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