Brownlee Q&A at Fountains Abbey

Highlights from a Brownlee Triathlon press session in Yorkshire, where the brothers were promoting their race...


With a fortnight gap between WCS races, 220 met the Brownlees this weekend at Fountains Abbey where they were promoting September’s inaugural Brownlee Triathlon. And in fine form they were too, discussing the course, tips for beginners and just how fast they could do the race…

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220: What input did you have on the course and distances for the Brownlee Tri?

Alistair: First off we chose the venue. We wanted somewhere that was fairly local, somewhere that was inspiring and beautiful but with a competitive aspect, too.

Secondly, the course was somewhere we wanted to be accessible for all and attract people who haven’t done a tri before. A third of entries of the 700 entries already are from beginners to tri and that’s why we decided on super-sprint for our first tri. We were hoping that all ages and abilities would be attracted.

Jonny: Our cycling knowledge of the local area helped us plan the course; we’ve ridden around here a lot so we know which routes have hills in them.

220: How hilly is the course?

Jonny: There’s some rolling hills and a couple of short, sharp climbs.

Ripon Gazette: Have fast are you expecting to do the super-sprint (400m swim/10km bike/2.5km run)?

Jonny: About half an hour.

Ripon Gazette: What memories do you have of visiting here?

Alistair: I remember coming here when the river was frozen in the depths of winter. Our mum tried to tell us about the history of the place but all we were interested in was chasing each other around!

220: Are any of your elite friends and rivals planning to race?

Alistair: It’s a week after London so it’s good timing so we’re hoping to have a few coming. But we don’t want it too competitive!

Jonny: Gomez isn’t coming! He hasn’t been this far north before!

Is there are target for the race numbers?

Alistair: There’s a limit for 1,000 this year, in the future we’d like to expand to allow more people to do it. Like adding team relays. The plan is to do it year-after-year, maybe on a bigger scale, to attract more people to do triathlon. There are amazing stretches of coast, stately houses and moorland area in the Dales and the Lakes around here to host additional events.

Ripon Gazette: Have you got some advice for people doing their first tri?

Jonny: Do some training first! Make sure your practise things like taking your wetsuit off and doing transitions. And remember to enjoy doing it.

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The Brownlee Triathlon will be held on Saturday 21 September at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire. You can enter at