Current Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button will be racing through London at the Challenger World London Triathlon on Sunday 8 August 2010. Competing for the second year in a row, Button will look to improve on his impressive 2009 time of 2 hours 7 minutes in the Olympic distance on the course that takes in famous landmarks such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the London Eye.
The IMG swim, bike, run event held at London’s ExCeL Centre on 7 and 8 August will also play host to some of Team GB’s Olympians including; Victoria Pendleton, Tim Brabants, Rebecca Romero and Cassie Patten.
TV and Radio 1 presenter, Vernon Kay will be one of many celebrities in action over the weekend.
Button is part of Team Ichiban meaning ‘number one; he will aim for top spot on the podium in his age-group category after finishing second in 2009.
Team Ichiban also includes Le Mans driver Chris Buncombe, Button’s mechanics, trainers and old school friends. Button is a patron for Make a Wish Foundation and the team will be raising money and awareness for the charity which grants magical wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses. British Moto GP 125cc rider, Bradley Smith will also be racing at the same time as Button on Sunday morning. The 19 year old motorcyclist is hoping to reverse last year’s result after being beaten by Button by six minutes in 2009 – a fine effort considering Smith is 11 years his junior.
On Saturday Team GB athletes Cassie Patten (swimmer), Rebecca Romero (cyclist) and Emily Pidgeon (medium to long distance runner) team up in the Team Relay Sprint discipline. All three are at the pinnacle of their respective sports so the girls will be hoping to break the course record which currently stands at 1:05:27.
2008 Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist in the Individual Pursuit, Rebecca Romero, commented, “When I was given the opportunity to participate at the London Triathlon, I wanted to grab it with both hands – especially when it was as part of a team looking to break the course record. I have enjoyed watching the event live before and it will be fantastic to participate with the many thousands of other competitors in the capital – bring on race day!”
Beijing Olympic Gold Medallists Victoria Pendleton and Tim Brabants will officially start the Elite races on Sunday with Tim Brabants guiding the Elite swimmers round the swim course as the lead kayak. Pendleton and Brabants will then hand out the medals at the Elite athlete prize giving as well as meeting thousands of fans within the ExCeL.
In the Elite fields returning champions Will Clarke and Helen Jenkins will be looking to defend their 2009 titles on Sunday with stiff competition expected from Tim Don, Ollie Freeman, Stuarts Hayes, Jodie Stimpson and Liz Blatchford.
Vernon Kay will be making his Olympic distance triathlon debut on Sunday raising money for Great Ormond Street. Kay has been training hard and receiving specialist training from Olympic swimmer Mark Foster. Another famous face for fans to spot will be Olympian Iwan Thomas who will be talking triathlons on Vernon Kay’s BBC Radio 1 show on Saturday morning before heading straight to the ExCel to take part in the sprint distance. Kay isn’t the only radio star taking part with Magic FM’s Neil Fox tackling the sprint distance on Saturday.
Approximately 13,000 participants will be competing at this year’s Challenger World London Triathlon, with another 55,000 spectators expected to line the course and visit the fitness and lifestyle Expo at the ExCeL throughout the weekend.