A whopping 20,000 spectators cheered on athletes at the UK’s second-largest triathlon festival last weekend, with glorious weather helping to create a buzzing atmosphere along with live music, a funfair, climbing wall and more.
The action kicked off with the super sprint and sprint plus races on Saturday, with around 2,500 competitors taking part. George Beecher and Ella Dobson won the super sprint distance (400m/20km/4km), while the sprint plus races (800m/40km/8km) were won by Paul Ruffy and Lydia Birch.
In the Olympic distance race, Calum Johnson took the win after rival Carl Shaw made an error on the run route, with Sam Wade and Pete Dyson rounding out the podium.
India Lee was favourite in the women’s Olympic race, and she showed why with a commanding victory. A swift swim and a super-fast bike and run resulted in the deserved victory and an astonishing margin of 9mins for the new course record. Rounding off the podium were Rachel Hallam and Joanne Gorrod.
The men’s Gauntlet went to France after an eventful race which saw Victor Debril-Caux come away with the victory and his French compatriot Cedric Lassonde finish second. GB’s Dan Bigham rounded out the podium.
In the women’s Gauntlet, Cat Jameson set a blistering swim with a huge 4min gap over the course record holder Carol Bridge, but was forced to withdraw early in the run with gastro distress, leaving the door wide open for Bridge. However, the defending champion took a wrong turn on the run, leaving Maria Powell to take the win by more than a minute. Bridge finished second, and South Africa’s Tracy Markham took third.
Finally, nearly 2,000 junior triathletes helped break the world record for the world’s biggest children’s triathlon on the Saturday, taking part in a range of distances that ranged from 100m/4km/1.3km for the 8-10 year-olds, up to the ‘Elizabeth 1st’ distance (300m/8km/4km) for the 13-15 year-olds.
Don’t forget that Channel 4 will be broadcasting a highlights package on TV at 7am on Saturday 18 October. Registration for next year’s event is already open, and competitors can receive a 30% early bird discount here.
(All images: Colin Baldwin Photography)
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