The Slateman Triathlon in the epic setting of Snowdonia National Park attracted a sell-out crowd once again, with nearly 1,300 athletes taking part in the two events over the weekend.
Kicking off with a sprint-distance race consisting of a 400m lake swim, 20km bike and 6km run, participants climbed the infamous Llanberis Pass on the bike course before heading back down to complete a challenging run through Padarn County Park.
For the full-distance race (1km, 51km bike, 11km run) athletes complete the same climb on the bike plus a loop around the North Wales Countryside, with the brutal run consisting of a struggle up the breathtaking Dinorwig Quarries.
Heavy rain made a tough race tougher on Saturday, but times at the head of the race were impressive despite the conditions. In the men’s race, Tomos Neesham was victorious in a time of 1:11:27, with Paul Hawkins and Richard Straughan taking second and third in times of 1:13:07 and 1:13:20, respectively. Rebecca Lodge was the female winner, crossing the line in 1:23:20. Alice Jenkins took second place 3mins later, with Helen Talbot taking third place in a time of 1:29:19.
The rain subsided for the full-distance event on Sunday with light winds, making the 1km swim in waters reported to be a chilly 12C more bearable for the 950 athletes taking part. Spectators were treated to a stunning swim from Stewart Moore of Manchester Tri Club, emerging from the water in 12:59mins and almost 90 secs ahead of the chasing pack.
Over the bike leg Moore was quickly reigned in by some blazing quick riders, and it was Peter Brook who had the fastest bike split of the day with a 1:20:56 over the tough 51km course. It wasn’t quite enough to reign in Lewis Eccleston, who put in a run split of 49:13 to win in a time of 2:28:18. Brook’s time was 2:28:59, with Paul Hawkins taking third spot in 2:29:48.
In the women’s race, Becky Schofield overcame a fast swim by Alice Jenkins to take over the lead on the bike course, recording a bike split of 1:34:13 and a 58:29min run to hold on for the victory in a time of 2:52:54. Olivia Matthews also pulled back the deficit over the bike and run to finish second in a time of 2:53:54, with Jenkins crossing the line in 2:54:18.
Athletes could also opt to race the ‘Slateman Savage’, a combination of the sprint event on Saturday and then the full-distance on Sunday. It was Paul Hawkins to came out on top, finishing second in the sprint and third in the full-distance race for a combined time of 3:42:55. The second and third male finishers overall were Richard Straughan and the appropriately-named Paul Savage, while Alice Jenkins, Rebecca Lodge and Helen Talbot were the first three females.
Entries are open for Slateman 2018 already, with pricing staying the same as the 2017 race until May 31st.