Olympians and celebs compete at Dorney this weekend

This coming weekend finds top Olympic champions and sporting celebrities all heading to Dorney Lake for some triathlon action.

This coming weekend finds top Olympic champions and sporting celebrities all heading to Dorney Lake for some triathlon action.

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First up is Olympic champion and leukaemia survivor Maarten Van Der Weijden who is swimming in the inaugural blueseventy Great Big Open Water Swim on Saturday at 10am. Van Der Weijden, an ambassador for leading wetsuit manufacturer, blueseventy, won a surprise gold at Beijing after a five year battle with leukaemia, pipping race favourites to the post in the 10km open water swim.

Fittingly, Van Der Weijden is also swimming on Sunday in the Bananaman triathlon, which is in aid of Leukaemia Research.  He is taking the 800m swim leg of the relay event alongside world record holder, marathon runner and double leg amputee, Richard Whitehead.  Richard will run the 7.5km leg of the triathlon but also be there to meet and support 7yr old Conor Ballard from London, who has a prosthetic limb and is taking part in the kid’s scootathlon at 9.30am on Sunday morning.

Supporting Leukaemia Research is Tony Blair’s former Director of Communications, Alistair Campbell who is renowned for not only his fundraising efforts, but is a keen runner and cyclist. Alistair will be taking on the 30km bike section in the team relay for Leukaemia Research along with Olympic champion canoeist and doctor Tim Brabants, who will swim 800m before handing over to Campbell.

And like Jenson Button, who races in triathlon to keep his fitness level high, four of the UK’s top skiers are using the race this weekend as an alternative for some off-season training. TV presenter and former GB skier Graham Bell along with Ed Drake, Jayme Baggio and Marc Telling are all going head to head in the individual event, which comprises an 800m swim, 30km bike and 7.5km run. The action kicks off on Saturday at 10am with the 1mile swim followed by the 1km and 3km shortly after.

Sunday sees a 9.30am start for the children’s scootathlon followed by the start of the main BananaMan event at 10.30am. The relay triathlon kicks off at 11.30am and the remainder of the individual waves go on throughout the day.

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See www.humanrace.co.uk for more information.