The Wilmslow Triathlon, which took place yesterday (Sunday 12 May 2013) for the seventh year, has again proved its ever-growing popularity with a record number of 596 competitors taking part and a strong presence from triathlon clubs across the region.
A sprint-distance race and widely referred to as ‘the biggest and best sprint triathlon in Greater Manchester and beyond’ this is the perfect event for novices as well as experienced athletes, and the Cheshire weather conditions made for some great racing.
Based at the Wilmslow Leisure Centre, the 400m swim took place in the 25m indoor pool with the transition area as well as the start and finish on the cricket pitch. The picturesque, mainly flat 24.2 km cycle ride took the competitors around the Cheshire countryside before finishing with a 6.3 km run around Wilmslow’s leafy roads.
With Roger Witz Barnes, who won the race the last three years, not present to defend his title the Wilmslow Triathlon saw Alex Lawton from Manchester Triathlon Club take this year’s title in a time of 01:07:19. Ranking in 16th position after the swim Lawton put in a strong cycle and run to claim the overall men’s title with a 29 second lead. Paul Hawkins, who was using the race to regain his fitness after injury, was the runner up in 01:07:48 with Rob Bridges from Manchester Triathlon Club coming third in a time of 01:08:18.
Rebecca Brand from Manchester Triathlon Club won the women’s race in a time of 01:20:00, putting in strong performances in all three disciplines and excelling with a fast time on the cycle leg. Sarah Rhodes came second in a time of 01:23:20 and Deirdre McCarthy from Manchester Triathlon Club took third place in 01:26:07.
World Series Renault 3.5 racing driver Oliver Webb was also amongst the competitors, making his triathlon debut at Wilmslow and finishing in a time of 01:35:23.
More than 45% of the competitors were novices and had never taken part in a triathlon before.
Sponsors of the Wilmslow Triathlon 2013 included Up & Running (Official Sports Retail Partner), Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative (Official Bicycle Retail Partner), Starley Bikes (Official Specialist Bike Brand), USN Ultimate Sports Nutrition (Official Nutrition Partner), Zone3 (Official Wetsuit Partner), Clif Bar (Official Energy Bar Partner), Aftershokz (Official Headphone Partner) and Athlete Matters (Official Physio and Rehab Partner).