This past weekend saw 2300 athletes descending on Castle Howard in York, England, with a strong field of female athletes (40%, ahead of the national UK share of 28%). The weekend festival at the Castle Triathlon Series event involved a swim in Castle Howard’s Great Lake, a challenging bike and run through the Howardian Hills, finishing on the North Lawn of the iconic castle where competitors were welcomed by cheering spectators, supported by Macmillan Cancer Support’s cheer point.
Saturday afternoon saw the adult mixed team relay races, giving spectators at Castle Howard a taste of what is to come at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The mixed relay race, which sees four team members (two males, two females) each complete a 250m swim, 5km cycle and 1.5km run, saw 120 triathletes take part in 30 teams from local triathlon clubs in the area.
Sunday morning saw 700 triathletes take part in the Olympic distance race, which for the first time was a British Triathlon Age-Group Qualifier for the ETU European Championships in 2018. Catherine Jameson flew around the course in 02:30:02. In the men’s race Sam Wade stormed to first place.
It was an early start on Sunday for the half-iron distance Gauntlet event. Here, competitors met by Castle Howard’s Great Lake to take on the 1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run. To celebrate women taking part in triathlon, on a weekend where 40% of the field were women, the prize of £1800 Wheelscience race wheels was awarded to Elaine Garvican, who completed the fastest cycle split and came first on the women’s podium.
Bailey Matthews returns to Castle Howard along with 500 junior triathletes
500 junior triathletes joined the adults at Castle Howard on Sunday to take part in the junior races, including BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award winner Bailey Matthews. Matthews returned to Castle Howard, where he first began his triathlon journey in 2015, to complete the course un-aided for the first time. Upon finishing his race Matthews commented on the hilly bike course saying, “I really enjoyed the bike, it’s tough but you have got to get out of your comfort zone to see what you can do. It’s a case of having to #BeMoreBailey!” Matthews is determined to also race the Hever Castle Triathlon un-aided in September.
Triathlon that makes a difference
The organising team at the Castle Triathlon Series note that, at the heart of the Castle Howard Triathlon weekend is a sense of athletes coming together to fundraise through their tri efforts. 100 athletes were racing to raise money for the Castle Triathlon Series 2017 charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support, which hosted an energetic cheer point in support of all athletes taking part at Castle Howard.
The local charity partner, the Huntington’s Disease Association was supported by the Yorkshire Law Society, which entered a range of relay teams in the Super Sprint race on Saturday, who each raced to beat the time of local family lawyer William Kaye. Law Society President Pamela Precious pledged to donate £1 to the Huntington’s Disease Association for every minute by which a relay team beat Kaye’s time.
Registration is now open for the 2018 Castle Howard Triathlon weekend. Taking place on 23-24 June 2018 with an early bird discount of 30%.