For the 8th year, the Castle Triathlon Series brought a festival of triathlon to Chateau de Chantilly, north of Paris, France, with 3,300 athletes taking part in the biggest Triathlon de Chantilly yet. The chateau is seen as the French jewel in the series’ crown, helped this year by the sun shining on participating athletes most of the Bank Holiday weekend.
Highlights from the weekend of 26-27 August included strong French and British elite fields battling to defend their titles, and a celebration of triathlon as an inclusive sport with paratri racing.
Sunday was a good day for British athletes competing at Chantilly, with two new course records set for Le Gantelet (half iron distance) and an all British men’s and women’s podium for the Olympic distance race.
Saturday’s races at the Chateau de Chantilly Triathlon were positioned as a celebration of triathlon as an inclusive sport for all, with the inclusion of the ISVHN para triathletes in the Sprint races, including Olympic paratriathlete Olivier Donval, and a range of children’s races that added to the family festival atmosphere at the 16th century chateau.
Olivier Donval, who raced in the Louis XV Super Sprint race said “It was a wonderful race with lots of people taking part.” Olivier was joined in the Super Sprint race by 17 teams of visually impaired athletes and their guides as part of the ISVHN network, in which para-athletes take part across France, particularly with tandem bike-runs a popular format.
Saturday afternoon’s junior races highlighted the growth of junior triathlon in France, with the Castle Triathlon Series organisers welcoming over 250 children to take part. Returning to Chantilly was BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award winner Bailey Matthews, who stormed to the finish line in 01:27:08, improving on his time from last year.
The weekend saw many athletes competing to raise money for a variety of charities, including the French charity partner Partage, which provides sponsorship for deprived and vulnerable children in France, and national UK charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support. The Castle Triathlon Series has helped raise over £47,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support so far this year, raising funds for an information and support pod, which provides important resources to support those affected by cancer, as well as their families.
Next year’s Chateau de Chantilly Triathlon will be hosted on 25-26 August 2018.