Last weekend saw 1500 competitors take part in the largest ever Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon in Cheshire, North West England – building on from last year’s event, which saw 1,300 triathletes compete.
Set over two days at the castle estate within the Cheshire hills, the triathlon weekend included ‘a challenging swim, bike and run with unparalleled athlete support and an energetic festival atmosphere.’ Spectator support was particularly motivating for The Gauntlet (half-iron) and Olympic distance athletes competing on Sunday (25 June), where spectator areas, supported by Macmillan Cancer Support’s cheer point, supported the athletes.
Saturday afternoon saw the adult mixed team relay races take part, giving spectators at Cholmondeley 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.
BBC Breakfast presenter and GB age-group triathlete Louise Minchin took part in a mixed team relay, and said, “My team mates were absolutely amazing. I’m so chuffed, I left them a bit of work to do after my swim, but it was fantastic, I really enjoyed it. I’d love to come back and bring my team to another Castle Triathlon Series mixed relay, we need to start rolling mixed relay racing out.”
The mixed relay podium was dominated by the North West Regional Triathlon Academy teams, which support the development of young and talented athletes within the North West of England, preparing them for the British Triathlon Talent Squad. The mixed relay races also saw fierce competition between local triathlon and running clubs, including Warrington Runners Club, Bolton Tri Club, Knutsford Triathlon Club and Ribble Valley Triathlon Club.
Over 450 children took part in a range of junior individual and mixed relay races, including BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award winner Bailey Matthews. Matthews returned to Cholmondeley Castle to compete in his first ever un-aided triathlon in the 11-12 wave, completing the 300m swim, 8km cycle and 4km run in an impressive 01:13:48. Bailey intends to compete all his triathlons this year un-aided, further showing how his ‘determination, positive attitude and cheeky smile drive him to success’. Matthew next triathlon is at Castle Howard, where he first began his triathlon journey in 2015.
Triathlons that make a difference
Right at the heart of the triathlon weekend was a sense of athletes coming together in support of charities, including the Castle Triathlon Series’ national charity partner, Macmillan Cancer Support, which hosted an energetic cheer point and were on hand to award triathletes their medals as they crossed the finish line. The local charity, the Neuromuscular Centre was also instrumental in providing volunteers and the event supports the important work they do to help the cause.
Registration is now open for the 2018 Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon – taking place on Saturday 23-24 June 2018.