Bournemouth International Triathlon is proud to be boasting its 25th year this year. The event was one of the very first Triathlons on the South Coast blazing the way with some big names racing!
Bournemouth Council’s, Joanne Bailey, invited Roger Wakeling to take over the event in 1991 but the first year was only a swim/run and the following year the Dorset Police insisted that competitors started every 5 minutes in groups of 10! The third year was free to increase numbers and by 1997 it was hosting the British Junior National Championships with Stewart Hayes 1st and Tim Don 4th and overall winner the legendary Glenn Cook ahead of Richard Hobson another giant in the sport. The following year brought the same first two, Glenn Cook and Richard Hobson and third was Peter Younghusband! Other local big names that have taken part include Harry Wiltshire, Phil Mosley, Andy Blow, Will Newbury, all of these athletes have gone on to their compete at an elite level or coach.
In 2002 Bournemouth International Triathlon was a World Championship Qualifier and there were close to a thousand competitors taking part. The British Army Championships were hosted for several years and they had their own swim wave notably recording the same winning time as the elite wave on one occasion!
In recent years a sprint race was introduced to encourage new triathletes who wanted to experience open/ sea swim events and it proved very successful. The impact on the local community in terms of disruption is minimal due to the early start but the impact on the local economy is great. Competitors stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, coffee shops and go shopping. Over the years, thousands of people have come to Bournemouth to compete or support the event and the new date in September has brought even more interest in the race.