Hever Castle Triathlon marks an historic end to the season.
The fifth Hever Castle Triathlon festival was alive this weekend with over 5,000 competitors aged between 7 to 70 years old enjoying a race to complement their level around the stunning grounds and countryside. Competitors were joined by thousands of supportive spectators cheering on everyone taking part, along with enjoying the live music, food, castle grounds and entertainment. The event saw just under 1,300 children competing making it the world’s largest children’s triathlon; 13th world ranking David McNamee and Iron man reigning champion, Lucy Gossage, take on the new half iron distance, The Gauntlet; elite Team France and Team GB battle it out to win the Olympic International Challenge along with many first timers and school teams becoming triathletes.
The most scenic sprint
1,700 sprint competitors set the weekend off to a strong start with 11 waves including individuals and relay teams taking part. Over 300 women joined the women’s only waves making it a tailored experience for all those involved. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn welcomed competitors over the finishing line with a medal and pint of Erdinger Alkoholfrei. See results here.
The world’s largest children’s triathlon
It was an incredible sight to see so many children embrace the sport with such enthusiasm. Amazing stories were told of how they were influenced by the Brownlee brothers, parents and friends. To see such young competitors cross the finishing line with beaming smiles and receive their medal made for some heart felt moments. World champion, Non Stanford wished the kids good luck on CBBC Newsround at the weekend, see her well wishes by clicking here.
Race Director, Brian Adcock commented on the weekend event: “It’s been a fantastic last event of the season including big names and big feats. Hever Castle was the first, and the flagship event, of the Series and to see it grow to this size with all the festival elements, elite and media recognition is amazing. The numbers have rocketed with an increase of a third from last year. Our mission is to offer a race for all levels making the sport more accessible to all and this weekend celebrated exactly that with triathletes from all backgrounds. A huge thanks to all our supporters and marshals and look forward to offering even more to everyone next year.”
The mist cleared across the lake and the hot air balloon rose, giving spectators the prime view, as close to 300 Gauntlet (new half iron distance) competitors entered the water awaiting the cannon to go off. The 1.9km swim loop through the River Eden and around the 16 acre island was hailed as unique and picturesque. McNamee was closely followed by Cartmell out of the water and quickly set off on the 90km challenging cycle course. The expected podium places were altered due to the lead riders being diverted from the bike course for a few miles, but still saw McNamee power back on the 21km run passed Hever and Chiddingstone Castle making up for the unfortunate lost time and coming in second just 20 seconds behind Karl Alexander (VC 10 Tri Club, Buckinghamshire) who was first to cross the finishing line at 04:40:31. Horton (Loughborough) took third place on the podium for the men.
Carol Bridge (Rhonda Tri) won the female Gauntlet prize at a time of 05:15:20 with a 1:07 minute lead on Linda Evans (Leeds) and third place, Lucie Custance (London). Lucy Gossage competed in the run leg of a relay team giving them first place position for the teams.
The £5,000 prize money was distributed between the top three female and male winners.
The Olympic battle
Team France (Cyril Viennot, Tony Baheux, Victor Debil-Caux and Delphine Pelletier) and Team GB (David Bishop, Sam Wade, Beau Smith and Vicky Johnston) were all ready to give their last race of the season their all and compete for the winning team £1,000 prize money. The winning team had to have the strongest collective position’s which turned out to be a tie so the prize went to Team France for having an overall faster time.
The Brits were going strong with Smith first out the swim with a strong lead of 1.15 seconds and Bishop coming second overall (02:01:21) but the French were faster with Viennot and Debil-Caux taking the first and third consecutive places on the podium.
Viennot enthused: “It’s a beautiful course, and very challenging in places. I’m thrilled to have won, especially since my adversaries were very close behind all the way. It wasn’t easy; I had to push the whole way. Very proud of my team, everyone gave it their all, and it shows.”
Catherine Jameson (GI Tri Bridgtown) was the winning female for the Olympic distance and winner of the female 2013 Series prize. Bishop took the male Series prize.
Many competitors during the weekend were raising money for partner charities, Help for Heroes and Jigsaw4u, along with many worthwhile personal causes.
Full results for The 2013 Hever Castle Triathlon can be found by clicking through on this link.
For more information, and to register for next year (30% discount for a limited period), simply click here.