Yesterday saw the third annual Triathlon staged in the grounds of Roundhay Park, where 370 competitors braved the early morning temperatures and gathered at the starting line for the 8am plunge into Waterloo Lake for the first part of the competition. The event was split into two categories, ‘Standard’ and ‘Sprint’.
Competitors who opted for the standard version of the competition had to start with a swim of 1500 metres, cycle 44km and finish with a gruelling 10km run around the park, which included running up the steep hill overlooking the cricket pitch no less than 3 times. The Sprint version was just that, but this still meant a swim of 750 metres, a 24km cycle and a 6.7km run, both not for the faint hearted.
Thankfully the rain held off, and the majority of the morning was quite sunny before clouds set in around 11am and the wind started to pick up. Cyclists reported strong winds whilst cycling the steep route around north Leeds which encompassed Shadwell, Scarcroft, Bardsey, Collingham and East Keswick before returning to the grounds of Roundhay park to take part in the final stage of the event, the 10km/6.7km run.
On a day where records were broken, Mark Zammit was first out of the water in the Standard event, completing the 1500 metres in a brilliant 19 minutes and 33 seconds. He was closely followed by eventual Triathlon winner, and record breaker Richard Howarth, and female record breaker Jess Learmonth.
Kevin Dawson proved to be the fastest on two wheels posting a time of 1 hour 8 minutes and 16 seconds.The next best two wheel finish was that of Ashley Dawson’s who arrived back after 1 hour and 8 minutes and 20 seconds. Richard Howarth finished in 3rd with a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 36 seconds.
Never give up!
Richard Hunt was the first to complete the 10km run with a great time of 34 minutes and 9 seconds with Marc Smith a close 2nd finishing 34 minutes and 32 seconds. But it was Richard Howarth’s 2nd place swim and consistency in the cycle and run that saw him grab the overall accolade finishing with a combined time of 2 hours 4 minutes and 34 seconds, a full 5 minutes in front of Rich Hunt, and 7 minutes in front of Alistair Cooke.
Howarth’s overall time beat Hunt’s 2010 course record of 2 hours, 6 minutes and 57 seconds, with Hunt only just falling short of his record himself. The 2010 women’s record was smashed by a full 10 minutes by Jess Learmonth who finished with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 26 seconds.
The Sprint event
In the Sprint event, the eventual winner was Scott Wardman with a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes and 56 seconds, followed by Derek Johnson and Peter Overton. The first to complete the 750 metre swim was Derek Johnson with a great time of 10 minutes and 55 seconds, followed by eventual winner Scott Wardman and Rob Powell. Overton secured first place in the cycle with a time of 45 minutes and 59 seconds, with Johnson again finishing in the top 3 taking 2nd place and Marcus Grant snatching 3rd. It was Wardman who proved the quickest over 6.7km and finished with a time of 22 minutes and 58 seconds, Mike Richardson took 2nd and female competitor Liz Wood finished 3rd. Again though, consistency was key, and Wardman’s brilliant swim and cycle placings coupled with his win in the running event landed him first place overall
The prizes were awarded shortly after 1pm, with the overall male and female winner of both the standard and sprint events receiving £100 in Royles vouchers and a XME winners mug. There were also prizes for 2nd and 3rd, whilst the 1st male and female novice, age group winners and club and relay teams also won prizes.
The day had an amazing turn out, with all the triathletes cheered on by hundreds of supporters.
Gemma Burnham of Kirkstall said “This is the first time I have done a triathlon and I have really enjoyed it, it has been such a fantastic day and very well organised. I am racing today with my friend Gemma Tuck and we are raising money for Alzheimers Society as my grandma suffers from the disease. The race was so hard but was so exciting at the same time and we finished it together! Being a novice I signed up for the sprint triathlon which is the shorter version, and I completed it in 2 hours, 6 minutes and I’m very proud of myself! We have had such a great day and will definitely sign up for next year! ”
North Leeds – News would like to congratulate everyone who took part in the event and for raising lots of money for their nominated charities. See you next year!
Did you take part? For a full list of the results, you can download them from here
To find out more about Xtra Mile events please visit their official website here