The sun was shining for a glorious triathlon festival this weekend at Castle Howard in Yorkshire (23/24 July 2016). Triathletes made history; Smales and Seymour broke the course records for the Gauntlet (half iron distance), inspirational Bailey Matthews returned with a PB and Claire Cunningham, British Olympic Para Triathlete, joined the sprint field before setting off for the Rio Olympics 2016.
2,000 competitors accomplished their own tri achievements over the eight admirable distances including top elites, first timers and 500 children.
Bailey back and faster than ever
1 year ago, a little boy with cerebral palsy demonstrated what true courage looks like by completing his first ever Triathlon at Castle Howard at the age 8. Now, one year on, Bailey was back, having completed a further three triathlons, returning to the venue that launched his amazing journey to inspire a nation. Faster than ever, with a 7 minute PB, Bailey once more broke the hearts of the huge crowd as he crossed the line with a big smile on his face. #BeMoreBailey.
The race was on from the start with a strong field of elites competing for the podium. Ex Commonwealth Games competitor from Wales, Liam Lloyd (Team Tredz) battled it out with the lead group, which included Thompson (Leeds Triathlon Centre), Silver (University of Birmingham Tri Club) and Cowen (Jackpot Racing). Lloyd overhauled Thompson, first out of the water, on the bike leg taking a narrow (6 second) lead onto the hilly run course. He extended the lead with a final finish by 25 seconds.
The women’s competition was ever changing with a tight race. The final podium placing saw first place, Emma Deary (02:29:53), Hannah Drewett (02:31:08) second, and Suzie Richards (02:32:24) take third. Deary said: “I really didn’t expect that, Hannah put up such a great fight! Thought the course was insanely tough but I really enjoyed it.”
Elliot Smales took the Gauntlet again with his third win in three months and smashing the course record by 11 minutes. Female winner, Natalie Seymour also broke the course record by 8 minutes and pledges to be back for more.
Seymour commented: “I had a great race, chuffed to win. I love a hilly course and this has some exceptional views and plenty of opportunities to go fast. Marshals were awesome too. Brilliant event and I will be back.”
The full set of results from the weekend can be seen here.
The course is beautiful and totally unique being set on the famous North lawn of the castle; from the swim in Castle Howard’s Great Lake competitors transitioned into the technical bike route through the glorious rural idyll of Yorkshire and the Howardian Hills. The spectacular run leg passes through the undulating countryside of the estate before a sprint finish tops everything off in style right in front of the main doors of the house. Whilst the athletes competed, the stunning Castle gardens were covered with spectators enjoying yoga, food and live music in a truly regal setting. Race reviews are already coming in thick and fast from competitors praising the event and signing up for the next.
There was plenty of support for the event partners and sponsors including Pedalcover, KitBrix, Speedo, Dryrobe, Six Phsyio, True Start Coffee, High5 and some awesome fundraising for partner charity, NSPCC. The Yorkshire Law Society also took on their own relay challenge with law firms from all across the region racing to raise money for York Against Cancer
The Castle Howard Triathlon 2017 will take place on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July 2017. Register now for an automatic 25% discount.