MORE than 600 competitors took part in the Chichester’s increasingly-popular triathlon series - and turned in some terrific performances despite the intense heat.
The weekend-long series is run by Chichester District Council and sponsored by Natures Way, and gives athletes of all ages and abilities the chance to test themselves over a tough collection of events.
Chichester Westgate Triathlon Club member Mary Campbell won the women’s title for the second year running, with Chris Birch taking the men’s title.
Extra water – and even water sprinklers – had been organised by tne council to keep competitors hydrated and to help them cool down in the blistering heat.
Record numbers of competitors took part – including an increase in the number of junior aquathon competitors in the youngsters’ event on Saturday (see the video at the top of this article) and the number of team entrants.
There was even a surprise proposal for one competitor as she crossed the finish line as her boyfriend got down on one knee. The answer was ‘yes’ - followed by cheers and clapping from the watching crowd.
One of the council’s own teams took fourth place in the team category. It was the first time that Harvey Monaghan (web manager), Louise Milward (assistant accountant) and Richard Minton (deputy manager at Westgate Leisure) had competed together.
Cllr Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for leisure, wellbeing and community services and Cllr Martyn Bell, chairman of the council, presented the awards.
“It was a fantastic weekend, with beautiful weather and a record number of competitors taking part,” said Cllr Lintill.
“What’s great about the triathlon series is that it attracts people with a variety of abilities, from someone who has never taken part in a triathlon before, right through to elite triathletes who represent our country. It’s also brilliant to see so many young people taking an interest, with record numbers of participants in the junior events.
“I also want to thank all of the volunteers who supported the event. Without their help this sort of event simply couldn’t happen.”
For Chichester District Council, the triathlon was just the start of another big summer of sport.
- Football and rugby in the community courses will be taking place across the district;
- Westgate Leisure will also have a number of courses to keep the children busy; and
- The council will be holding its popular free Get Active Festival on Sunday, September 8 between 12pm and 4pm.
- For those planning further ahead, the council is also organising the Chichester Half Marathon on Sunday, October 13.