THOUSANDS of visitors soaked up the sun on Redcar Seafront as more than 500 triathletes competed to earn a place in the Team GB triathlon squad.
Centred around Tuned In!, the Redcar Sprint Triathlon featured a 750m sea swim, 5km run and a 20km cycle and with events for the various age groups all looking to claim a place at September’s World Championships in Rotterdam, the action was intense
Starting on Majuba beach, some of the fastest triathletes completed their swim in 11 minutes or less with Matthew Nelson – who won the Men’s category – taking 9min17s and Michelle Wilcocks – who won the Women’s category – finishing the swim in the choppy North Sea in 11min8s.
The pair proceeded to dominate the 20km bike ride and the 5km run to secure their first places in style. Matthew set a 57min42s and Michelle was hot on his heels with a 66m12s.
They had competition from all over the country as triathletes came from places as far as London, Bristol, Jersey and even Cyprus come to Redcar and Cleveland to test their skills against competitors of all ages.
One more local competitor was Normanby resident Stuart Wall, who competed in the Senior 35-39 category. Finishing sixth in class, he has his fingers crossed that he’s done enough to qualify for Team GB.
He added: “The competition was really close this year, when everyone has qualification in mind it really ups the ante quite a bit. It was tough course to take on but the conditions were perfect, it was a quick swim but it felt like a washing machine at the first buoy because of the sheer amount of competitors!
“It was great to have that much support cheering me on through the course and it was nice to see so many people coming down on their Sunday to watch the action.”
Cllr Dale Quigley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Communications, said: “The triathlon was a great seafront event and I was pleased to see the crowds came down to support the Redcar Sprint Triathlon and cheer on determined triathletes who were battling for qualification to the World Championships.
“I hope that now this event has gone down as a success, that Redcar will be considered as a qualifying event for more triathlon championships in the future.”
To see the results of the triathlon go to www.trihard.co.uk.