Chichester triathlon weekend is a record-breaker

Organisers of Chichester's annual triathlon weekend celebrated their tenth year with a record number of competitors and a series of events declared major successes.

Thursday, 7th July 2016, 8:30 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 1:09 am
Action from the junior events, which attracted many new participants / Picture by Kate Shemilt

More than 870 competitors took part in the two-day series, which was hosted for the first time by sport and leisure provider Everyone Active.

The milestone event attracted hundreds of spectators and included its first-ever junior triathlon, added to the youngsters’ aquathlon.

See the Observer - out today - for a picture special from the weekend plus a full list of finishers from the senior and junior events

The young generation took centre stage on Saturday before making way for the adults to battle it out on Sunday.

In the seniors’ Olympic-distance triathlon, West Sussex-based Harry Leleu beat the record field to win for the second year running, this year in a time of 1hr 54min 05 sec.

There was also a local winner of the sprint-distance triathlon, with Sam Pink first over the line in a time of 1.23.35.

Junior age-group winners were Benjamin Hutton, Ziggy Henry, Oliver Horne, Luke Van Oudtshoorn and Barney Clacy in the triathlon and Ben Parkes, George Snow, Felix Clacy, Nicole Ainsworth and Jay Atkins in the aquathlon.

All the events began at Everyone Active’s Westgate Leisure Centre, where staff had been offering participants tips on completing a triathlon in the run-up to the event, including diet and training programmes.

Athletes were offered support after the race by the University of Chichester’s sports performance rehabilitation unit who were offering free post-race massages.

Event sponsors Natures Way Foods were giving away fresh fruit to help refresh the weary competitors.

The spectators who turned out in support of the event were kept entertained with children’s activities plus a variety of sports and healthy living stalls in the race village.

Ben Polhill, sport development officer at Everyone Active, said: “We were delighted with how many athletes turned out to compete over the weekend. It was a great way to celebrate a decade of triathlons in the city.

“It’s really important that we help everyone on our local community to get active.

“This two-day series was specifically designed to ensure people of all ages and abilities were able to join in and feel the benefits of exercise in a fun and friendly environment. We look forward to building on this success next year.”

The Chichester triathlon series focuses on involving the whole community in a weekend of sports and activity. Local resident Kimberley Turner has followed the event for years and took part in this year’s Olympic triathlon. She said: “As a family we have always loved the Chichester triathlon. The kids have taken part in the tri-star levels and last year we entered a family team in the relay.

“I was shocked and thrilled that for my second Olympic distance event I came first in the 45 vet category. I’d like to thank everyone involved in organising the event for making it a terrific triathlon.”

Susan Barratt, chief executive of Natures Way Foods, said: “I’m delighted to say the tenth Chichester Triathlon was a resounding success and was a great family event enjoyed by many.

“It was fantastic to see a record number of competitors and supporters of all ages and abilities across the weekend.

“NWF has been a proud sponsor for ten years, and we are already looking forward to the 11th Chichester triathlon series.”

For more information on Everyone Active’s upcoming events in Chichester, call the Westgate Leisure Centre on 03330 050396.

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