THE BEST YET! That was the verdict after a weekend of summer sun and sizzling sporting action at the Natures Way Food Chichester Triathlon Series.
The event boasted record numbers of participants plus more team entries and spectators than has ever been seen before.
There was praise for the smooth running of the series as Chichester District Council put together a weekend of competition enjoyed by all.
More than 600 adults and young people took part over the weekend, with a record 37 teams.
The series kicked off on Saturday with the Junior Aquathlon for eight to 16-year-olds. It started with a swim at Westgate Leisure’s pool followed by a run around the Chichester College campus. Youngsters had fun wearing their race numbers, which this year came in the form of transfer tattoos.
The aquathlon classes, for different age groups, were won by the following competitors – Fraser Lyne and Lauren Smith (Tristar 1); Liam Budd and Emma Mack (Tristar 2); Ellie Farrow and Tom Holland (Tristar 3); Luke Campbell and Jasmine Hall (Tristar 4); and Adam Mainwaring and Florence Ingram (Tristar start). (Results below).
On Sunday, it was the adults’ turn, with the full-distance triathlon for individuals and teams and the try a tri – a shorter-distance triathlon.
The Olympic-distance triathlon was won by local star Harry Leleu, a familiar winner at numerous athletics and triathlon events.
The Seaford College student and Chichester Runners member completed the course in 1.57.28, just over six minutes in front of runner-up Mikey Johnson (2.03.43). Adam McCulloch was next over the line, the Chichester Westgate member coming in on 2.06.40.
Honours in the sprint try-a-tri went to Patryk Huczkowski of Portsmouth Triathletes, who won in a time of 1.27.22, ahead of Matt Jolly (1.29.33) and George Little of Fife AC (1.29.36).
Cllr Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for community services at Chichester District Council, said: “This year’s event has been a huge success – congratulations to everyone who took part.
“Thanks to everyone who volunteered. Without our volunteers we simply could not have made this event happen.
“Thanks also to our sponsors, Natures Way Foods, who entered teams and refreshed our participants.
“It was a wonderful weekend, and it was great to so many people being active and having fun.
“Congratulations go to everyone who was involved with organising the event. Each year they work hard to improve the triathlon experience.” On Friday, organisers received a call from one team worried that their swim-leg member had dropped out.
Richard Minton, who is operations manager at Westgate Leisure, Chichester, offered himself up to fill the gap, so in between volunteering shifts, he swam for Team ES.
The team went on to win the male team category. Minton said it was all part of the service and he was pleased to have been able to help.
Sarah Baldock the director responsible for Natures Way Foods’ community programme, said: “I’m delighted to say the 2015 series was once again a resounding success and a great family day out enjoyed by many.
“We were delighted to meet so many entrants and supporters at our stand and are already looking forward to the Chichester Triathlon’s tenth anniversary next year.”
Natures Way had a stall offering free bowls of fruit to participants and spectators. Tri It Sports provided technical and equipment support to participants while the University of Chichester’s sports performance rehabilitation unit was offering much needed post-race physio to competitors.
Global Scaffolding supported the event by constructing a bridge for participants to cross and Chichester College hosted the finish.
See this week’s (July 9) Chichester Observer for a full list of triathlon and aquathlon finishers and their times
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be among the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!