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Lucy Gossage, Colin Norris crowned King and Queen of The Gauntlet at Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon
Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon, the second leg of the 2015 Castle Triathlon Series, welcomed 1,500 competitors and a strong elite field headlined by international champion triathlete Lucy Gossage and former world number 1 from New Zealand, Sam Warriner to Cheshire, for what was a fantastic festival of triathlon set against the a stunning regal backdrop. Across two days of racing, plenty of new champions were crowned across a variety of distances – as well as seeing competitors of all ages get their own taste of swim, bike and run, Cheshire style.
The course at Cholmondeley Castle was typical of what we have come to expect of a Castle Triathlon Series event – a challenging swim, bike and run course but set in a beautiful part of the world with unrivalled athlete support and a great atmosphere which has made this triathlon race series the biggest in the UK.
Lucy Gossage, Colin Norris crowned King and Queen of The Gauntlet half-iron distance
Lucy Gossage may have started the race as favourite, courtesy of her recent form and champions CV, but once the race unfolded it was clear she wouldn’t have everything her own way. In the field was the former world number 1 ranked athlete, Sam Warriner (NZ) who is making something of a comeback to elite sport and would give Gossage a huge challenge on the bike. Unfortunately for Warriner, the big lead she built on the second leg would melt away to almost nothing after a mechanical. Gossage found herself in the unusual position of coming into T2 just over a minute in arrears and it was left to the run leg for her to create a lead and eventually cross the line as the 2015 champion with a larger margin of comfort than was perhaps reflective of the challenge she faced from Warriner, who would eventually finished 6 minutes behind taking 2nd place. Fran Summers rounded off the podium. Impressively, Gossage would also finish 3rd overall and with a new women’s course record.
Lucy Gossage commented afterwards:
“I really enjoyed Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon. I love the bike and run courses – it is technical, twisty and hilly and much more interesting than most. It was great to see so many novices doing shorter races out on the course at the same time and then of course the kids in the afternoon. A real family event and one I was really pleased to be part of again.”
In the men’s race, several elites were also entered including XTERRA specialist Matt Dewis, iron-distance professional Darren Jenkins and a former champion on The Gauntlet series, Matt Leeman. However, it was perhaps a less-fancied name who won the race against some of the better known names. Champion Colin Norris perhaps should have been better tipped from the start as he is the former British Middle Distance Champion for his age group in 25-29.
The future looks good for Colin Norris and he plans to build on this win and return for more on The Gauntlet Castle Triathlon Series at the flagship series finale at Hever Castle on Sunday 27th September.
Darren Jenkins finished the race in 4th in what was his second of four attempts at competing in every Gauntlet race in the series. Jenkins will now begin his preparations for The Bastion iron-distance triathlon being held at Hever Castle on the 12th July 2015 for which he starts as one of the favourites.
The podium for the Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon Gauntlet race ended:
1.9km / 96km / 21km
|1.||Colin Norris (4:21:01)||Lucy Gossage (4:31:45)|
|2.||Matt Leeman (4:28:28)||Sam Warriner (4:37:54)|
|3.||Matt Dewis (4:33:55)||Fran Summers (5:26:08)|
Full results can be found here: http://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/Qe/
Luke Pollard, Catherine Jameson win at the Olympic Distance
In the shorter but sharper Olympic Distance triathlon, it was Luke Pollard and Catherine Jameson who emerged victorious. The race was incredibly competitive with times to reflect that and Pollard will be pleased to have taken the scalp of Welsh Commonwealth representative and elite Liam Lloyd, who managed 2nd on the day.
The podium ended:
1.5km / 44km / 10km
|1.||Luke Pollard (2:04:12)||Catherine Jameson (2:19:01)|
|2.||Liam Lloyd (2:05:48)||Hannah Mather (2:26:38)|
|3.||Max Hazell (2:07:05)||Ruth Purbrook (2:32:16)|
Full results for the Olympic distance event can be found here: http://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/Qd/
A full weekend of action
As is typical of a Castle Triathlon Series race, there was something for everyone here with races for all age groups and distances up from 8 years old and a new starter sprint launched especially for those who might have never done a triathlon previously.
The event welcome more children (8 – 15 years old), than ever before with 400 taking to the start line. In keeping with the family theme volunteers from the National Charity Partner, NSPCC, helped see them round the course and welcomed them over the finishing line. Elites, Cat Jameson and Max Hazell inspired the next generation by joining in with the prize giving.
The event also welcomed a huge number of spectators who enjoyed the triathlon festival, including live bands, and revelled in the new event format which introduced an Australian style exit to the swim course and an amendment to the bike course that allowed competitors to come through the castle grounds so that the crowds could get up close to the action for this part of the race.
The full list of Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon Champions was:
|The Gauntlet||Colin Norris (4:21:01)||Lucy Gossage (4:31:45)|
|Standard||Luke Pollard (2:04:12)||Catherine Jameson (2:19:01)|
|Sprint Plus||Lewis Eccleston (1:55:11)||Sophie Johnson (2:17:29)|
|Super Sprint||Russell Parry (00:57:00)||Rachel Hall (00:59:46)|
|Starter Sprint||Glenn Singleton (00:49:21)||Nicola Pye (00:50:00)|
|13-15 years||Jed Skilton (00:36:11)||Kate Pugh (00:43:11)|
|11-12 years||Benjamin Cumberland (00:21:39)||Molly Reardon (00:25:22)|
|8-10 years||Ruben Snelson (00:19:15)||Sarah-Michelle Clear (00:23:22)|
Registration for the Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon 2016 is now open for entry with a huge 25% early bird discount. You can enter the event here: www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk/enter-now-2016
The next event on the Castle Triathlon Series is at Hever Castle in Kent on the 12th July. Over 200 triathletes will take on the epic iron-distance challenge in The Bastion, or take part in the new long distance Aquabike challenges and open water swims taking place on the same day. You can enter these events here: http:www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk/races/the-bastion-full-iron-distance
For more information on any of the races, or to enter a triathlon in 2015, visit www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk.