Elite triathlon couple Will and Hannah Munday took on the ‘standard race’ at Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon over the weekend (23rd/24th June) with Will taking the lead for the men and Hannah coming second on the women’s podium.
Will – who’s been doing the washing up as punishment for coming third in a recent race that his wife won – says he’s delighted to have the bragging rights this time.
A strong field of elites took to the course, revelling in the innovative Australian exit style swim, with the podium welcoming a number of Castle Triathlon Series elite favourites.
Ecstatic on the finish line, Hannah Munday commented: “It’s my first Castle Triathlon event and hope to do more in the summer. The marshals and support on the course was fantastic.
“I am really happy to come second, Catherine James [who won first place] is a great athlete and there are loads of really great girls on the course today. I’m pleased to make the podium.”
The triathlon, run and swim festival saw thousands of athletes bathed in sunshine as they raced around the Cholmondeley Castle estate and the Cheshire countryside for the second leg of the 2018 Castle Triathlon series.
The series this year is celebrating its 9th anniversary.
The eclectic sporting event presented 10 different triathlon race distances – including the innovative mixed team relay, TENW (Triathlon England North West) junior drafting qualifier races, and also hosted off-road runs (half marathon and 10k) and swim only events (1 mile, 2.5k and 5k) as part of the new Castle Run and Castle Swim series.
There were therefore lots of winners, with lots of hot and fast racing over the weekend reported from each distance:
160 competitors took in the half iron distance which takes in three castles, an Australian swim exit, three lap bike course (through the event village lined with spectators) before concluding with a run down the castle lawn to the finishing line.
British cycling champion Kevin Dawson took the Gauntlet with a time of 04:30:55, winning the prize money and the Wheelscience Performance race wheels for the fastest bike split.
Emma Deary came in 6th place overall and in 1st in the female race with an impressive time of 04:50:29.
There were three sprint race distances on offer – from the starters dipping their toe in the lake for their first time at triathlon, to super speedy Super-Sprints and Sprint-Plus’s.
Organisers are hailing lots of amazing performances and achievements, PBs and first time performances!
Mixed Team Relay: new Olympic triathlon format
Following the successful first Mixed Team Relay event at Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon last year, this weekend played host to the TENW Senior Mixed Team Relay Club Championships, with ‘Ollie’s Olympians’ (a team from the North West Academy), taking the gold medal.
See full results here.
Hundreds of children and juniors (aged between 8-15 years) enjoyed the afternoon’s racing inside the castle estate with nurturing support from the crowds and parents!
Many sprinted through the finishing line beaming as they claimed their medals.
Paul Ekgren from TENW enthused: “The marshals were excellent and we’ve had many comments about how good they were and everyone had a great weekend with fantastic weather.”
Castle Run Series
The inaugural 10k and half marathon saw hundreds of runners taking on the off-road run course which has been enjoyed by triathletes for the last nine years.
Course records were set with the winning 10k being taken by race director Brian Adcock’s cousin, Matt Adcock, in a time of 00:34:04.
Adding a royal twist to the day, ‘Princess Susan’ joined the start line.
Regular runner Susan was so excited about the romantic castle setting that she turned up dressed as a princess!
Speaking ahead of the race – wearing a puffy gold dress and holding a plastic yellow rose – ‘Princess Susan’ from Chester said she was single and looking for her ‘Prince Charming’.
Sadly, Susan finished the race alone but battled through 25C heat and won a legion of fans who revelled in her fairy-tale sprint finish.
Susan is taking on six half marathons this year in preparation for a full marathon to fundraise for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.
Castle Swim Series
Competitors for the new swims (1 mile / 2.5km and 5km) included para-triathlete Lizzy Tench, who placed fifth in the recent Commonwealth Games.
Lizzie made her international debut in Madrid in September 2014 where she won a silver medal.
See the link to the full race list and breakdown here.
To round off the event, hundreds camped by the castle lake, bands played and the 60-strong Rock Choir motivated competitors on the course and entertained spectators in the event village.
The event village also offered free entertainment for children and yoga every hour, with activities helping to support Macmillan Cancer.