SUN-KISSED conditions greet -ed athletes for the biggest triathlon Chester has ever hosted.
The Deva Triathlon on Sunday saw a record-breaking entry of 1,200 athletes travel from all over the UK to take part.
This year’s race took place over an improved course centred on Grosvenor Park and The Groves.
A total of 1,000 finishers completed the 1,500m swim in the River Dee, 40km cycle through Rossett, Pulford, Holt, Churton and Aldford, and 10km run round The Meadows and The Groves.
This year’s event, organised by Chester Triathlon Club, was one of only three races where amateur athletes can qualify to take part in the World Age Group Championships to be held in London in September.
The start list included half a dozen triathletes from the Shetland Isles, some in training for the International Island Games in Bermuda in July, and a competitor from Guernsey who had previously represented the island in triathlon at the Commonwealth Games.
All ages, levels of experience and abilities were represented in the race, which is now in its 15th year.
Veterans of the sport included Margaret Sills of Serpentine, who did her first triathlon in 1983, Paul Yarwood of Southport who started competing in the sport in 1985, and Lee Sawyer of Army Triathlon who has competed in more than 100 triathlons over the past 10 years. Alongside them were novices competing in their first ever triathlon, including Mark Lloyd from Chester, and Arwel Roberts, who lives along the cycle route.
The race also marked a number of celebrations. Chester Triathletes Mhairi and Giles Cooper celebrated their first wedding anniversary by taking part, with Giles finishing in three hours and 54 seconds, with Mhairi not far behind in 3.18:16.
Local competitors John Robb and Kevin O’Connor were both competing in the event to celebrate their respective 50th birthdays, while student Ed Brindley did the race to celebrate finishing his degree at the University of Chester.
Race director Dan Craigen said: “This year’s Deva Triathlon was the most ambitious ever and feedback from competitors has been extremely positive.
“We would like to thank the council and event sponsors Eureka Cycles and Hickory’s Smokehouse for helping us to stage the event. We would also like to say thank you to the local residents whose co-operation and support made the event such an enjoyable one for the competitors.”
The race was won by Nick Beer (Tri Training Harder) in 2.01:23, while the first female finisher was Claire Hann (Bike Science, Boardman Elite) in 2.13:47.
There were local wins for Chester Triathlon Club’s Tony Cullen (2.04:00) in the male 40-44 class and Pete Norman (3.30:16) of Wrecsam Triathlon Club in the oldest age group – 75-79.
A full list of results can be found at www.chestertri.org.uk.