SWELTERING temperatures added to the challenge for the 200 women taking part in the Royles Deva Divas Sprint Triathlon on Sunday.
Despite the hot weather, competitors turned in some excellent performances on Manley Mere for the annual event, organised by the City of Chester Triathlon Club.
Race organiser Sally Napthen said: 'For a high proportion of the competitors in this women-only triathlon, this was their first attempt at such an event. Both competitors and those supporting them got quite a buzz from what turned out to be a very special day for all those who took part.'
With the sun beating down on them, competitors cheerfully tackled the 750m swim in the Mere, 16km bike ride through the surrounding countryside and 5km run around the lake.
First over the line was Samantha Wilson with a time of 1hr 3mins and 5secs followed by Kelly Crickmore of Chester Tri (1:04.21) and Jene Hoare of Wrecsam Tri (1:06.44).
The first veteran finisher was Lynne Griffiths of Todmorden Harriers (1:08.20) and first senior vet was Linda Arthan of Oswestry Olympians Tri (1:14.33).
Joanne Lawrence of Chester Tri came an excellent fifth overall, completing the course in 1:07.40 with Claire Sutcliffe (second senior, 1:09.34) ahead of Chester Tri club-mates Mia Young (1:10.48), Cara Fishburn (1:13.24), Rachel Arnold (1:14.00), Emily Brook (1:14.47), Fiona Huxtable (1:17.05), Katy Perreault (1:19.13), Ruth Hellbauer (1:21.02), Julia Smith (1:23.51), Sarah Bennett (1:24.12), Claire Beswick (1:28.37), Shona Rodger (1:29.03), Jenny Edwards (1:29.27), Alison Johnson (1:30.03), Carol Shadbolt (1:30.30), Susie Woods (1:30.47), Kathryn Chase (1:31.50), Janet Richardson (1:32.05), Janine White (1:34.09), Maria Lindley (1:37.06), Melinda Chichester (1:40.20), Sherry Lester (1:43.29), Sandra Barrett (1:43.59) and Shona Simmons (1:46.02).
Janet Morgan's 'scratch team', comprising Morgan herself for the swim, Julie Shalloe for the bike ride and Caroline Frank in the run took the honours for the relay team in 1:11.26.
* Chester Tri's Rob Holmes travelled to Austria for a gruelling Ironman event where he completed the 3.8k swim, 112 mile bike ride and marathon run in an impressive 12hrs 51mins and 35secs.