24 hours before elite triathlon stars take the stage at the Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds, triathlon and paratriathlon newcomers were invited to stamp their mark on the sport.
This morning witnessed snippets of sunshine between the clouds, as just shy of 200 beginners crossed the finish line in Leeds’ Roundhay Park, many of whom were completing their very first triathlon.
The GO TRI race featured participants of all ages, with one thing in common – the will to swim, bike and run to the finish line and complete their own personal triathlon challenge.
With the choice of either a 200m or 400m swim in Waterloo Lake, many participants opted for breast stroke, before making their way to transition. Once on their bikes, they cycled 10km in and around the park before preparing for the 2.5km the run for home.
For many, the experience was one to treasure: “I’ve taken part in two of the GO TRI training sessions leading up to the event. As a novice, I don’t know what I would have done without them," said participant Jane Emery.
“Swimming’s my weakest link, and I was so nervous before the event but I’m so glad I did it. I’d definitely do one again!”
The morning’s action was rounded off with the super-sprint distance paratriathlon race, a great chance for budding newbies to try their hand at the three disciplines. Athletes from a range of classifications took part, with everyone looking to concur their own personal triathlon goal.
In the PTS5 classification, Claire Cashmore was one of the athletes lining up on the start line, and as a three time Paralympic swimmer sure knows a thing or two about racing. A stunning display saw Cashmore cross the line first, and we caught up with her to get her thoughts on the race.
“I think at the moment I have very little expectations when I’m racing, what with this being only my second ever triathlon. I’m just getting out there and following the process, learning about transitions and things.
“The bike course was much more technical than my previous race so I took it quite cautiously, so I learnt a lot. I think I was much better paced too. It was great to just get out there and race and it’s brilliant to see more and more people getting involved with para sport.”