1,500 competitors braved wet weather and high winds to swim, cycle and run the city centre course at this year’s Tri Liverpool triathlon event where the elite races formed the second race of the 2015 British Triathlon Super Series on Sunday, July 26.
Kicking off at 7am, Tri Liverpool saw age-group competitors complete the standard distance course with an early morning 1500m open water swim from Wapping Dock, a 40km cycle loop of the city centre and 10km run to the finish, against the backdrop of Liverpool’s World Heritage waterfront.
Sprint distance competitors were not too far behind, with a 750m open water swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. Famous faces in the sprint category included BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin who recently qualified for the Great Britain Age-Group Team and will compete at the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Chicago in September.
Completing the Tri Liverpool course for the first time, Louise Minchin, said:
“What an amazing course – I’ve never done a race in salty water and had completely forgotten about it here, so that was a shock! My Great Great Great Great Grandfather came from Liverpool and used to work in the docks here, so I was cycling past the Liver Building, thinking of that. It was a great atmosphere out there – really fantastic.”
Louise Minchin was joined in the sprint distance by Hollyoaks actor Karl Collins, who plays Louis Loveday in the soap, and former Big Brother winner Craig Phillips.
Taking part in Tri Liverpool’s sprint distance, for the second year running, Craig said:
“It was brilliant – very, very wet. Although, the wet weather wasn’t that bad, as you’re already wet from the swim! It was the wind that I found the hardest today. When you go past the docks and the wind comes sailing through, I had to knock my bike down two gears just to carry on!
“There was great support. Anything we do here in Liverpool, we always get the community behind us and it really helps. They were cheering everyone on and that gives you a great boost. Next year I’m going to do the full Olympic distance.”
Triathlon beginner, Hollyoaks actress Nicole Barber-Lane, who plays Myra McQueen in the soap, completed the bike course as part of a relay team. She was joined by local triathlete Lindsay Raywood from Crosby who swam 750 metres and Helen Moore from Bebington who ran 5km to the finish where she joined her team mates, crossing the finish line together. Nicole said:
“It’s my first triathlon and I’ve been really excited. I’m just here to show that it’s a great sport to get involved in. I’ve not got a fancy bike but I’ve enjoyed the training and I’ve loved the race day atmosphere. I’d like to see more women and more beginners like me take part and hope to be back next year doing the full triathlon.”
In the Elite female category, last year’s Tri Liverpool runner-up, Sophie Coldwell( pictured below right) emerged victorious, taking first place from 2013 winner, Emma Pallant, with a 28-second lead. A new addition to the UK Sport Lottery Funded World-Class Performance Squad, Jess Learmonth, took third place on the Elite ladies’ podium.
The Elite men’s race saw Welshman, Morgan Davies (pictured left) take first spot, with Australia’s Brendan Sexton second, and Matthew Wright representing Barbados take third place in Tri Liverpool. As Tri Liverpool also hosted the British Elite Sprint Triathlon Championships, the podium welcomed Liam Lloyd in second and DavidBishop third.
Tri Liverpool has experienced an upsurge in popularity in the city thanks to GO TRI triathlon training sessions for beginners. Delivered in four of Liverpool City Council’s Lifestyles centres, GO TRI sessions have allowed novice triathletes a chance to experience the sport in a fun and friendly environment. GO TRI training sessions are open to all, with nine sessions taking place each week at Lifestyles in Garston, Alsop, Ellergreen and Wavertree Aquatics Centre.
British Triathlon and Liverpool City Council are delighted to announce that Tri Liverpool 2016 will take place on Sunday August 14, 2016. Entry details will be announced shortly on http://www.triliverpool.com/.
Tri Liverpool highlights will be broadcast on Channel 4 on August 8, 2015 at 7am.
Tri Liverpool is delivered by British Triathlon in partnership with Liverpool City Council. For more information, results and official race pictures of Tri Liverpool 2015, visit www.TriLiverpool.com