On Sunday 22nd May, Vital Events held the Southport Sprint & ITU AG Qualifying Standard Distance Triathlons.
The event also incorporated the BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) Standard Distance Championships. First off were the BUCS who set off for their 1500m swim in Southport Marine Lake shortly after 7.00am. The standard of Triathlon in the BUCS is extremely high with many of both male & female athletes have competed for GB at genuine Elite Level, so competition would be exciting to watch. The 1st group of swimmers were all swam under 18mins and set off onto the 40km, 2 lap non-drafting bike course. Around 10mins later the 1st wave of the AG event set off and for some of them, their attempt at qualification.
We had 4 athletes competing on the day with 2 looking to qualify, as expected the standard was very high which meant every second counted. With only the top 3 being automatic spots, that was the target - tough as it was. Gaz Dixon has had a very solid start to the season and built on that to deliver a superb performance that saw him gain automatic qualification for the AG World's in Mexico. Unfortunately Lorraine Thompson just missed out but along with Rob Cassidy and Mark Egan they all raced hard throughout, showing real improvements along the way.
The Standard Distance winners were Nicola Jackson of Preston Harriers and Richard Ebbage of the Royal Marines. The Sprint Distance winners were Junior Rachel Morris & Alex Foster of Champion Systems / VCUK - well done to all those.
The BUCS Standard Distance Champions 2016 were Alice Jenkins of University of Edinburgh and Callum Johnson of Leeds Beckett University, congratulations to those too.
The event was a big success and attracted a large number of keen triathletes, many of whom were extremely positive about the day. Hosting events isn't easy and Vital Events have developed this particular one really well over the last few year's. This video they shot from a drone, brilliantly captures the scale and set-up of such an event - so a massive well done to Rob Mcleod and all his team.
See you next year..