On Sunday 18th August and after a 7 year hiatus, the popular Salford Triathlon was back bigger and better than ever.
Around 1,000 athletes had entered to compete over the Olympic or Sprint distance races. Racepace athlete Neil Ainsworth would be racing against friends and Racepace Bric session regulars Marc Mcglouglin and Robert Cassidy, both in their 1st Olympic distance race. The 3 were joined by RP coach Rodger Wilkins who was hoping to use the race as preparation for the up-coming World AG Championships in London.
The race comprised of 2 laps for the 1500m swim, 6 laps for the 40km bike and 2 ‘twisty’ laps for the 10km run. Conditions were pretty much ideal with just a mild breeze in the air. The racing was fast and furious as multi-lap races often are. There was a fantastic atmosphere around the event which was held outside the main BBC building at Media City. This factor was obviously a big draw for spectators, many of whom said it was one of the best triathlons they had been to watch.
Neil had a fantastic race and flew around the course in just over 2.5hrs, pipping Marc and Robert to the finish line with a superb top 100 placing. The race finished underneath the giant screen right outside the BBC building, this meant quite a tricky last turn – which caught a few fast finishing athletes out!
Having raced in the last triathlon at Salford in 2006 it is obvious just how far the sport has come and how much more ‘main-stream’ it is. The London Olympics has had an incredible effect on the sport and one which we will continue to benefit from. The Hyde-Park course used for the Olympics in 2012 is now set to be the scene for the biggest triathlon event ever, with the ITU Grand Finals taking place there from 11th – 15th September – with Alistair and Jonathan & co all racing, it will no doubt be shown on the BBC – so don’t miss it!