TRIATHLON: Belvoir Trio duo compete at Castle Howard

BTC's Alistair Knott and Ian Hancocks enjoy a post-race massage at Castle Howard.
BTC's Alistair Knott and Ian Hancocks enjoy a post-race massage at Castle Howard.

On Sunday, Belvoir Tri Club’s Alistair Knott and Ian Hancocks headed up to the heart of north Yorkshire to compete in the Castle Howard Triathlon – a two-day weekend extravaganza.

In its seventh year, the Castle Howard Triathlon was the fourth weekend event of the 2016 Castle Tri Series, offering a course for every level of triathlete. The 13,000 acre grounds of Castle Howard created a physically demanding triathlon course for competitors.

Race entrants started by swimming through Castle Howard’s Great Lake before transitioning into the technical bike route through the glorious rural idyll of Yorkshire and the Howardian Hills. The spectacular run leg passed through the undulating countryside of the estate before a sprint finish topped the race off in style in front of the main entrance of the house.

Alistair and Ian were amongst 163 competitors in the Sprint Plus distance, consisting of an 800-metre swim, 46km bike leg and an 8km run. Alistair finished 17th in the V50 category, recording 3hr 18min 5sec, whilst Ian (2:59:42) was 24th in V40.

Alistair commented: “The virgin open water and double sprint boys didn’t disgrace the club, with the younger, fitter and better looking Ian beating his three hour target by 16 seconds. I came in a respectable 18 minutes later.”

BTC clubmates Catherine Davies, Louise Cann, Sophie Hunt, Andrew Spencer, Chris Pugh and Natalie Eastaugh took part in the Blueseventy Big Swim at Nottingham Holme Pierrepont on Saturday.

The Big Swim consisted of three categories: 1500m, 2500m or, for the valiant, 5000m open water lake swim.

The swim was a fun challenge and suitable for novices, experienced open water swimmers or Olympic athletes. Swimmers had the option not to wear wetsuits if they wished as the water temperature was reasonable given all the recent warm weather.

The 500 swimmers taking part could swim strokes of their choice and swam the long, straight-sided regatta lake, making navigation easy and having sight of the banks at all times. Swimmers were helped out of the water and handed their finishers medals on completion.

Catherine and Louise bravely complete the 5km swim, both coming in within the two hour mark. Sophie, Andrew, Chris and Natalie completed the 2.5km distance in very respectable times.