Sam’s the man in Chatsworth triathlon

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Hundreds of spectators and competitors from as far as Singapore and the USA turned out for the inaugural Peak District Triathlon at Chatsworth on Sunday.

There were nearly 500 finishers in its first year on a day which saw the sun come out as the athletes crossed the finish line at the picturesque setting.

The day started off with mist, grey clouds and drizzly rain but the skies cleared and the sun came out as athletes were crossing the finish line.

With options of a standard and a sprint distance race, the swim took place in the river Derwent starting from the beautiful 18th century Paine’s Bridge taking swimmers out and back in front of Chatsworth House.

The cycle route went up Baslow Hill to Owler Bar and back, taking in some of the most beautiful scenes in the Peak District, and the race finished with a tough, scenic run around the Chatsworth Estate up to the famous Hunting Tower.

The top three men in the standard race crossed the finish line within 10 seconds of each other, with Sam Village taking the lead on the cycle leg and holding on to it to take the winning title in a time of 01:53:21.

Runner up Matt Everest, (Loughborough Uni Tri Club) finished in 01:53:24, ahead of Paul Hawkins (Knutsford Triathlon Club) in 01:53:31.

In the women’s field Alison Leavens (Chester Tri Club) was second out of the water but her strong performance on the bike put her in first place and secured the win in a time of 02:18:52. Caroline Higgins (University of Leeds) clocked the fastest swim and fastest run but couldn’t close the gap and finished second in 02:20:34, with Rebecca Brand (Manchester Triathlon Club) claiming third place in 02:23:21.

The sprint race saw a strong female field, with Alice Sharpe of Manchester Triathlon Club crossing the finish line in overall third position and taking the women’s title in a time of 01:16:13.

Sharpe clocked the fastest swim time of the whole field (male and female) and also the fastest female run time. Hannah Shooter (Tri Camp Mallorca Race Team) was the second fastest female and came overall 6th in 01:18:27, whilst Charlotte Wormleighton came third in 01:26:02.

The men’s race was won by Gavin Stephens in 01:11:59, ahead of Steve Penney who finished in 01:12:15 and James Garner in 01:16:50.

A special prize was also awarded for the quickest male and female run time from exiting T2 up to the Hunting Tower, with Julian Lings of Team Accelerate claiming the King of the Hill title and Hannah Shooter of Tri Camp Mallorca Race Team the Queen of The Hill title.

Simon Hill, race organiser, said: “Our first Peak District Triathlon at Chatsworth has been a huge success, set in beautiful surroundings and with great facilities. We have seen a lot of families who have come to Chatsworth to enjoy a day out together in the Peak District, admire the splendour of the house and explore the beautiful park.”