June 5, 2021
Multisport Opportunities Prove A Hit At Aj Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds
Alongside the elite racing and age group championships, the sprint distance triathlon and aquathlon mass participation races provided opportunity for multisport challenges to be achieved on the first day of racing at AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds.
The event in Roundhay Park provided a unique opportunity for amateur participants to race in the sprint distance triathlon and aquathlon races on Saturday morning before being able to stay in the park to watch the racing at in the World Triathlon Para Series in the afternoon.
With the sun shining brightly over Roundhay Park, the first athletes into the water to kick off the weekend were from the open sprint distance triathlon race, swimming 750m in Waterloo Lake, an 18.4km bike leg and a 5km run.
Entering the water in a rolling start from 8:00am, the participants completed their swim, bike, run entirely within the Roundhay Park event venue before making their way towards Mansion House, up the finish ramp and across the line.
The first person to complete their race this weekend was Oliver Hitchcock, who said: "In the swim I just tried to keep ahead, on the bike I knew there were some fast guys and I knew my run was good but I just had to hold on. To cross the line first is an amazing feeling.
"The experience is very good, the atmosphere is amazing with the loudspeakers and the support. Because the event's so big it just feels like you're on the stage of the world's best."
Agatha Skelton was the first female finisher, saying: "It was very warm, it's better than it's been in previous years, it's normally raining here. The run from the swim was quite far and the bike was fast after the first hill and the run was hilly but I enjoyed it.
"On the bike there were always people there. Even though I was in the second wave, there's people the whole way around. I'm coming back tomorrow to support."
For the aquathlon race, athletes were challenged with a 1km swim in Waterloo Lake followed by a 5km run. This was the final race to before the elite paratriathletes took to the course for the AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Para Series Leeds Presented by Volvo.
Abby Parkinson, a first-time aquathlete, said: "It was really nice to have people cheering us on and it was a good atmosphere for my first aquathlon race, I quite enjoyed it.
"It's nice to try something new and that's led me to this. It was a really good atmosphere and my family were stood on the biggest hill cheering me on and that made it a lot easier."
Andy Salmon, British Triathlon CEO, said: “Today’s sprint and aquathlon races have provided a great opportunity for so many people to give multisport a go.
“I’m so proud that as part of AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds we’re able to welcome elite athletes from around the world, whilst also provide the opportunity and a great experience for people to get involved for the first time or to find their feet in the sport after a break from racing over the past year.”
Billy MacKay, Marketing Director at AJ Bell, said: “Congratulations to all the participants who have taken part today and to all the volunteers and staff who have helped make AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds happen. It’s been a great day of racing at Roundhay Park and we’re delighted to have been able to support the event and to once again see so many people taking on their multisport challenge.”