Ashbourne Triathlon challenge for beginners and novices

The pace of a lazy Sunday morning may be a little more hectic for competitors when the Ashbourne Triathlon takes place on Sunday 22 May.

It starts from Derbyshire Dales District Council’s Ashbourne Leisure Centre, with a 400m pool swim, cycle round the local countryside and run along the Tissington Trail, part of the old dismantled railway line from Ashbourne to Buxton.

The organisers are hoping for 300 competitors who are mostly local to the area, who want to take on the challenge of a triathlon and join in, even if they have never done anything quite like it before. Intermediate competitors can take on the challenge of going for their personal best time on this fast, flat course.

The Ashbourne Triathlon, which is one of several organised by Xtra Mile Events, is designed to be especially friendly for beginners and novices, starting with a pool swim, where competitors start at 10 second intervals with swimmers of a similar standard. The cycle part of the course will be signposted and it is designed to be as simple as possible to follow, with left hand turns, no major junctions to cross, and it’s off main roads. And finally, the run takes competitors along a well-marked footpath on the Tissington Trail.

There will be bike mechanics on race day offering help and support for anybody with last minute cycle troubles, lots of friendly marshals offering water and encouragement, as well as a free photo and post-race massage.

Another reason to take part is the choice of doing only 2 out of the 3 disciplines: a ‘swycle’ is the swim, followed by the cycle, and the ‘aquathlon’ is the swim followed by the run. The race organisers also encourage groups of friends to join – who will be put in a ‘mates’ wave’ and start in the pool at the same time, and the organisers are keen to hear from anyone who wants to raise money for charity to get a shout out on the day and over social media.

As in previous years, the road outside the Ashbourne Leisure Centre will be closed off, although there will still be access to the Sainsbury’s and other local residential areas and businesses. The organisers are hoping that hundreds of local people will give the triathlon a go and surprise themselves with what can be achieved.

Race director Simon Hill said:

“We want people to enjoy our events, both as competitors and spectators. We are called Xtra Mile Events, because our staff go the extra mile to make events worthwhile. Ashbourne Triathlon is truly an event for everyone, if you can swim 16 lengths, you can take part - (even if you get two other people in a relay to do the cycle and the run) - or if you can cycle, you can do the swycle and if you can run 3 km, you can do the aquathlon.”

The Ashbourne Triathlon club are teaming up with the organisers to put on a novice introductory event before the race in May, date to be announced, with a free entry for the Ashbourne Triathlon up for grabs at the event, where people can ask any question they like.

There are prizes for 1st second and third placed male and female competitors, age group winners, and a club prize.

  • All finishers will receive a medal as a souvenir of their achievement. British Triathlon has approved this race and the organisers hope that those taking part may be inspired to take the next step which is the Peak District Triathlon at Chatsworth on 3rd July.
Ashbourne Leisure Centre duty manager Carl Wingfield competing in the Ashbourne Trathlon

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