[L]ocal companies and tourist organisations are gearing up for the world’s toughest triathlon which is being staged in the Lake District this summer.
Triathlon X will see some 300 international athletes from around the world take on the most challenging routes on the Lakeland hills, passes and in the water.
And the event has the backing of a number of significant locally-based businesses who are keen to be associated with the challenge. It will be staged at YHA Ambleside on June 25 and the organisers are hoping for a day of music and entertainment for the crowds who are expected to watch the athletes in transition and on the route.
The X is sponsored by Lakeland UK and Heart of the Lakes cottage holidays who are providing prize money of £1000 for the first man and first woman to finish the race.
It’s also supported by Hawkshead Relish and BlueSeventy Wetsuits, who are providing further prizes. Ambleside-based open-water experts Swim the Lakes will be organising events around the race, and Keswick-based Mountain Fuel will be at race HQ with nutrition advice and samples.
The latest companies to come on board are Flookburgh-based Willow Water and Romneys Kendal Mint Cake, who will be providing items for the goody-bags for the athletes. A percentage of all the entry fees will go to the YHA bursary fund, Breaks for Kids, which provides adventure holidays for disadvantaged children.
Organiser Mark Blackburn said: “We are delighted that the local community and local businesses are so enthusiastic about this event. It’s an opportunity to showcase the very best challenging landscape that the Lake District can offer, and also to show the best Cumbrian hospitality to the many guests from throughout Britain and overseas.
“We are especially pleased that Romneys of Kendal have fought back after being hit by the floods in the winter; now we all have something to cheer about.”
The event has the support of Lakes Parish Council, and the business organisation Ambleside Together whose chairman, Andrew Hewitt, said: “This is going to be a great day of celebration for everyone around Windermere, Ambleside and especially Waterhead.”
Mr Hewitt, who is the manager of the Regent Hotel at Waterhead, said that there would be a party atmosphere and plenty of food available for the visitors. “All weekend we will be offering a wide variety of food and drinks and the Lake View Terrace will be the ideal place to soak up the atmosphere.”
Meanwhile, the athletes will be putting on a show of iron strength as they tackle a two mile swim in Windermere, followed by the 112 miles of the Fred Whitton cycle route over all the Lakeland passes, before a run out and back to the summit of Scafell Pike.
One of the race favourites is Andrew Drobeck from the Rocky Mountains state of Montana in the USA. Among the local athletes taking part is Ambleside-based fitness instructor Ursula Brendling who is entering her first ever triathlon to mark her 50th birthday. She’s also being sponsored to raise money for Breaks for Kids.