Fresh from a spectacular win at Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire, Gossage will be back at her happy hunting ground in Cheshire to defend her course record in the Gauntlet event (1.9km swim/96km bike/21km run). Standing in the way of the cancer doctor-turned-pro-triathlete will be New Zealand’s Sam Warriner, the versatile veteran of countless ITU World Cup wins and a Commonwealth Games medalist, and the Scottish Middle-distance champ Nikki Bartlett.
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Over in the men’s Gauntlet race, Matt Leeman will be on the start line alongside Darren Jenkins, a man who’s racing all five of the Series’ Gauntlet races in 2015 (not forgetting the small matter of racing the long-distance 226km Bastion at Hever Castle in July, of course!).
The Olympic-distance event is not shy of pro’s either with Liam Lloyd and David Bishop presenting strong competition from the outset.
ENTRIES STILL OPEN
While Lucy Gossage and her elite brethren will be aiming for top honors, 1,400 triathletes (including 350 children and a large number of tri newbies) will be attempting to beat their own personal goals during the midsummer’s day across the eight – yep, eight – different race distances (see below).
Entries are still open for the event, with highlights including The Cedar (100m/4km/1.3km) for 8-10 year olds, the new Starter Sprint (200m/10km/2km) for adult beginners to tri and the truly testing experience of the 119km middle-distance Gauntlet.
First raced in 2010 by 100 athletes, the Cholmondeley Castle course finds athletes launching into an open-water swim in Deer Park Mere Lake, before transitioning into a bike route that circumnavigates Bickerton Hill, the southern most tip of the Peckforton Hills.
The run passes through the estate grounds, which date back to the 12th Century, before triathletes sprint down the main lawn to the finish line with Cholmondeley Castle as the 200-year-old backdrop. The classic Castles experience awaits athletes post-race, with family activities, tasty grub and live music ensuring both spectators and athletes are entertained throughout.
You can sign up for Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumley) at www.castletriathlonseries.co.uk. The race distances are:
Half Iron / Middle Distance – The Gauntlet (1.9km/96km/21km)
Olympic / Standard – The Cholmondeley (1,500m/44km/10km)
Sprint Plus – The Marquess (800m/44km/8km)
Super Sprint – The Gothic (400m/22km/4km)
Starter Sprint – New Race Distance (200m/10km/2km)
Junior (13-15 yrs) – The Chestnut (300m/8km/4km)
Children (11-12 yrs) – The Oak (200m/4km/2km)
Children (8-10 yrs) – The Cedar (100m/4km/1.3km)
From Lough Cutra to Chantilly and Castles Cholmondeley, Howard and Hever, some 16,000 triathletes are set to race at the UK’s biggest tri series in 2015, with the flagship event at Hever Castle in September once again preparing to host the world’s biggest children’s triathlon over the weekend of multisport festivities.
The next Castle Triathlon Series event is the Bastion at Hever Castle on 12 July, before the Series heads to Castle Howard, Yorkshire, on 25-26 July, Chateau de Chantilly in France on 29-30 August, and Hever Castle on 26-27 September.
The Castle Triathlon Series supports the NSPCC as the Official Charity Partner and works with many other sponsors and partners to give the competitors the best experience including; Swimming Partner, Speedo; Nutrition Partner, High 5 and massage partner, Six Physio.