A nice Tri for starters

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ORGANISERS hope the Blackpool Triathlon will become an annual event after its successful introduction.

This Promenade-based sporting spectacular combined three races – the triathlon, sprint triathlon and duathlon, with over 100 competitors taking part.

The triathlon comprised a 1500m sea swim from North Pier, immediately followed by a 40km cycle ride north to Little Bispham and a 10km run to South Pier, finishing on the Comedy Carpet in front of the Tower.

The Triathlon was won by Martyn Cooper in an amazing time of 2hrs, 20mins. Martyn hails from Preston but was able to take advantage of local knowledge – he works as a Blackpool beach patrol officer.

The women’s race was also won by a Preston athlete, Ann Griffiths in 3.17.

The sprint triathlon covered shorter distances (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run) and had a local winner in Scott Gall of Lytham (1.23), while Londoner Elizabeth Cocker won the women’s event (1.46).

The duathlon consists of a 20km bike ride sandwiched between two 5km runs and its winner also had a local connection.

Essex man Craig Dyce’s long trip from Saffron Walden was well worth it as he won in 1.07. It was a familiar journey north for Craig, whose wife Wendy comes from Blackpool. They regularly visit the Fylde and Craig has performed with distinction in the Blackpool Marathon in the past.

This race completed a memorable weekend for the Dyce family, whose daughter Helena had won her third triathlon of the year in Norfolk the previous day. The women’s winner of the Blackpool duathlon was Michelle Shuttleworth of St Bees in 1.23.

Blackpool Triathlon was organised by Warrior Events, supported by Marketing Blackpool and Blackpool Beach Patrol, whose manager Rich Williams (a former GB swimmer) oversaw the sea races.