More than 270 competitors from across the UK got in gear to swim, cycle on Sunday to take part in Tri Together London, an inclusive triathlon run by Leonard Cheshire Disability.
Tri Together London, now in its third year, was held at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. Specially designed for disabled and non disabled people to swim, bike and run side by side, the event took place on the anniversary of the Paralympic games.
Particularly popular with beginners – some 70 per cent had never done a triathlon before – the event saw people of all abilities and ages over eight years old give it their all on the course. New junior categories saw more than 50 children and teenagers take part this year.
The day had a relaxed family atmosphere with several generations joining in the fun and cheering on from the sidelines. A group of staff and residents from Symonds House and Gloucestershire House, Leonard Cheshire Disability services in Hitchin and Cheltenham respectively, took part together.
Sue Sibley, a physiotherapist at Symonds House who pushed Kim Brooks round the course in her wheelchair, said: “It was an incredible atmosphere and we were just chuffed to get to the finish line. Kim and I had been training for the challenge by doing laps in the garden, cheered on by everyone living at the home.”
Maddy Mitchell, 13, and her brother, Finn 12 were among the junior competitors. They provided inspiration and motivation to each other to get to the finish line. Both siblings were watched on by their proud grandparents and mother.
Maddy, who arranged garage sales with her brother after setting themselves the challenge to raise money for the charity, said: “it was a cool atmosphere with people cheering us on to get to the finish line. Finn and I had a great day.”
Competitors chose to test their mettle individually or as part of a team by tackling a 400m swim, followed by a 15km cycle ride and a 5km run through the leafy surrounds of CrystalPalacePark and finishing in the iconic Jubilee Stadium. The disabled participants used a variety of specialist equipment, such as hand bikes and tandem chairs, to take on the cycle and run.
Several of Leonard Cheshire Disability’s partners, including Howdens Joinery and Leasedrive, put their best foot forward to conquer the challenge individually or in teams.
Sarah Ball, the Events Manager at Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: “I would like to thank each one of our competitors, volunteers, sponsors and support crew for making Tri Together London an inspirational day.”
“Like all charities we are very reliant on fundraising and are hoping to raise £100,000 from our fundraisers’ efforts today to help us to continue our work with disabled people at our services across the UK.”
“If you weren’t able to make it yesterday, why not compete alongside European and World Paratriathlon champion Jane Egan at Tri Together Glasgow on Sunday 22 September?”
To find out more, see results, timings and photographs and to register for next year’s event or for Tri Together Glasgow please visit www.lcdisability.org/tritogether
Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people. Our services include high-quality care and community support together with innovative projects supporting disabled people into education, employment and entrepreneurship. Worldwide, our global alliance of Cheshire partners supports disabled people into education and employment, and works in more than 50 countries. Visit www.LCDisability.org