On your marks for the Maldon Triathlon
PUBLISHED: 11:06 25 June 2013 | UPDATED: 14:06 25 June 2013
Just 12 months ago, preparations for the London Olympics were entering the final lap as the country geared up for one of the most celebrated summers in its history. And now, long after the dust has settled and the medals have been won, the challenge was to maintain that feel-good factor of sporting enthusiasm.
One sport that has certainly seen a welcome boost from Great Britain’s Olympic success is the triathlon, which has become increasingly popular over the last few years and is now the fastest growing sport in the UK.
The Maldon Triathlon is now regarded as the leading triathlon in Essex and has in fact quickly established itself as one of the biggest and best triathlons in the country, incorporating picturesque Promenade Park and Hythe Quay within the course of nearly 50kms. The 2013 event will take place on July 21 and will see athletes take on a river swim alongside the Promenade walkway before a winding cycle ride through the quiet and scenic roads of the Dengie peninsula and then a spectator-lined run course based entirely around Promenade Park.
Athletes can choose to take part over the Sprint distance (which features a 750m swim, a 28km cycle and a 5km run) designed for those new to triathlon, or the Olympic distance (incorporating a 1.5km swim, a 45km cycle and a 10km run), covering the same distance over which Alistair Brownlee raced to Gold in the 2012 London Olympics in Hyde Park.
What is so special about the Maldon Triathlon is the challenge it gives experienced triathlon competitors as well as offering racers an ideal setting to take part in a beginner-friendly event with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Competitors and spectators can also enjoy the event’s many facilities including food stands, cycle mechanics, massage therapists, Tri & Tri Again’s gear expo and a warm up and cool down area with static bikes provided by Harpers Fitness.
Alex Voyce, has taken part in each Maldon Triathlon since the event began in 2011. Alex explains: ‘I’ve always wanted to do a tri and when I saw the Maldon Triathlon, having lived around the area, I thought it would be perfect. The course was a challenge but the location, crowd and most importantly the marshals made it really enjoyable. I have taken part in every Maldon Triathlon so far and it’s now the first one I look for every year. I’m looking forward to taking part in 2013 where no doubt it’ll be even better.’
Promenade Park is a family friendly attraction in its own right and so with activities throughout the day and countless cafés lining the route, the Maldon Triathlon draws a huge crowd of spectators and is perfect for both beginners and experienced triathletes.
Oliver Milk won Dengie Events’ Fambridge Triathlon in both 2011 and 2012 and is delighted that Dengie Events’ Maldon Triathlon has now become such a success. ‘Maldon Triathlon is a perfect race for first timers or those looking for a fast time. The mixture of quiet country lanes and fast A-Roads make for an enjoyable bike leg. There is great support from spectators on the multi-lap mixed surface run and the whole event is based next to some great pubs for post-race sustenance.’
In particular, the Maldon Triathlon prides itself on being a community-based event and reaching out to local groups. Race director, Jamie Cooper, explains: ‘The main aim behind the event is to raise money for Essex Air Ambulance. This charity personally means a great deal to me and last year it was fantastic to have all of the Essex Air Ambulance doctors taking part and fundraising for the charity. We also work with a number of local groups in the organisation of the event, which helps generate a real buzz in the area in the build-up to the event and on the day itself. The event is going from strength to strength and it’s very inspiring to see the athletes crossing the finishing line and achieving their goals.’