Leading homeware company Lakeland UK is the new sponsor of Triathlon X, the world’s most gruelling sports event, being staged at Windermere next year.
The company has donated £1000 as prize money for the winner of the iron-distance race which has already attracted some 200 entries from across the globe.
Now they and the organisers hope that other local and regional businesses will follow suit, so that prizes can be offered in other categories – including awards for the first woman and first relay team.
Triathlon X was staged at Wasdale this year but is moving to a more central location next June, starting at YHA Ambleside at the head of Windermere. The YHA (England and Wales) is supporting the event, and a percentage of all the entry fees will be donated to YHA’s bursary fund Breaks for Kids, creating opportunities for disadvantaged young people to stay with YHA and have new, life-changing experiences.
The event will have steeper ascents than any “ironman” triathlon anywhere in the world. Competitors will swim twice round Seamew Crag island in Windermere, and then cycle all the Lake District passes on the route of the Fred Whitton challenge, some 112 miles. The marathon run of 26 miles will take the athletes out and back to the top of Scafell Pike via Elterwater and Great Langdale.
The total ascent on the cycle and run routes is 5150m, the highest in the world, with a projected winning time of four hours longer than Norway’s Norseman extreme race.
Lakeland UK’s managing director Sam Rayner said: “Triathlon X needed to get off to the best possible start and we were pleased to be the initial sponsor for the event.”
Organiser Mark Blackburn said: “We are thrilled to have the support of an internationally renowned company which has its headquarters locally at Windermere, and we are very grateful to Lakeland for their generosity. We believe that the prize money on offer is going to attract some of the world’s leading triathletes. “
He added: “It would be marvellous if other businesses now came on board so that we can extend the prize list, and encourage more entries which will mean more money raised for Breaks for Kids.”
The race will be staged on Saturday June 25. One local athlete, fitness instructor Ursula Brendling, from Ambleside, has decided to tackle the X as her very first triathlon, to mark her 50th birthday next summer. She is being sponsored to raise more money for Breaks for Kids.
Richard Greenwood, Cumbria Tourism’s head of operations, said: “As the UK’s Adventure Capital the Lake District, Cumbria has an adrenaline fuelled calendar of outdoor challenge events every year and this event is no exception. There are plenty of events for the first time competitor, and others for more experienced athletes that require total endurance and dedication.
“Hosting TriathlonX on Windermere will allow even more people to access this high level event and allow them to come and embrace their adventurous side here in the Lake District.”
Companies who are interested in becoming involved should contact Eileen Jones: