The Vikings are coming for a second invasion of the Lake District, this time to challenge for a triathlon title.
Danish athletes are well represented in the final tally for Windermere’s half-ironman event to be staged in the autumn next year. Entries for the race closed just two weeks after opening when the race capacity was reached.
When the event was held this year at Wasdale, Danish sportsmen including leading triathletes Kevin Mogensen , Pelle Nilsson , Jens Bonde-Poulsen and Peter Hagedorn-Rasmussen featured well in the results.
“They call themselves the Vikings,” said race director Mark Blackburn, who has moved this event and the full distance Triathlon X to Windermere. “They are tough athletes. This year, one of them finished the final 30k of the bike ride in his socks after wearing out the cleats on his cycle shoes, as he’d had to walk up the Lakeland passes.”
Mark said that he was excited by the fast uptake of entries for next year’s race: “It promises to be the most challenging event of its kind.”
Starting at Ambleside YHA at Waterhead, competitors will swim 1.9km (1.2 miles) in Windermere. The bike ride is 90km (56 miles) ascending 2,800m (9186 ft) over the big three Lakeland passes, Kirkstone via the ‘Struggle’, Wrynose and Hardnott, in both directions. “This is the steepest and most gruelling half-iron bike section anywhere in the world,” said Mark.
The final stage of the race is a 13 mile (21k) race round the Fairfield Horseshoe from Waterhead.
Meanwhile there are still places available for The X, the full distance event labelled the toughest extreme race in the world. This will also be staged at Windermere, based at the Ambleside YHA, and is offering cash prizes of £1000 to each of the male and female winners, thanks to sponsorship from kitchenware company Lakeland UK, and the region’s leading holiday cottage letting company, Heart of the Lakes.
There are also prizes from Hawkshead Relish, and Blue Seventy wetsuits. A percentage of each entry fee is going to the YHA bursary fund, Breaks for Kids, which provides disadvantaged children with adventure holidays.
The X full distance race includes a 2.4 mile swim, a bike ride over the route of the Fred Whitton challenge over all the Lakeland passes, and a marathon 26 mile run through Langdale to the top of Scafell Pike and back.