International athletes and their supporters heading for Ambleside this summer will find a spectacular welcome at the YHA at Waterhead.
YHA Ambleside is hosting Triathlon X, the world’s toughest extreme triathlon, and plans are well under way for a day of celebrations while the competitors battle it out in the water, on the roads and on the fells.
A day-long barbecue, with music and watersports, will be held at the lakeshore venue on June 25, and the YHA staff are also catering for the appetites of the athletes when the race is over.
The event will start at 4.30 am when some 200 competitors from around the world will swim two miles in Windermere, doing two laps from the shore around Seamew Crag island.
They will then set off on the 112 mile route of the Fred Whitton challenge to cycle over all the Lakeland passes, before returning to Waterhead for the final stage. This is a marathon distance run to the summit of Scafell Pike and back.
“This is a fantastic event to be staged here in Ambleside and we are really excited about it,” said hostel manager Damien Parker.
Some of the competitors will be staying at the hostel for the most convenient start and finish. It is anticipated that the winner will return to Waterhead at around 6.30pm, in a time of approximately 14 hours, while the tail-enders are likely to be finishing nearer to midnight.
Day-long food will also be served at the nearby Regent Hotel, and there will be opportunities for spectators to hire kayaks or to take a sail with Windermere Lake Cruises while they wait for the transition stages of the race.
The first man and woman to finish will each receive a prize of £1000 donated by Lakeland UK and Heart of the Lakes cottage holidays. Other prizes are being supplied by Hawkshead Relish and Blue Seventy wetsuits.
Local open water swimming experts Swim the Lakes will have a stall at the race venue, along with nutrition company Mountain Fuel.
“This is a great venue and we are looking forward to a very exciting event,” Damien said.
Volunteers are needed on the day, and any who want to help at the race HQ are asked to contact the youth hostel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning meeting in the sun at race HQ, YHA Ambleside: Damien Parker (right) and race director Mark Blackburn (left) discuss tactics with YHA staff