When the going gets tough…athletes to watch in Triathlon X

Top athletes from around the world gather at Waterhead,  Ambleside this weekend for the world’s toughest iron-distance triathlon.

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Rainbow over race HQ: Steve Ashworth, Lake District Images

Triathlon X will see 200 competitors tackle a two mile swim in Windermere, a 112-mile bike ride over all the Lakeland passes on the infamous Fred Whitton route, and then run a mountain marathon to the top of Scafell Pike and back.

Race HQ is Ambleside YHA where the athletes will jump into the water at 4.30 am. It’s expected that the winning time will be around 14 hours.

Our team of pundits has been assessing recent form, and reckons that Karl Alexander, who races as a pro ironman, is in with a good chance of taking the Lakeland UK £1000 prize. Also contending could be Andy Mouncey, completer of the Arch to Arc challenge, and on the Lakes 100 podium last year.

Also look out for Simon Greening who had a terrific result at last year’s Helvelyn Triathlon and is a very strong cyclist; and Gareth Huxley, who has several sub 10-hour Ironman finishes under his belt and was second at the Wasdale Half X in 2013.

Among the overseas competitors, watch out for Andrew  Drobeck from Montana, USA.

Only a handful of women will be competing for the £1000 prize money from Heart of the Lakes. Keep an eye on Jan Rogers who had a good result at the Celtman triathlon in 2014 and has lots of experience; and Daisy Baggs racing with Team Newcastle Triathlon.

Spectators will be welcome along the route, during the day on the passes, and in late afternoon and evening in Langdale, with a checkpoint at the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel. There will be music and entertainment, and a barbecue, throughout the day at race HQ at YHA Ambleside, and the first entrant is expected back at around 6pm.

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