Triathletes go for glory in world’s largest race across Docklands

PUBLISHED: 14:08 08 August 2016 | UPDATED: 18:01 08 August 2016

The cycling section had an option for a gruelling 80k Olympic Plus distance.

The cycling section had an option for a gruelling 80k Olympic Plus distance.

Isabel Infantes

The largest triathlon in the world returned to the Royal Docks this weekend, with around 10,000 competitors and over 30,000 spectators flooding into the borough.

Although there is no current, the water in the docks can get very choppy.Although there is no current, the water in the docks can get very choppy.

The intense sporting event combined running, cycling and swimming, with both amateurs and professionals taking part.

Swimmers took the plunge in the Royal Victoria Dock, whilst the running route took competitors around Docklands, and the cycling route went past such iconic views as the London Eye and Big Ben – a familiar sight for the group of nine MPs who took part to raise money for the London Triathlon Foundation Trust.

True to her nickname, Sporty Spice Mel C was among those taking part. She said: “I love London, this is my third time. I’ve just had my best race here and I look forward to next year”.

All athletes, regardless of experience, were cheered on by the vast crowds that came along to show their support in the sunshine.

"Youth" and "junior" events encouraged younger athletes to get involved.

On Sunday, the elite competitors tackled the water, track and roads. Charlotte McShane won the women’s competition,.

Last year’s runner-up Liam Lloyd was hotly tipped for a win, alongside Olympian Stuart Hayes and previous winner Mark Buckingham, but all missed out on a medal as David Bishop came home in first place, closely followed by Dan Wilson and Matthew Roberts.

Sadly, Commonwealth champion Jodie Stimpson, who had hoped to return for her third London Triathlon, had to pull out of the event, but she praised the ‘fantastic’ atmosphere that is always present. “The event always has an incredible buzz and it’s always great to see so many competitors in and amongst the iconic London backdrop,” she said.

The first ever winner of the London Triathlon, Simon Lessing, said that 20 years have flown by - and has seen the area transform alongside the evemt.

Around 30,000 spectators came out to support the competitors.Around 30,000 spectators came out to support the competitors.

The 1997 winner said: “The triathlon has been a metaphor for the redevelopment of the East End and London Docklands.

“Bringing this innovative sport to the area in 1997 and racing in an urban environment has helped tens of thousands of elite and amateur athletes rediscover a part of London that is rich in history.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Newham Recorder