In a massive boost to equality in extreme sport, the first woman to finish TriathlonX in the Lake District will win a prize of £1000 – exactly the same as the men’s prize! The award is being made thanks to generous sponsorship from the Lake District’s longest standing cottage letting agency, Heart of the Lakes.
The prizes will be given to the winners at next year’s event, which takes place on 25th June and is deemed the world’s most gruelling extreme iron-distance triathlon. Already attracting 200 entries from an international audience, it is the first extreme triathlon to offer a substantial cash prize. 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 cycle each Lake District pass on the route of the Fred Whitton challenge, approximately 112 miles. The final stage – the marathon run of 26 miles – will take the athletes to the top of Scafell Pike via Elterwater and Great Langdale.
The total ascent on the cycle and run routes is 5,150m, the highest in the world, with a projected winning time of four hours longer than Norway’s Norseman extreme race.
Triathlon X was staged this year at Wasdale, but is moving to a more central location next June, starting at Ambleside YHA at the head of Windermere. YHA (England and Wales) is supporting the event, and a percentage of all entry fees will be donated to the YHA bursary fund Breaks for Kids, which creates opportunities for disadvantaged young people to stay with YHA and undergo new, life-changing experiences.
Renowned for its on-going involvement in charitable and community initiatives, Heart of the Lakes is thrilled to be involved in such a top sporting event, as company partner, Chris Jackson, explains:
“We are delighted to be involved in TriathlonX and want to make sure that the women who compete have a chance to win the same prize as the men. They are putting in the same effort, over the most gruelling course in the world. It will be amazing to see all these top athletes here in the heart of the Lake District.”
Organiser Mark Blackburn said: “We are delighted to have Heart of the Lakes join us as a leading sponsor and believe that the prize money on offer is going to attract some of the world’s leading triathletes.”
Leading triathlete, Marie Meldrum, from Lochaber in Scotland, was the female winner of the 2014 ‘Celtman’ event: “It is really encouraging to see women and men being offered the same prize money.” she said. “I’ve noticed recently that women have started to get more prominence in media coverage of these events. Women might not be as fast as the leading men, but they are covering the same distances.”
Richard Greenwood, Cumbria Tourism’s head of operations, said: “As the UK’s adventure capital, the Lake District 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.”
For further details regarding TriathlonX, please visit www.triathlonx.co.uk or call Mark Blackburn on 07979 262784