Brighton and Hove Triathlon doubles in size two years after first race

Posted On 11 Sep 2018 at 3:11 pm

The third Brighton and Hove Triathlon takes place this weekend and will have twice as many competitors than took part in the first race two years ago.

While the main adult races start at 8.30am on Sunday morning, the event spans the weekend with an array of races for children.

Event organiser John Lunt said: “This is a really great opportunity to inspire children to get active and feel that they are part of the event too.

“Our youngest competitor this year is three years of age and our oldest is Daphne Belt who is 79.

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“This is an incredible age range and shows how triathlon appeals to so many people.

“This year, we have seen a 50 per cent increase in the junior races alone.”

Mr Lunt, the Olympic sports competition manager for triathlon at London 2012, started the Brighton and Hove Triathlon in 2016.

He said: “I am really proud of how the Sebamed Brighton and Hove Triathlon has grown over the past three years.

“The sport of triathlon has become much more high profile since we saw Britain’s Brownlee brothers – Alistair and Jonny – take the Gold and Bronze medals at the men’s triathlon in London 2012.

“It is testament to the popularity of the sport and our city that the Sebamed Brighton and Hove Triathlon has become part of the sporting fabric of Brighton and Hove and we are looking forward to seeing the return of many local people competing next weekend.”

Entries for this year’s triathlon closed on Monday (10 September).

But the organisers are still keen to hear from volunteers. To register as a helper, visit https://www.brightonandhovetriathlon.com/volunteer.

James Belbin

Among those taking part in the main event this year are competitors from Madrid, Glasgow and Guernsey as well as local athletes.

One of the competitors, James Belbin, from Hove, hopes to put his type 2 diabetes into remission by taking part in triathlons.

He said: “I needed a goal to help me lose weight and get fit and really commit to beating this disease.

“The more I heard about triathlon the more I thought it would be perfect for me.

“I watched the Sebamed Brighton and Hove Tri last year and thought it looked like great fun. I thought, ‘I could do that.’”

Mr Belbin has been training four to five times a week, using a 12-week training plan.

He will join the start line of the Olympic distance triathlon along Hove seafront, having already lost 6kg (13lb) and is looking to more than double that over the coming year. 

As well as the Olypmic distance – swimming for 1.5km, cycling for 40km and running for 10km – adult competitors can take part over sprint and super sprint distances.

Sprint triathlons are half the distance of an Olympic event – 750 metres, 20km and 5km – while a super sprint covers 400m in the water, 10km on a bike and ends with a 5km run.

Another local competitor this weekend, David Delicata, from Brighton, who has used sport – and specifically triathlon – to get his life back on track.

He put on weight after taking anti-depressants, having suffered from bouts of depression as well as mental and physical lethargy.

He is recovering from the depression that started after his father died from pancreatic cancer in 2014.

They were close – and Mr Delicata said: “I felt mentally and emotionally rough but I guess sometimes you have to be at your worst to figure out how to be at your best.”

In August 2015 he decided to make a big change to his life and began training for the 2016 Brighton Marathon.

He ran the marathon in memory of his dad, raising over £1,000 for Pancreatic Cancer UK.

But it wasn’t enough. He wanted something more exciting than another marathon so he signed up for the inaugural Brighton and Hove Olympic Distance Triathlon in 2016.

Mr Delicata finished in 3hrs 8mins, having found it a much more social and friendly event than running the marathon.

He said: “Triathlon is full of camaraderie and I’ve made friends for life with the people I’ve met.

“The (Brighton) event was an easy choice. Being on home turf, I managed to rally plenty of family and friends down for support.

“It was a fun festival atmosphere with lots of stalls, races and things going on. The whole event was well organised and felt accessible to athletes of all levels.”

The oldest competitor, Daphne Belt, 79, from Littlehampton, broke two bones in her arm in a cycling accident a few months ago.

She said: “I have just celebrated by 79th birthday so if I can make a comeback then anybody can.”

The 2018 triathlon weekend starts on Saturday (15 September) with a fun race called the Scootathlon for three to eight-year-olds on Hove Prom. It includes a scoot, a bike and a run.

The next day includes the children’s triathlon for youngsters aged eight to 14, followed by the adult races which start at 8.30am.

Registration opens at 10.30am on Saturday for children and at 11am for adults on Hove Promenade.

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