Launched on BBC Breakfast, Tri January saw over 5,000 people take up the swim, bike, run challenge and get active at the beginning of the year. Taking up a slightly different challenge in March was Alex Yee, who made his debut on the World Triathlon Series stage in Abu Dhabi, taking second place following a World Cup win in February.
April brought the opening race of the World Paratriathlon Series, with five medals won in Milan: gold for Hannah Moore (PTS4) and Alison Peasgood (PTVI); and silver for Andy Lewis (PTS2), George Peasgood (PTS5) and Dave Ellis (PTVI).
883 British age group athletes headed off to Pontevedra in May for the ITU Multisport World Championships. The Great Britain Age-Group Team came back with 130 medals from the competition, contributing to the 504 that were won across the year by the Accenture supported team.
June saw the World Triathlon Series return to Britain for the fourth edition of the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds. 3,164 amateurs participated across the weekend before the elite British women dominated in their home race by claiming six of the top 15 places, including first and third for Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth.
Part two of the British World Triathlon Series double header was the Accenture World Triathlon Mixed Relay Nottingham. Taking place on the Victoria Embankment, the event was reduced to a duathlon for the age group and elite races. The British Team of Taylor-Brown, Ben Dijkstra, Sophie Coldwell and Yee dominated from the start to finish way clear of the rest of the field.
British athletes took part in the Tokyo Test Events in August this year. In the Olympic individual events Jonny Brownlee was the fastest British male in fifth. In the women’s race, Vicky Holland took bronze and Coldwell ninth; before Taylor-Brown, Learmonth, Gordon Benson and Yee teamed up for a silver medal in the mixed relay and sprint finish with France.
Britain’s paratriathletes claimed seven medals in Tokyo to go alongside the seven won in Montreal (June) and six in Valencia (September). Lauren Steadman and Claire Cashmore (both PTS5) took one-twos in all three, with Steadman claiming gold in Japan. Ellis and Joe Townsend claimed Britain’s other golds to go alongside three silvers and one bronze.
Lausanne, Switzerland played host to the 2019 ITU Grand Final, bringing together age group, junior, U23, paratriathlon and World Triathlon Series athletes for a festival of triathlon. It was a medal laden weekend for British athletes with the Age-Group Team topping the medal table on 17; Olivia Mathias taking silver in the U23 individual race before claiming silver in the mixed relay (Dijkstra, Kate Waugh and Yee); seven paratriathlon medals including golds for Cashmore (PTS5), Moore (PTS4) and Fran Brown (PTS2); and silver and bronze in the race and the overall World Triathlon Series for Learmonth and Taylor-Brown.
A grand final of their own, athletes from the Youth and Junior and Senior Super Series took part in the British Triathlon Big Weekend in early-September. The culmination of the two series, also racing were TriStar 2 and 3 (11-14yrs) athletes for the Inter-Regional Championships.
The weekend also hosted teams from France and Australia to compete against British Triathlon Performance Centre teams for the Accenture Mixed Relay Cup. Providing developing athletes with the opportunity to hone their mixed relay skills, the team from Australia were crowned the 2019 champions.
Bringing great experiences through swim, bike, run; British Triathlon and Accenture brought mixed relay to the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf in September for the Accenture Mixed Relay Triathlon Canary Wharf. This innovative event saw teams of four give this exciting and new format a go with a swim in Middle Dock, before completing a virtual static cycle and a run through the scenery provided by the Canary Wharf Estate.
What a year 2019 was, we hope you enjoyed your triathlon journey this year and join us in looking forward to what 2020 will bring.