Hartlepool's Big Lime Triathlon weekend is a winner as more than 200 people take part in sporting events
A trio of challenges brought together triathletes and people just giving it a try as Hartlepool hosted its Big Lime Weekend.
The festival of fitness launched on Friday, August 16, when 40 people set out on a 750 metre swim in the marina, followed by an aquathon on Saturday, August 17, when the same distance swim and a 5k run was completed by 51 competitors.
The grand finale was held on Sunday, August 18, starting at 8am, when 188 triathletes completed the same distance swim, a 20k cycle and then a 5k run, with relay teams also taking part.
Anyone who joined in all three was given free entry into Friday’s swim, while anyone who took on the hat-trick and maintained their swim time given a special prize.
A programme of events for families also ran across the three days, including beach activities, cricket, a children’s fun run and rookie lifeguard sessions on Seaton Promenade on Friday, bingo at Mecca, taster sailing sessions, stand up paddle boarding, a bike try out and a pasta party.
The event, now in its sixth year, was organised by Hartlepool Borough Council’s participation team, with support from Mecca, who helped set up a base for the competitors and their families.
Hartlepool Marina and Open Water also lent a hand, while British Triathlon provided draft busters to ensure the rules of the course were followed and also sent race officials to help.
The council’s beach lifeguards gave their support to keep swimmers safe, while the course was marshalled by volunteers,
Council leader Councillor Shane Moore and Gemma Ptak, assistant director of preventative and community-based services, handed out prizes.
Dan Garthwaite, participation and strategy manager for the council, said: “We’ve grown it year, on year, so we started with the triathlon and then added the aquathon and swim.
“We’ve had loads of really positive comments.
“We’ve had people running in GB vests alongside people who are taking part for the first time, it’s a real mix, and the support we’ve had has been fantastic.
“I want to say a huge thank you to the marshals who have given up their time, because this would not have been possible without them and they did a really good job.”
Among those to take part in the triathlon was Claire Burns, 43, from Billingham, who is a member of Hartlepool Triathletes club, which is also known as the White Stags.
The HR manager, who works for Humankind drug and alcohol service, said: “This is the first time I’ve done this one in two years.
“I loved it and I did better than I thought I would.
“The support has been fantastic, the wind out on the course has been horrific, but overall, it’s been brill.”
Jim Windram, 56, from Stranton, made his triathlon debut after he was encouraged to take part by his wife Andrea, who is involved in the sport.
“This is my first full event – nine months ago I couldn’t swim and then here today, I’ve done this,” said Jim, who helps look after the school site at St Hild’s.
“I’ve run for years and I’ve cycled, which has helped, and it’s been particularly windy today, but that help push you back.
“It’s been fantastic and it’s been great to be part of a fantastic team.
“It’s a great club, we have about 90 members, and the support it gives is really fantastic.”