Young athletes make first Horsham Triathlon a roaring success

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The first ever Horsham Youth Triathlon proved a fantastic success on Sunday in Horsham Park and the Pavilions in the Park Leisure Centre.

A total of 242 youngsters aged between eight and 18 years took up the challenge with most towns and villages in the Horsham District represented and a good number of visitors from further afield.

The Pavilions pool provided the first stage of the triple challenge, before the competitors took to the bikes for the cycle leg and finally finishing with a run.

The exploits and enthusiasm of the young triathletes made all the effort from the many volunteers worth it.

The eight to tens age group was won by Horsham lad Alex Merry with a time of 7mins 52 secs, ahead of Cameron Young from Partridge Green in second, then Joshua Lea Clayton. Zoe Ryan won the girls event ahead of Anna Templar.

Brighton’s Ella Witt was a convincing winner in the 11-14-year-old novice category, a whole 40 seconds in front of nearest challenger Dominic Easton. Southwater’s James North and Epsom Downs’ Darcy Mason were the next best placed boy and girl.

With a time of 15mins and 58 seconds, Chloe Billingham was the star performer in the all-Horsham field of the 15-16-year-old novices. Ashley Howard finished 25 seconds behind.

All competitors received a medal for their endeavours. Horsham District Councillor Jonathan Chowen said: “What a great event to see run in Horsham.”

The more experienced competitors took on the greater distances of the ‘tristar’ races. The youngest category (nine to ten) was again the most populous, and George Haskell (15mins 14secs) proved top dog, ahead of Toby Woods (Southwater). Three girls - Ethel Whyman (Slinfold), Isabella Hayes (Horsham), and Montanna Horsell (Wisborough Green) - filled the places in between the top two boys. Evie Clarke (Horsham) and Bradley Burke (Mannings Heath) couldn’t be split winning the 11-12s.

The 12-14s was won by Edward Hundleby (Horsham), with top girl Gemma Cumber, a Farlington School pupil, pictured. The U18s was won by James Bedwell, Jessica Emens was the only girl.