It will be tri-mendous: Record numbers set for weekend’s North Norfolk Triathlon
More than 250 athletes will embark on North Norfolk this weekend for what's set to be the district's biggest and best triathlon yet.
Just 23 people completed the first North Norfolk Triathlon but a waiting list has been filled for Sunday's fifth race with a field of 280 already booked in to tackle the scenic course.
Organiser Jodie McCallum has proudly watched her event grow and grow and admits even she is surpised by how big it is becoming.
'Sunday definitely has the potential to be the best one yet,' said McCallum, who has overseen every annual NNT.
'The weather is always a major factor in how well it goes but hopefully that won't affect us. It's incredible how many people are taking part in it this year.
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'There's far more than I ever expected. I always thought the event would be seen to be too far out and people wouldn't want to travel to it. But it's so unique and spectator friendly that people just keep on coming back.'
The Olympic distance triathlon will begin at 9am with a swim at Wells' harbour. After 0.93-miles, competitors will cycle from the quay, through Langham, Hindringham and Great Walsingham before ending where they started 25 miles later.
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The last part of the endurance discipline will take the multi-event enthusiasts off up the Norfolk Coastal Path out towards Holkham, back along the beach, and up to the finish where a packed quay-full of supporters will cheer finishers home at the end of a 6.2-mile run.
McCallum, who is a member of the North Norfolk Tri Club but won't be taking part in Sunday's event, said: 'People love it as it's beautiful and scenic.
'A lot of triathlons take place in towns and cities but there's not many that have a sea swim and a beach run. They're pretty unique.
'There will be supporters at some places but the quay will definitely be packed with spectators. There's always a really good atmosphere as that's where the transition periods are, and the start and finish.'
Great Britain age-group competitors Oliver Milk and reigning NNT men's champion Simon Hoppe are among the big names expected to grace the coastal course.
They should cross the line around 11am with others, from a wide range of ability levels, finishing much later in the day.
This year, Norwich-based Tri Anglia will also be hosting their own inter-club championship during the race.
More than 80 Tri members should line-up alongside triathlon enthusiasts from across the country.
And the NNT's brainchild believes that the event helps bring even more people to the popular tourist town on the edge of Nelson's County.
She said: 'People travel a long way to take part and quite a few bring their family with them.
'They make a week of it sometimes and have a holiday before or after the event, which is another reason why I think people come back year after year – or get involved. There's a really nice feel to the event as people of all ages and abilities take part. There's a little something for everyone.'