Pro triathlete Tamsin Lewis set to take part in Tri-Anglia’s Norwich Triathlon
Club competitors are set to line up against a professional triathlete as they tackle the eighth edition of the Norwich Triathlon this weekend.
Triathletes from up and down the country will descend on Whitlingham, just outside Norwich, tomorrow (Sunday) as city-based triathlon club Tri-Anglia hosts its flagship event.
This year's event, sponsored by city solicitors Cozens-Hardy, is set to be bigger and better than ever with a record number of entries.
And extra interest has been sparked by a guest entry from elite triathlete Tamsin Lewis. The qualified doctor, who has a postgraduate qualification in psychiatry, will be taking part in the Olympic distance event fresh from her first pro win at the TriStar Deauville in France earlier this month.
Top male contenders hoping not to get to 'chicked' – beaten by a female competitor – will be Tri-Anglia's Barry Wilton and Toby Morrell, the Tri Harder-sponsored winner of Fritton Triathlon two weeks ago, and Ipswich Triathlon Club's Antony Birt.
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Race director Mark Philo said: 'Tamsin will give those guys the chance to go up against a true contender. Each of those people are claiming to be able to complete the course in very close to two hours - the event has not yet been done in under two hours so maybe this will be the year.'
Some 220 triathletes will be taking part in the Olympic distance event, which also forms the Eastern Region Championships.
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It will see competitors swim 1,500m in Whitlingham's Great Broad, cycle 39k around a route which takes in Stoke Holy Cross, Saxlingham Nethergate, Hempnall, Brooke and Poringland before heading out on an 11k run around Whitlingham Country Park.
Eighty teams of three will be tackling the same course as a relay, 58 of which will be taking part in the inaugural Business Challenge, while 200 competitors will be competing in the sprint event, made up of a 750m swim, 18k bike and 5k run. Strong contenders in the sprint event include Wymondham's Oliver Milk and Norwich triathletes Andrew Atthowe and Tony Robinson while in the women's race, Trowse's Becky Schofield will be looking to retain her title from last year.
Mr Philo added: 'We've got an exciting day of racing ahead.
'Some relay teams have put together strong competitors for each of their sections, the front end of the main race is going to be as intense as anything and is going to be livened with an elite athlete on board and the sprint race has got some people who took part in the relay last year and are now taking part in their own full triathlon.
'Special thanks has to go to Anglian Water who, as a gesture of goodwill to the local club, have cleared their roadworks in the Brooke area to enable the race to go ahead.'
The East Anglian Air Ambulance is the nominated charity for the Norwich Triathlon. To download a sponsor form, go to www.tri-anglia.co.uk.
Look out in next week's paper for a report and photos from Sunday's race.