Radio’s Richard set to take the plunge

The 2011 Norwich Triathlon is set to take place at the scenic Whitlingham County Park on Sunday, July 3. The event, in association with Cozens-Hardy solicitors, is now in its seventh year.

The Norwich triathlon caters for all levels of athletes – an 'Olympic' class race is held over the standard Olympic distances (swim 1,500k, bike 40k, run 10k), while there is a 'sprint' class, which requires only half these respective distances. Also, there is a three athlete relay race, comprising of a swimmer, a runner and a cyclist, who complete the same course as the individual triathletes.

An estimated 430 entrants are expected to attend the event, which is run by the Tri-Anglia triathlon club. Among those swimming, running and diving for victory are Radio Norfolk sports broadcaster Richard Hancock, helicopter pilot Andrew Goodchild and arguably the world's most successful paratriathlete of the year, Iain Dawson.

One to watch out for is Goodchild, who has recently been selected to represent Great Britain at the European Duathlon (run, bike, run) Championship in Ireland in addition to the World Duathlon in Spain later in the year.

Goodchild told of the commitment needed to compete, saying: 'It's been really hard work, a journey of training, support from my family and big commitment to the great sports of triathlon and duathlon. Although I sit down all day long with my job as a helicopter pilot, I commute to and from work on my bike as part of my training – which is a 44-mile round trip. That's the sort of dedication you need to be successful in this sport.'

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Visually impaired athlete Dawson was undefeated in paratriathlons last year, winning two national titles, the European Paratriathlon Championship and two world championships (the world Paratriathlon and the world Para-duathlon).

During the Norwich Triathlon Dawson will be aided by helper Liam Gentry. They will swim together tethered by a rope, complete the bike leg on a tandem and then run side by side for the final leg.

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• The next big local event is the Fritton Lake Triathlon on the weekend of Saturday June 11/ Sunday, June 12.

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