Ian Kidman, Chris Playford, Adrian Ebbs and Alistair Doig travelled to the Lake District for Helvellyn Tri’s 1.9km swim in Ullswater, 61km cycle route that includes the infamous “Struggle” and a 14.5km fell run to the top of England’s third highest mountain and back.
The inclusion of pro triathletes meant the swim was changed to an Australian exit with two shorter laps and a run over rocks and wet grass in between.
Coronavirus also forced a socially-distanced TT-style start, instead of the normal waved deep water start.
Playford’s swim was fastest of the four in 30.32min, followed by Doig in 35.45, Kidman 37.50 and Ebbs 39.34.
The event is a regular on lists of the top 10 toughest races and torrential rain during the cycle ride made an already testing race even more interesting due to zero visibility and steep descents on wet roads. Fortunately everyone got back to T2 safely with Playford still in front after his 2hr 24 cycle split. Kidman was fastest on two wheels, 2hrs 10, overtaking Ebbs (2hrs 29) on the first hill and Doig (2hrs 25) towards the top of the Struggle.
It was then a simple matter of enduring 900m of uphill fun in the first 6km of the run, followed by a technical and rocky descent down to the finish in Glenridding.
Kidman knew he was being chased down by Doig, who normally runs it in less than two hours, but managed to keep a few metres ahead going up Swirral Edge and picked the pace up downhill to finish in a total time of 5.17.
Doig finished in 5.28, Ebbs caught Playford on the top of Helvellyn, running a 2.17 leg to finish in 5.35 and Playford in 5.58.
David Hicks was also in the Lakes, completing the Coniston 5.25-mile end-to-end swim in 3hrs 29min.