The Markel Castle Triathlon Series has announced that a new race will be added to its increasingly popular portfolio of events in 2013 for competitors wanting a more ambitious challenge.
Hever Castle Triathlon will host The Gauntlet – a half iron distance (1.9K swim, 90K cycle and a 21K run) – on Sunday 29 September 2013. With a £5,000 prize fund up for grabs the organisers note keen interest from triathletes looking for a new long distance race in the New Year.
Race Director, Brian Adcock explained “The Gauntlet half iron distance race is a natural extension to our competitor offering; we want there to be a race for everyone and this will certainly appeal to those who are after the next step up from the Olympic distance.”
He continued “Hever Castle offers a stunning venue and scenic grounds perfect to motivate and inspire those taking part in a long distance challenge. With a limited offering in the South East for similar races we hope this is embraced, and early indication shows that there is strong interest with elites including Rhys Davey and David Bishop looking to include it in their race season.
“If it is well received and timings allow, we envisage a further offering of half iron distances at the other castles in 2014 and even look to host a full iron distance in the close future.”
The race is suitably named in keeping with the series’ castle theme. As the organisers note, The Gauntlet, ‘not only symbolises a protective glove used as a form of armour during historical battles, but celebrates the expressions ‘running the gauntlet’ (originally running the gantlope), which means running between two confining rows of adversaries and ‘throwing down the gauntlet’.’
The Gauntlet course
The 1.9K swim will involve a single loop taking in the main Hever Castle lake and a tributary of the river Eden. The 90K cycle is a 2 loop course, which is an extension of the Olympic distance, previously offered at the Markel Hever Castle Triathlon, taking in the high weald of Kent and the Ashdown forest.
The 21K run course is 2 loops of 10.5K, and will take in the existing 5K Markel Hever Castle Triathlon course but with a 5K extension via tracks and bridle paths though the historic local village of Chiddingstone, and the grounds of Chiddingstone Castle itself.
The run course includes a strong off road element that allows ‘a highly inspirational setting often praised and welcomed by the elite triathletes taking part in the Olympic distance.’