European champion Jess Learmonth launched entries for next June’s ITU World Triathlon in Leeds – telling would-be competitors: “It is not as hard as you think.”
Leeds-born Ms Learmonth, who finished in the top ten in both the 2016 and 2017 races, said she’d “definitely” be taking part, adding: “All the Brits want to do it.
“It is quite a major thing for the Brits to race Leeds.
“The atmosphere and the amount of crowds we get is massive.
“I’ve raced at Yokohama and Edmonton and this is the biggest crowd. Yorkshire and Leeds seems to love sporting events – everybody seems to be behind it.”
As well as the elite athletes, the race aims to welcome 5,000 amateurs to the city, which is home to Olympic medallists Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, as well as Tom Bishop, Lucy Hall and Non Stanford, who also live and train locally.
Event director Wayne Coyle said: “Since we launched our charity window last month, entries have been coming in thick and fast, highlighting how the event has grown over the last two years.
“Both British Triathlon and Leeds are extremely proud of the event in 2017 and aim to make next year even better.”
Leaders of Leeds City Council Coun Judith Blake said: “The previous two events held in Leeds have been absolutely fantastic and we are immensely proud that the atmosphere created by spectators in Leeds is now firmly up there as some of the best the ITU World Triathlon series has ever seen.”
For more information and to enter, visit: Leeds.triathlon.org
Hundreds of people are expected to take part in the biggest yet GO TRI in Roundhay Park on Saturday June 9.
Aimed at newcomers to the sport, it consists of a 200m swim, 10km bike ride and a 2.5km run.
Those taking part in the more challenging Sprint and Standard distance events on the Sunday get the chance to race in the footsteps of the world’s best, who will battle it out in front of huge crowds.
In June 70,000 fans cheered on as Alistair and Jonny Brownlee celebrated a second successive one-two blue carpet finish in Millennium Square.