2023 Race Report
Cracking The Flags in Cardiff 🔥
Summer's here, and so's the Cardiff Triathlon! Despite scorching temperatures, triathletes from across Wales, the UK and the world took on the challenge with some incredible, closed-road racing.
The 2023 event was welcomed back in the Welsh capital city and spectators lined the finish line with its spectacular Wales Millenium Centre backdrop.
Not to be outdone by the impressive setting, the athletes stepped up to impress further with a display of top level racing on this fantastic closed road event in some seriously hot conditions!
A 6am start kicked off our first race of the day, with the Legend (70.3) athletes taking to the water to complete their 1900m swim. The water temperature was an unprecedented 21.5 degrees for so early on in the day.
First out of the swim was Callum King in a legendary time of 30:14, holding his lead on the bike course with a 2:21:41. It was only on the run where Rob Atkin amazed with a 1:29:06 run time which was enough to take the top podium spot with a winning time of 4:35:35. With Callum coming second place and Marc Tarrach taking third place.
In the female race, it was Alica Munro who led throughout and completed the race in an impressive 5:07:11. With Clare Mckinnel coming in second place and Nina Morris Eva making up third place on the podium in a time of 5:32:16.
There were 338 athletes in the Olympic wave with 4 swim waves going off from 7:05am.
In the ladies it was Eloise Crowley of the Cardiff triathletes who led throughout taking the win and finishing over 5 minutes ahead of second place, Helen Fagin in 2:18:36. With Lili Jones of Merthyr Triathlon Club completing the top three in a time of 2:20:35.
In the Open Olympic race Will James was the first out of the swim and the only one to break the 20 minute barrier, with Matthew Grantham very close behind. Matthew then proceeded to take the lead before taking the overall win in a time of 1:55:31. Alex Lambert then came in second place in 1:57:17 with Will taking up the 3rd position in 1:58:07.
In the ladies race it was Amy Concannon who held onto her title from last year's event, knocking over 8 minutes off her 2022 time. Coming in second place was Serena Rendell with Rachel Young taking third place in a closely fought race, with just a few minutes between them all.
The Open Sprint race was a closely fought battle between last year's winner Patrick McDowell and Jordan Clarke. With just 39 seconds between them it was Jordan Clarke who took the overall win, ahead of Patrick. Completing the podium was Christopher Melbourne with a strong performance of 1:03:13.
In the Open Super Sprint race it was Carl Nealon who took first place, after coming second out of the water but making up time on the run in an impressive 09:48, completing the full triathlon in just 41:23. James Spencer led on the swim and then took seconds place with Chris Dunce completing the top 3 on the podium.
The ladies race and overall winning time of the event was completed in an outstanding time of 35:05 by Abigail Davies, 6 minutes ahead of the winner of the open race Carl. With Sioned john and Kaycee Knapper taking 2nd and 3rd places.
The Sprint Duathlon kicked off with a 7:30am start with over 70 athletes crossing the start line.
In the female race, last year's winner Sarah Ward was back to claim her title but was pipped to he post by Melaine Davies of Camarthen Triathlon Club who took the win in an impressive 1:05:24. Sarah came in second in a time of 1:10:09. It wasn't the only time we saw Melanie on the podium with her completing our Try a tri swim race the day before and taking 3rd place there too. Taking 3rd place in the female duathlon and just a few seconds seconds behind Sarah was Francesca Copely who was taking on her very first duathlon.
In the Open race it was David Crawford of Pure Endurance Triathletes who took the win just breaking the 55 minute barrier in 54:57. It was Phil Hambleton who came in second place and John Fitzpatrick of White Rock Triathletes who came in third.
Sprint Age Group Qualifier
Staring off later in the day we saw our draft-legal World Triathlon Age Group Qualifier take place which saw 247 athletes competing for a place in the Malaga 2024 World Championships.
With heat of the day now rising, a new water temperature was recorded at 22.5 degrees, meaning that wetsuits for anyone under the age of 60 were now banned. A unprecedented moment for the Cardiff Triathlon and any other Always Aim High Event.
The below race report is provided by Age Group News @age_group_news
Donald Brooks was on incredible form in Cardiff as Amy Walker surprised herself by winning her first domestic qualifier this season following international success.
Pre-race, we speculated that 45-year-old Brooks might need to chase overall victory solo like last year in a later wave. In the end, all the under-50s went together. What did Brooks do? He jumped the competition in T1, said his metaphorical goodbyes and rode the whole bike solo anyway, winning on the run with time to spare. He even seemingly consolidated his attack whilst juggling his timing chip in his mouth after it came loose in the water. Sometimes his performances just defy words.
This was no noddy field either. Matthew James was last year's champion at Eastbourne, Greg Divall has already won a qualifier at Eton this season… and many top contenders besides.
Brooks exited the swim near the front along with Matthew James, Alejandro Romero and Keenan Napper. He took the lead in T1, passed Matthew James on the mount line and the rest is history. Greg Divall and last year's 6th-place finisher Will Kirk were just slightly behind and became the chasers.
That was more or less how it stayed until the run. Matthew James ran the fastest run split to secure second. Greg Divall ran exceptionally to bridge the gap to the leaders and claim 3rd as Will Kirk did likewise to secure 4th.
In the women's, Rachel Morris also set off on a solo bike adventure with a 15-second lead out of the water. Amy Walker caught up to Lesley Dawson behind and the pair worked effectively to limit the gap to Morris. Walker set off in hot pursuit on the run and took the lead late on to win by 17 seconds!
Emma Jefferys came closest to catching Dawson as she ran a blistering 5k to make up for a nearly two-and-a-half-minute swim deficit. En route, she passed the chasers including Lena Poulton and Bethan Jones. Jefferys finished 4th as Bethan Jones and outsprinted Lena Poulton to complete the top 5!
Nigel Kendrick, Managing Director at Always Aim High Events said: “Cardiff Bay is an incredible setting for a triathlon, with an exciting closed road section, the city atmosphere gives this event a real buzz with spectators lining the route with so much cheering and encouragement.
We would like to say a massive thank you to every one of our athletes for making this such a special event and their continuing support. it was great to see a real mix of first time athletes as well as seasoned triathletes joining us at the event. We’d also like to thank Cardiff Council for their continued support, as well as the local community in Cardiff Bay and all of the spectators that turned out to support the athletes around the course”
“Lastly, we’d like to thank our amazing marshals and volunteers, without whom we the race just wouldn’t be possible. It was great to have Ysgol Gyfun Cymreag Llantaf as our volunteer marshals team who raised over £2,000 at the event through our volunteer reward scheme for their trip to South Africa'
Selected 2023 Cardiff Triathlon Results
Super Sprint Triathlon Female:
🥇 Abigail Davies 35:05
🥈 Sioned John 44:21
🥉 Kaycee Napper 45:34
Super Sprint Triathlon Open:
🥇 Carl Nealon 41:23
🥈 James Spencer 44:40
🥉 Chris Dunce 45:35
Sprint Triathlon Female:
🥇 Amy Concannon 1:08:26
🥈 Serena Rendell 1:11:07
🥉 Rachel Young 1:12:27
Sprint Triathlon Open:
🥇 Jordan Clarke 1:01:06
🥈 Patrick McDowell 1:01:45
🥉 Christopher Melbourne 1:03:13
Sprint Duathlon Female:
🥇 Melanie Davies 1:05:24
🥈 Sarah Ward 1:10:09
Francesca Copley 1:10:52
Sprint Duathlon Open:
🥇 David Crawford 54:57
🥈 Phil Hambleton 55:50
🥉 John Fitzpatrick 56:56
Olympic Triathlon Female:
🥇 Eloise Crowley 2:12:57
🥈 Helen Fagan 2:18:36
🥉Lili Jones 2:20:35
Olympic Triathlon Open:
🥇 Matt Grantham 1:55:31
🥈 Alex Lambert 1:57:17
🥉 Will Jameds 1:58:07
Legend Triathlon Female:
🥇 Alica Munro 5:07:11
🥈 Clare McKinnel 5:18:15
🥉 Nina Morris-Evans 5:32:16
Legend Triathlon Open:
🥇 Rob Atkin 4:35:35
🥈 Callum King 4:39:19
🥉 Marc Tarrach 4:52:44
World Triathlon Sprint Age Group Qualifier
🥇 Female - Amy Walker 1:08:56
🥇 Open- Donald Brooks 58:07