The 3rd Liverpool Triathlon took place on Sunday 26th June 2011 and included the debut of the 5150 Triathlon series in the UK. Stuart Hayes and Liz Blatchford won hard fought victories from Fraser Cartmell and Anna Cleaver.
At 8am, the swim set off under clear blue skies in the historic Queens dock in the heart of Liverpool. The 1500mtrs swim offered great visibility for the spectators and also offered athletes a sheltered and warm race.
In the water, Hayes and Cartmell forged a lead with Richie Nicholls and Beau Smith close behind and it would be these three athletes would head out onto the bike first. Cartmell, a power cyclist with a background in the longer distance racing and the reigning IRONMAN UK champion and 3 time IRONMAN 70.3 UK Champion surged into a one minute lead on the closed road city centre circuit. Behind him Hayes and Nicholls rode well to keep in contention and the gap remained constant.
The athletes, escorted by the National Escort Group took full advantage of the closed roads as they powered their way on the flat course heading towards the run. The 5150 is a non drafting race and praise must go the athletes and marshals for ensuring that this remained the case.
On the run, Hayes, a recent 2nd Place finisher in Klagenfurt 5150 and former World Cup race winner set about eating into Cartmell’s lead. By the start of the 2nd lap the gap was closed and Hayes was preparing to take the lead. Nicholls remained in third not far behind helped by the fastest male run time of 31min 18secs.
At the finish Hayes had overcome the minute deficit and added a further 30secs of his own to take the title of 5150 Liverpool Champion, Cartmell was 2nd and Richie Nicholls rounded out the podium in 3rd.
In the women’s race, Liz Blatchford gave an early indication of her good form by coming out the water in the top 10 overall. Heading out on the bike course, she powered her way up Great Howard Street in to a commanding lead ahead of New Zealand’s Anna Clever and Emma Davis. On the run she continued to push and headed up the finish line outside of the Liverpool Echo Arena in first to claim the title and become the first women’s Champion of the 5150 Liverpool Triathlon with Anna Clever a short distance behind in 2nd and Emma Davis in 3rd.
Behind the pro race, 1400 athletes of all abilities tackled the variety of racing that was on offer including sprint, Supersprint, Olympic and relay races. Finishing under the same finish line as the pro’s the crowds came out as the sun smiled upon a glorious day of racing.