Lakesman triathlon athletes celebrated at presentation ceremony
Remarkable athletes who conquered the gruelling Lakesman triathlon in brutal conditions were celebrated today.
A large crowd gathered in the event marquee next to the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick to see people still recovering from the previous day's challenge come together to recognise achievements.
Overall winner Joe Duckworth, of Chorley, drew gasps from the crowd as his time – more than 30 minutes quicker than second-placed Paul Rodger's – was read out and he was all smiles as he received his award at a presentation in Keswick.
Seasoned triathlete Joe finished in nine hours and 15 minutes despite the sweltering heat.
He said: "I'm feeling my age today.
"I'm made up, I set a new personal best time on a superb course.
"I thought the way they ran it was fantastic.
"I was surprised I was 31 minutes ahead of the next finisher."
Paul, of Ulverston Triathlon Club, completed his eighth iron man distance race in nine hours and 46 minutes after eight months of rigorous training.
He said: "I was very pleased with my finish, setting a personal best by quite a way.
"I didn't know what position I was in, I thought somewhere like 10th, so it was a very pleasant surprise to hear I was second."
Nicola King, of Arragon's Triathlon Club, was the first female finisher and was teary-eyed as she recounted reaching the finish line.
She said: "It was brilliant, very emotional and I couldn't believe it when they said I was the first female.
"It's been a lot of hard work and early starts so it was nice to know it was worth it.
"I loved it so much, it's a great course and a real athlete's event."
Almost 400 athletes, including members of Tri Lakeland and Ulverston Tri Club, took part in the event, which began at 6am in Derwentwater for the swim.
The 2.4-mile swim was followed by a 112-mile bike ride along the Cumbrian coast and a marathon around Keswick.
The event was named one of the top five triathlons in the country for its inaugural year in 2016 and event director Marie Whitehead, of CN Events, believes they have topped it this year.
She said: "It's been amazing and the amount of people who have turned up for the presentations has blown us away.
"They just want the Lakesman experience to continue for a bit longer.
"People do it for all sorts of reasons, from those who want to win to those who just want to take part.
"Everybody's got a different story."