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© Mel Parry Events Photography
Snowdonia Slateman: Day 2 report
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 19th May 2014


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Brown and Richards dominate day two of the 4th Slateman Triathlon

After the success of the first day and the sprint event, day two at Slateman Triathlon powered by Suunto was met with excitement and anticipation by the 1200 triathletes who descended on Llanberis, North Wales to take part in what is fast becoming one of the UK's most iconic triathlons.

Saturday's clear blue skies were replaced with slightly overcast conditions, however what was still evident were the vibrant mountain landscapes, challenging quarry trails and a glistening, freshwater lake for the opening salvo swim in Llyn Padarn.

Saturday's Sprint event had seen over 400 triathletes embark on the Slateman Triathlon Sprint event, the pre-cursor to Sunday's full distance race in Llanberis, North Wales. The first day also included the Slateman Junior races and opened up the ‘Slatefest' Festival weekend, which welcomed over 1700 competitors over the two days.

After 1000m of swimming, 51km on the bike and a closing 11km quad-sapping trail run, it was the 2013 Snowman Triathlon winner, Ewan Brown, who emerged victorious in Sunday's men's race, breaking the course record in the process and beating 2013 Slateman winner Steve Skates into second place. In the women's event GB international Suzie Richards was dominant, leading for much of the race to come home over a minute clear of London athlete Natalie Seymour.

The atmosphere at the Padarn lakeside was electric as six waves of triathletes ventured into the inviting waters of Llyn Padarn, with crowds of enthusiastic supporters cheering on their efforts. Being a bike and run specialist Brown was keeping his powder dry, as he eased into the top 10 as the leaders excited T1. However, as they returned to Llanberis after the 51km bike leg it was clear that he was going to be a big contender, exciting T2 in close contention with 2013 winner Skates.

27-year old Gwynedd resident Brown was not to be denied, as he took the lead on the 1.1 mile Kinetica Quarryman Challenge hill climb in the Dinorwic quarry, and powered his way to the win in a stunning 2:21:48, taking almost three minutes off Skates' course record. Rory Atkins finished a strong third in 2:26:57.

Suzy Richards and Ewan Brown ©Mel Parry Events Photography
©Mel Parry Events Photogrpahy

After finishing 15th at the ITU World Triathlon Age-Group Final (25-29) in London last September, Suzie Richards was always going to be a big contender at the women's Slateman. And so it proved for the Leeds and Bradford triathlete as she bettered Rhian Roxburgh's 2013 course record by 90 seconds to record one of the biggest wins of her career in 2:44:23. Seymour finished just over a minute back on Richards and 2013 Slateman runner-up Jane Hansom made up the podium, also bettering her 2013 time (2:49:55).

Event organisers Always Aim High Events also had a treat in store for the countless athletes, supporters and local community members who turned up in their thousands over the weekend with climbing walls, bouncy castles and slate painting workshops to keep the children entertained. Live music with exciting local bands and solo artists playing to an appreciative crowd also basked in warm sunshine and there were slate splitting displays from local slate quarry Llechwedd, keeping the history of being a Slateman alive!

On Saturday Steve Stoneman and Pauline Griffin emerged as individual winners of the men's and women's Slateman Tri Sprint events, after storming around the course as part of the second wave of starters.

Though not the first athletes back to Llanberis after the 400m Padarn lake swim, 20km bike leg - which took in the beast-climb that is the Llanberis Pass - and scenic, but demanding, 6km trail run in the quarries above the race village, Stoneman went on to win the event by a clear minute. The 45-year old ex-pro cyclist was ebullient at the finish line, praising the course and the organisation.

Second place went to Plymouth triathlete Darren Walker, with Thomas Garbutt claiming third place, having led out of T2.

In the women's event there was a similar story as Manchester Tri athletes took all three podium places, with Griffin also overcoming the field having started in Wave 2. Her team-mates Jude Hall and Sonia Harris had swapped the lead over the course, with Hall crossing the line with a 30-second advantage over Harris.

However, with a stunning bike leg and strong trail run, Griffin posted a time which was over four minutes faster than Hall to take a hugely deserved win. 

Event planner and Always Aim High Events Director, Tim Lloyd was overjoyed with the success of the Slateman Weekend, commenting:

“This weekend has been a really proud event for me. The Slateman is the event that kicked it all off for Always Aim High Events and it's just phemonenal to see how much the event, and the company, has grown in such a short amount of time.

“The racing across the weekend was superb with some very worthy winners, and we hope to see them back again next year to defend their titles! The junior races were also fantastic and the number of children, and of course supportive parents and guardians who turned up yesterday was brilliant. We are delighted to be able to offer these kids the opportunity to be able to race in front of a big crowd and I want to say thank you to Gwynedd Sports Development team for their support.”

“We are very grateful to Welsh Government and Suunto for their support as well as our other partners Chain Reaction Cycles, Kinetica, AquaSphere, Amphibia, Superfeet, Sports Tours International, Llechwedd, GDF Suez and Bwtri”

“I would also like to say congratulations to everyone who took part in the sprint and full tri events, some having never done a triathlon before. We will have welcomed hundreds of first time triathletes to the Slateman across the two days and we are so pleased to be able to do that. The sprint race is a great opportunity for people to break into the world of triathlon and the Slateman is an extremely good place to start.”

The Slateman is the first in the 2014 tri-series of events from Always Aim High, which also includes the excellent Sandman in September and the third annual Snowman in October. Always Aim High Events will also be organising the brand-new-for-2014, Huntsman Tri, which takes place in Hawley Lake, Hampshire.

Slateman Triathlon 2014 results

Top 3 Men

1st Ewan Brown 2:21:48
2nd Steve Skates 2:24:59
3rd Rory Atkins (Optima Racing) 2:26:57

Top 3 Women

1st Suzie Richards (Leeds and Bradford Tri Club) 2:44:23
2nd Natalie Seymour (Endurance Sports Coaching) 2:45:34
3rd Jane Hansom (Chain Reaction Cycles) 2:49:55

1st Male Team – Nearly Had It 2:41:12
1st Female Team – Tri Nations 3:22:47
1st Mixed Team – Polarbear 2:45:15

Kinetica QuarryMan Challenge winner (Male) – Mark Palmer 9:20
Kinetica QuarryMan Challenge winner (Female) – Suzie Richards 10:52

Slateman Triathlon 2014 sprint results

Top 3 Men

1st  Steve Stoneman (Bott Cycle Team) 1:15:59
2nd Darren Walker (Plymouth Harriers) 1:17:01
3rd Thomas Garbutt 1:17:22

Top 3 Women

1st Pauline Griffin (Manchester Tri Club) 1:27:51
2nd Jude Wall (Manchester Tri Club) 1:32:30
3rd Sonia Harris (Manchester Tri Club) 1:32:59

1st Male Team – Trinomite
1st Female Team – Dee's Vs
1st Mixed Team – Wombat

Full results via TDL Event Services link

Images and fuer reaction via the AAHE website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.


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