Home triathlon is ‘always special’ for Joe Townsend

Joe Townsend will compete at the Eastbourne Triathlon
Joe Townsend will compete at the Eastbourne Triathlon

Commonwealth Games champion and Olympic paratriathlete Joe Townsend will compete at the Eastbourne Triathlon on Sunday.

More than 300 competitors, watched by an anticipated crowd of 2,000, will start at 7.50am on Sunday at Western Lawns and tackle the 600m sea swim, a 19km bike ride and a 5k run. The event was first held in 2016 and proved a tremendous success as contestants competed alongside elite triathletes.

Eastbourne’s triathlon club Team Bodyworks are expected to feature among the medals with Kieran Lindar and Chloe Pollard tipped to be among the front runners.

Townsend will also be joined on the start line by Finlay Jake, a single leg amputee from Eastbourne who also represents Team Bodyworks. Townsend tweeted, “This event was amazing last year and so much fun. Plus getting to race in my home town on my training grounds is always special. Looking forward to seeing all the athletes and spectators.”

Eastbourne was awarded top marks by Triathlon England and named ‘Best UK Triathlon’ by Racecheck. They also won Best Event category at the Triathlon England Awards, known as the ‘Oscars of the industry.’

Event organiser Richard Campbell said, “We are delighted how the event has developed. To win the best event in just our second year was a very proud moment. It’s a stunning location and that helps but it’s mainly the work and passion of the volunteers.

“I had previous experience organising events and triathlons and I wanted to create special something here in our home town. Joe Townsend will be the star of the show and what he has achieved is remarkable. We’ve a tradition of triathletes in Eastbourne with Joe, Todd Leckie and Yvette Grice. They’ve helped to inspire the next generation of triathletes in Chloe, Kieran and Finlay.”

Eastbourne Triathlon raises money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice and Eastbourne Voluntary Lifeguards.