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Olympic stars invited to Ilkley triathlon's 20th anniversary celebration
The Ilkley Triathlon is set to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a bumper race.
Already the entry lists is full and the organisers of the September 23 event are hoping that Olympic gold and bronze medal winning brother Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee from Bramhope will accept their invitation to attend.
Alistair is a past winner of the Ilkley Triathlon and an appear- ance by the world’s top two triathletes would crown what promises to be a bumper event.
Organiser Louise Hanley of the Leeds and Bradford Triathlon Club said: “Before the Olympics we spoke to the Brownlees and they were keen to help us celebrate the event, but we know they have many demands on them now.
“We are all thrilled by their success and realise that they have other races and commitments, but if they do come along it will be absolutely fantastic.”
The entry for this year’s triathlon, which features a swim of 20 lengths in Ilkley Swimming Pool, a nine-mile cycle ride and a run over the same course, was filled within ten day, That is an indication of the popularity of both the sport and the event.
Triathlon is one of the sports which is expected to receive a post-Olympics boom following the success of the Brownlee brothers.
The organisers of one of the area’s most popular Christmas races is also hoping that the Brownlees will continue their winning run in Boxing Day’s Chevin Chase.
Alistair won the race in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, while brother Jonathan, has run it five times and has won it for the past two yeas..
No one has beaten a Brownlee in a Chevin Chase in which they have competed and Richard Archer from the Aire Centre Pacers who organise the race, said: “It has been brilliant that they have supported a local race like this each year, particularly after they became leading international triathletes.
“It gives great encouragement to local runners to know that two local runners can have achieved so much.
“We are all very proud of their performances in doing so well at the Olympics. The fact they started their running first at Bradford Grammar School and then at Bingley Harriers and went on to beat the world in Alistair's case and almost to beat the world in Jonathan's case is breath- taking.
“We certainly hope that either or both of them can take part in the Chevin Chase again this year and we shall be inviting them to join the other 900 runners.”