MORE than a hundred triathletes raised vital funds for Havens Hospices.

This was the first off-road triathlon to be held at Hadleigh Park and surrounding areas.

Competitors took on a 400m lake swim followed by a 10k cycle across the lovely Hadleigh Downs and finished with a 5k run over the famous Olympic mountain bike course.

First over the line was Mark Preece, of X Tri Hub who completed the course in 58 minutes, followed by Luke Gill, of East Essex Tri Club and Matt Rivers whose father Nick was also competing in the event. The first woman to cross the line was Amy Young and the first team to finish was Rickard Luckin Accountants – Darren Clarke, Lee Styles and Dean McCormick

Jane Hopkins, events fundraiser at Havens Hospices, said: “The day couldn’t have gone any better and it was great to see so many local people not only taking part but lining the route to cheer the triathletes on.

“Every triathlete who has trained for this event and crossed that start line has helped our hospices to continue caring for local adults, children and families when they need it most, and with their help we are well on our way to our £20,000 fundraising target.”

She thanked the volunteer marshals, EDMS Medical Services and Rayleigh Air Cadets, Hadleigh Park, Tri ‘n’ Swim Well, Highlift Scaffolding, Andy Keaton and Jon Wagstaff.