Saddleworth Sprint Tri-umph

The Milltown Race series was conceived five years ago in association with Oldham Community Leisure (OCL) and has experienced success upon success ever since.

After the first half marathon, which was a huge hit, OCL developed a full race series including the Oldham 7k, 10k, and half marathon, with the Milltown Triathlon being created individually three years ago.

The 2017 Saddleworth Sprint Triathlon took place on Sunday 23rd April, starting and ending at Saddleworth Pool and Leisure Centre. The route saw 210 athletes, including 11 teams, swim a gnarly 400m in Saddleworth Leisure Centre’s pool before heading out on a 20k bike ride and 5k run.

The cycle route saw our competitors take a scenic route from the Leisure Centre, through Diggle, Delph, Scouthead, Austerlands, Lees, Springhead, Grasscroft and finally Uppermill. Then, after a tiring uphill ride, a 5k run, the steepest part of the course that the athletes had to face; down the Bridleway, Chew Valley Road, up the steep Kinders, Haw Clough, and Knowl Top Lane, passing the Cross Keys Inn and back through Church Road to Saddleworth Pool and Leisure.

With Saddleworth Pool being the central hub of action the crowd turned out in their masses, creating a completely immersive atmosphere that wholly rubbed off on the athletes. With some of the most gruesome hills to be tackled, there were beaming faces from the athletes at all stages of the Triathlon; high energy poured out of every single person in the area.

People travelled from as far as Edinburgh to take part in the famous event, and they weren’t disappointed. With a new team at Oldham Community Leisure running the event, there were praises aplenty towards the seamlessness and friendly, organized running of the event. Other thanks went to Costco for providing much needed hydration; Royal Flooring Royton for providing the carpet from pool to bike; and Cycle Tech for carrying out incomparable bicycle checks.

Such incredible community spirit and excitement is credit to local land and business owners who helped to promote and see the smooth running of the event on the day. The entire Milltown Race series brings people to the local area, and creates a buzz that is special to the Oldham area.

Our first place winner this year was a repeat success for Martin Cain, who also won last year. He smashed his own time, finishing in 59 minutes 58 seconds, the first time any Saddleworth Triathlon athlete has broken an hour completion time. Team winners, Ruffyeds, completed in 1 hour 14 minutes, in the same minute as female winner, Cat Jessop. Winners were all presented their trophies on the day of the Triathlon.

This year’s Triathlon was a huge success and a fantastic way to start the year before the Milltown Race Series begins with the Oldham 7k at Alexandra Park on Sunday 14th May.