MORE than 250 women entered the eighth Cotswold Women-Only Triathlon at the weekend, with Rachel Bown, Helen Jubb and Diana Dee taking victory in the three categories.

The event, held at Cotswold Country Park and run by Tri Ferris promotions, included a 750-metre swim of the clear water lake, a one-lap cycle and two laps running, while there was also a shorter event for novices.

Following a training day on Saturday, the competitiors took to the course on Sunday morning with many raising money for Cancer Research UK, the event’s preferred charity.

Bown of Trowbridge won the sprint event ahead of Shirley Yarde of Somerset in second and Newbury’s Nicola Clay in third. Swindon Tri Club’s Ffion Davies came fourth to finish as the highest-placed local competitor, with Cirencester’s Lisa Stevens eighth and Cheryl Sloan of Swindon Tri Club 13th.

In the super sprint event, battled out over a shorter course, Jubb of Worcester broke the hour mark to win ahead of Elaine Pye and Jodie Clarke, who were both four minutes back.

The novice event also attracted a healthy field, with over 50 women taking part, as Dee beat Nicola Stearn by a little over a minute to take victory.

Organiser Lorraine Ferris, of Tri Ferris Promotions, said: “I’m proud to have so many women competing in what used to be a male dominated sport until the last few years. Two-hundred-and-sixty women entered from all over the country, including many first-time triathletes.”

One competitor, who chose not to be named, said: “I completed my first women-only triathlon with Tri Ferris, I had an amazing time and I didn’t come last.

“The team were supportive and extremely encouraging. They also accommodated my religious needs, which made the experience enjoyable and meant I could fully focus on the sporting activities.

“The event was perfectly organised and I would highly recommend the event to others from all backgrounds. Sports unites and this is the perfect environment to come and unite with other great women.”