Thousands bring city centre streets to life to support Leeds Triathlon

Leeds city centre was awash with colour as thousands gathered to cheer on the courageous competitors in the Leeds Triathlon.
Leeds city centre was awash with colour as thousands gathered to cheer on the courageous competitors in the Leeds Triathlon.
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Leeds city centre was awash with colour today as thousands gathered to cheer on the courageous competitors in the Leeds Triathlon

People of all ages, including many four-legged friends, lined the streets and were in fine voice to show their support to the men and women taking part in the gruelling challenge - which started in Roundhay Park.

Excitement grew in Millennium Square and the surrounding city centre streets from early Sunday morning with people soaking in the atmosphere - and the sun with the rain managing to hold off.

Every athlete was clapped as they went past sections of the crowds with the support surely adding to their determination to complete the race.

Elaine Shires and her brother Howard Lasey, who had brought his own bell to cheer on the athletes, travelled from the Isle of Man to spectate.

Elaine said: "We travel here every year.

"It is just such a fantastic event and the atmosphere is incredible."

Amy Richards, from Rawdon, brought her children George, 10, and Heidi, 9, for a day out with a difference.

She said: "We got here to watch the women's race and decided to stay for the rest.

"The children love it and it has been really exciting for us all."

First-time spectator Emma Sampson, from Chapel Allerton said she plans to watch the event again next year after enjoying herself so much.

She said: "There's such a buzz out here today. I've never been to watch the triathlon before but I wish I had. It's so great and gets lots of people here."

Australian Jacob Birstwhistle won his first World Series gold medal in the men's competition, while Georgia Taylor-Brown took the crown for the women's competition.