On Saturday 9 April the cream of UK triathlon attended the 12th annual 220 Triathlon Awards at Stratford Town Hall, including a wealth of athletes, brands and industry greats, to find out who had won top honours in each of the ceremony’s 21 categories – as voted for by you, the readers of 220 Triathlon and 220triathlon.com.
The evening was hosted by 220’s editor Helen Webster alongside guest speaker and track legend Derek Redmond, who delivered the memorable pre-awards speech about his Olympic history.
The award winners had more of a foreign flavour this year, with the cream of international triathletes beating our Brits in the major elite honours. In a change from the Brownlee norm, taking the Men’s Elite Triathlete of the Year title was Javier Gomez after a year that saw him become the record five-time ITU world champion, as well as taking bronze at the Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Austria. Gomez edged out Ironman and 70.3 world champ Jan Frodeno to take the award.
Storming to victory in the Women’s Elite Triathlete showdown ahead of Vicky Holland and Lucy Gossage was America’s Gwen Jorgensen, the short-course superstar who extended her unbeaten ITU run in 2015 to successfully defend her ITU world champs title. Gwen also edged out Gomez and Frodeno for the International Triathlete gong, while Emma Pooley won Duathlete of the Year.
You voted Charles Pennington your Men’s Age-Grouper of the Year. Royal Marine Pennington was fifth out of the age-group athletes at the Ironman Worlds in Hawaii last October. Crowned Women’s Age-Grouper of the Year was Lucy Charles, who beat the vast majority of the pros by producing the fifth-fastest swim at the 2015 Ironman World Champs in Kona, Hawaii.
The Men’s Paratriathlete of the Year award once went again to Phil Hogg, who won the GB National Champs in 2015 and is vying for Paralympic selection at Rio. Another repeat winner was Lauren Steadman, who claimed the Women’s Paratriathlete of the Year.
Simon Ward continued his hold on the Coach of the Year award, with the Yorkshireman now having guided over 250 Ironman finishers during his coaching career.
The evening ended with the one award shortlisted by readers but with the final result chosen by an industry panel: the Jane Tomlinson Award for Outstanding Contribution to Triathlon. This year’s panel was made up of Helen Webster, Liz Barrett and Matt Baird from 220, as well as our columnist Tim Heming and former editor James Witts.
This year’s award was posthumously awarded to Peter Howard, a stalwart of the UK triathlon scene for many years who passed away in May 2015 aged 81 years. Peter became involved in the sport back in UK triathlon’s formative years in 1983, and he’d medal at 15 world Olympic-distance and long-course championships during the period, competing in all but one ITU world championships from the first in 1989 until 2010.
Away from the race course, he was a driving force behind the development of the sport on a domestic and international level, which included his chairmanship of the British Triathlon Association in its early years. Locally, he was an ambassador for the sport in his native Yorkshire, where he influenced the establishment of clubs and inspired individuals to become involved with the sport he was so passionate about. Quite simply, he’s everything the Jane Tomlinson Award represents.