Brownlee Tri says goodbye to Fountains after one year

Alistair (left) and Jonny Brownlee sat on the ruins in the shadow of Fountains Abbey.
Alistair (left) and Jonny Brownlee sat on the ruins in the shadow of Fountains Abbey.

The National Trust says it has made the “difficult decision” not to stage the Brownlee Tri at Fountains Abbey in 2014 following last year’s event.

Despite describing last year’s triathlon at the World Heritage Site – held in partnership with Olympic gold and bronze medallists Alistair and Jonny Brownlee –as “the highlight of the summer event programme”, it has decided not to repeat the staging of the competition.

Chris Fowler, general manager at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, said:“The event last summer was a great opportunity for the National Trust to bring a grassroots 
triathlon to the Fountains estate.

“However, following the event it became clear that if we wanted to continue, we would need to make significant changes to the site’s infrastructure, in particular structural changes to the existing car park.

“Unfortunately with the large programme of events already planned in for 2014 these changes cannot be done in order to do justice to the estate and for our visitors without hindering the overall experience of a visit to this special place.

“My decision has not been taken lightly and we hope to look at future opportunities to work with Alistair and Jonny. I wish them every success for 2014, both competitively and in encouraging future generations to take up the Brownlee Tri challenge.”

More than 5,000 people came to watch 1,000 competitors swim, bike and run through the deer park, water garden and abbey ruins.

It was a pilot event that helped to encourage abbey visitors and triathlon enthusiasts alike to enjoy a great day out in spectacular surroundings.

Joanna Royle, head of marketing and supporter development for the National Trust in Yorkshire, said: “We are extremely disappointed not to be able to host the Brownlee Tri this year.

“It is very pleasing to hear that the Brownlee Tri will, however, be staying in Yorkshire at Harewood House in 2014 as well as staying with the National Trust in the south at Petworth House and Park.”