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History is made at Hever as Sion Stansfield sets new Bastion course record

History is made at Hever as Sion Stansfield sets new Bastion course record

July 9, 2019

Sunday 7th July saw historic performances at Hever Castle’s Festival of Endurance, with a new course record set in the Bastion, Castle Triathlon Series’ full iron distance, infamous as one of the UK’s toughest long-distance triathlon races. Over 1600 athletes took part in a variety of triathlon, multisport, marathon and half marathon and open water swim events, as thousands of spectators took to the Kent castle estate to show their support for the awe-inspiring endurance athletes.

Returning to defend his title after taking first place in the Bastion last year, Sion Stansfield returned to the castle this weekend, storming to victory and shattering the course record for the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run. Fraser Cartmell set the course record at 2014’s inaugural Bastion, a race which has since been described as ‘immense, brutal and brilliant and ‘one of life’s defining races.’

Shaving 8 minutes off the course record and laying down a new challenge for future Bastion athletes, Stansfield crossed the finish line in an impressive 09:48:31, 30 minutes faster than his result in 2018, once again putting Sam Walsh in second place with a time of 10:34:46. Upon finishing Sion Stansfield commented “I was surprised to get in the lead on the bike quite early, it was good fun, I didn’t have good bike legs but I managed to hold it on the run. I won with 10 hours 18 minutes last year and I wanted to have a sub ten-hour time today, this is my full iron distance PB so I’m happy with that.

The women’s race also delivered incredible performances, with Cleo Fychan both completing her first full iron distance race an taking first place with a time of 13:53:01, closely followed by Jennifer Ansell with 13:55:58. Fychan commented “ I have completed a half iron distance before at Woburn Abbey, and today I just wanted to come in under 17 hours. I’d read about how hilly the course is, so I’ve been preparing for this race on hills. It made a massive difference having my parents here supporting me from this morning and throughout the day. I want to say to all women competing in triathlon that no fear should stop you from taking on courses like this!”

Men’s Bastion Finishers:
1st –  Sion Stansfield – 09:48:31
2nd – Sam Walsh – 10:34:46
3rd – Oliver Teenan – 10:51:08

Women’s Bastion Finishers:
1st –  Cleo Fychan– 13:53:01
2nd – Jennifer Ansell – 13:55:58
3rd – Emily Carter – 14:25:21


Luke Pollard and Kate Mactear continue Castle Triathlon Series Gauntlet success at Hever

Following on from her Gauntlet win at Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon in June, Kate Mactear stormed to the Hever Castle finish line with 05:11:31 on the clock, followed closely by Claire Weller just 13 seconds after. The men’s race saw a close battle after the swim with Edward Castro heading into T1 in first place, chased by Luke Pollard who came with bike legs on Saturday, claiming first place on the cycle leg. The final men’s podium saw Luke Pollard in first place with a time of 04:31:50, with Brett Halliwell in second place.

Men’s Gauntlet Finishers:
1st –  Luke Pollard – 04:31:50
2nd – Brett Halliwell – 04:38:00
3rd – Matthew Brooke – 04:41:30

Women’s Gauntlet Finishers:
1st –  Kate Mactear – 05:11:31
2nd – Claire Weller – 05:11:43
3rd – Amy Harris – 05:31:45

Team Macmillan volunteers cheer on athletes and fundraisers

Castle Triathlon Series continues to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support, having raised over £300,000 for the charity over 2017 and 2018. 55 fundraisers took part in the Festival of Endurance this weekend. Team Macmillan Volunteers came to support fundraisers and all athletes, creating cheer points in the event village alongside thousands of spectators.

Having grown into a multisport festival with Marathon and Half Marathon, a range of long-distance open water swims, aquabike, duathlon and aquathlon, the Festival of Endurance saw over 1600 athletes take to the lake, the cycle course and the castle estate.

See the full range of race results here.

Inspired to take on the Festival of Endurance in 2010? The Bastion and Festival of Endurance will return to Hever Castle on Sunday 5th July 2020. Sign up today to secure a 30% discount.


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Race distances

For the absolute beginners and children to the professional triathletes, the Castle Triathlon Series offers a wealth of race distances to suit all levels.

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Hosted at a selection of stunning and iconic castles across the UK, Ireland and France, the Castle Triathlon Series events all promise an inspirational and memorable race experience.

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