HORDES of inspiring athletes of all abilities and ages tackled a series of gruelling multi-discipline races last weekend.

The annual Clacton Triathlon, now in its 21st year, took over the streets of Tendring on Saturday and Sunday in aid of the Brain & Spine Foundation.

Just shy of 500 energised participants, all of which were fitted with a technological timing chip, ran, swam and cycled their way around the variety of lengthy routes.

The standard, Olympic distance triathlon started with a 1,500m swim to the Holland Haven Country Park, where the competitors hopped on their bikes.

The cycling segment of the course saw the riders complete two laps of a route that passed through Holland-on-Sea, Thorpe-le-Soken and Clacton.

A 10km run concluded the race after setting off along the upper promenade towards the Pier and ending back at the Country Park’s finish line.

Over the two-day sporting extravaganza, a more intense sprint and super sprint triathlon also pushed athletes to their limits, while future Olympians smashed the junior duathlon.

Clacton Triathlon director Jonathan Martin said: “The Clacton Triathlon Weekend in it’s 21st year welcomed more than 450 competitors aged from 7-years-old and upwards to a wonderful weekend of events.

“The combination of weather conditions and 21 years of experience resulted in what competitors and organisers alike agreed was the best Clacton Triathlon Weekend to date. And for many their best event of the year.”

The long-running Clacton Triathlon kicked-off in 1999 and has since raised more than £103,000 for charities.

This year the Brain & Spine Foundation, which received £6,000 from last year’s event, will again benefit from the participants’ donations.

To find out more visit clactontriathlon.co.uk.