Jenson Button may not have found the top step of the podium at Luton Hoo, but still deemed the latest edition of his eponymous triathlon event a success.
Hundreds of triathletes turned out in support of the Jenson Button
Trust and Help for Heroes on Sunday (14 July), among them Button himself and a few famous friends, including Force India
rival Paul di Resta. With a different race structure to most triathlon events, all competitors got to race twice, with SuperSprint heats – contested over the shorter distances of 300m swim, 9km bike and 2.5km run – determining the qualifiers for an Olympic-distance main event. Those who didn't make it through still got to compete in a 'wooden spoon' event.
The top 20 in each female heat progressed to the final, with the top 50 in each male wave making it to the main event. The Women's Wooden Spoon race was won by Katie Lawrence in 43min 06secs, ahead of Carolyn Rose and Danielle Maidana-Power, while the men's race saw Chris Hine come out on top with a time of 31min 59secs putting him well clear of Chris Brown and Steven Finley.
In the finals – where athletes were tested by a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run - India Lee produced another fine performance to take home the £2000 prize with a time of 55mins 24secs, coming home just ahead of Emma Pallant in a closely-fought race for top spot. Hannah Drewett completed the top three.
The men's final was saw a nail-biting finish between Bryan Keane, who finished second in 47mins 36secs, just losing out to Gavin Noble, who recorded 47mins 34secs to take the title. Lawrence Fanous came home third overall, while Button finished in 17th place with a time of 55mins 41secs.
Following the race, Button was quick to praise Help for Heroes, which benefited to the tune of £29,849 despite over half of the pledges having yet to be received.