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Competitors join one of the UK's fastest growing sports at the Hever Castle Triathlon

Around 5-thousand competitors took part in the Hever Castle Triathlon this weekend - bringing the UK's Castle Triathlon series to an end.

Athletes swam, ran and biked their way through the course - all, against the iconic castle backdrop.

Sarah Saunders was there to see today's first wave set off. She spoke to competitors and one inspirational young participant Bailey Matthews.

Gardeners from historic castle create ‘Garden of the Year'

Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

The gardens of an historic castle in Kent has been voted ‘Garden of the Year 2016’.

Hever Castle in Edenbridge won the title and was also given a Gold Award by South & South East in Bloom, in the Heritage Parks & Gardens category.

Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

Judges praised the gardeners for maintaining the extensive gardens to an immaculate standard. They noted the ‘classic English style Italiante Garden boasts some superb topiary and statuary and over 4,000 rose bushes in the quintessential English Rose Garden.’ They also noted: ‘Very good facilities are available for parking, eating and of course visiting the castle’ and recommended that visitors ‘Walk further afield and enjoy Church Gill Walk the woodland, or Anne Boleyn’s Walk and see the impressive collection of trees planted more than 100 years ago.’

Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

It is the second consecutive year Hever Castle's gardens have received the Gold standard.

The Hever Castle & Gardens team of gardeners Credit: Hever Castle & Gardens

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7,000 prepare to compete in Hever Castle Triathlon

Ready for the off at Hever Castle Triathlon this weekend Credit: Hever Castle Triathlon

Around 7,000 competitors are preparing to take part in the Hever Castle Triathlon this weekend - featuring the world's largest children's triathlon.

In just five short years the event has swiftly established itself as an essential destination for British and international triathletes, garnering plaudits and mainstream media attention for its picture postcard venue, elite action, age-group choice and festival atmosphere.

With no fewer than 13 race choices on offer, over 5,500 triathletes ventured to Hever Castle in September 2013, with entries increasing again for the fifth running of the event in 2014.

To cement the race’s title as the world’s largest children’s triathlon, 2,000 young athletes are expected - up 30% from 2013. In 2013 the children’s race places sold out in August so places have been expanded this year by splitting the children’s races over two days (8-10 year olds on Saturday afternoon and 11-15 year olds on Sunday afternoon).

The 2014 Hever Castle event will feature the second year of The Gauntlet, a middle-distance race that will push competitors to their limit via a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run.

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