Conditions were perfect as Chester hosted one of Britain’s most popular triathlons.

The19th Deva Triathlon attracted a field of more than 1,200 athletes on Sunday – a record for the event and 50 per cent up on last year’s turnout.

Athletes between the ages of 16 and 80 took part, making a splash in the River Dee – where the water was a cool 17 degrees – at the Groves for the first leg of the three-part challenge.

Under sunny skies, the bike route then took competitors out of the city and into Wales, before returning for the final leg on foot – a run which took in the Old Dee Bridge and Queen’s Park suspension bridge before finishing at the Groves’ bandstand.

There were two choices for athletes, who could either tackle the standard distance or try the longer middle distance.

The standard distance winners this year were William Cowen from Jackpot Racing in Yorkshire in a time of one hour, 55 minutes and 47 seconds and Gwen Kinsey, who clocked 2.14:19.

The middle distance race was won by Northwich-based Chris Standidge, who also took the honours last year. His 2017 time was 47 faster, as he clocked 3.54:03, with Celia Boothman taking th women’s race in 4.42:39.

The event is organised by Chester Triathlon Club, which puts all profits from the race into the development of the sport in the area for both adults and juniors.

Race director Dan Craigen said: “We wish to thanks all the businesses and residents that support the event and make it so special people want to come back year after year”