Taking advantage of a rare free weekend in his hectic schedule, the Honda Racing F1 Team’s Jenson Button decided to take the opportunity to test his fitness levels by taking part in his first Olympic distance triathlon.
Jenson’s enthusiasm for the multi-discipline event began at Club La Santa in Lanzarote where he regularly competes in mini triathlons as part of his intense pre-season training regime.
Taking this to the next level has proved an intense but enjoyable challenge for Jenson and his physio Mike Collier as the Olympic distance triathlon comprises a 1500m swim, 43km bike ride and a 10km run.
After a warm-up event at the Sevenoaks Triathlon in April where Jenson finished an impressive 16th out of 250 competitors, Jenson and Mike joined the 2500 strong field at the 18th annual Nokia Windsor Triathlon on Sunday 15 June.
On a beautiful early summer morning in Windsor, Jenson and Mike donned their wetsuits and began the challenge at 7.10am with a 1500m swim in the River Thames. With breezy conditions and a strong current, the swim was tough for all of the competitors.
Back on dry land, the swim was followed by a short run to the transition area where the competitors put on their safety helmets, took their bikes off the racks and set off on a 42km bike ride through the surrounding Berkshire villages and the Windsor Great Park. Although fairly flat, the bike course is regarded as technically challenging, with a number of difficult turns taken at speed.
Back in the transition zone to drop off the bikes, Jenson and Mike then embarked on the final discipline, a 10km run covering three laps of a route past cheering crowds in Windsor town centre and nearby Eton.
Jenson crossed the finish line in a time of 2hrs 22mins and 43secs, finishing 117th out of the 1700 entrants competing in the full Olympic distance event. Mike finished less than 12 minutes down the road with a time of 2hrs 34mins and 19secs, crossing the line in 401st place.
Button commented after the race; “I’m absolutely chuffed to bits. I was hoping to break 2hrs 30mins so I am very happy with my result and really enjoyed it. It was a fantastic experience. I was in agony on the run after pushing hard on the bike, but the crowds were a great support.”