IT is the event that sees hundreds of people swim, cycle and run through a Hampshire city.

The annual May Day Triathlon takes place in Winchester on May 1 and this year it’s on course to feature a record-breaking number of participants.

Organisers say they are expecting 750 people to take part, with close to 600 already signed up.

The event has proven particularly popular with first-timers this year, attracted by the friendly nature of the event. Organised by Eastleigh firm Try Tri, the May Day Triathlon is well-known for its relatively flat route, welcoming atmosphere and pool-based swim leg.

Race director Chris Rees said: “All of these factors combined make the Winchester May Day Triathlon perfect for first-timers and we’ve seen them sign up in their droves this year. In 2016 we had 580 people take part and we’ve already surpassed that number of sign ups weeks before the event.

“It seems the people of Winchester and surrounding areas can’t wait to get active and try something new.”

The Winchester May Day Triathlon, which is set to raise thousands of pounds for its official charity, Cancer Research UK, also features a children’s triathlon as part of the event. Open to youngsters aged eight and over, the children’s race has a 100m swim, 2k bike and 1k run.

The novice course features a 200m swim, an 11k bike and a 2.5k run. The sprint event is double the distance.

Jessica Edwards from lead charity Cancer Research UK said: “Cancer Research UK are really excited to be the lead charity partner for the Try Tri Series. Our ambition is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured and without the support of partners like Rees Leisure and the extraordinary generosity of the people taking part in these events, our life-saving work wouldn’t be possible. We can’t wait to welcome you to our CRUK team and together help beat cancer sooner."

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