Racing is back on Saturday… inspired by Neil Diamond!

How the legendary Neil Diamond has provided the rather clever inspiration for the first British Triathlon permitted event to return following the COVID-19 pandemic

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -
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Redefining triathlon

Now this is a clever name for an event!

It makes a change to be talking about a race that is actually happening. This Saturday. In England.

As you’ll have seen recently (HERE), British Triathlon has published its Return to Play guidance, which gives the opportunity for multisport events to restart in England, within a ‘Covid-19 Secure’ manner.

The first opportunity for permitted events to take place is this coming Saturday, 25th July, and the first event to have completed the required permitting and got the go ahead is from Active Training World (

A 750m (open water) swim, 5km run, the Non Sweet Caroline Aquathlon will take place within the grounds of Merchant Taylors’ School, Northwood, Middlesex. And the name?, Well, if you are familiar with the song – and if you are not, where have you been?! – means that in this instance, it is a case of…

NO touching hands, NO reaching out, NO touching me, NO touching you!

The event has generated plenty of interest – it’s sold out already – and is due to have several high profile names racing, including multiple Paratriathlon World Champion Lauren Steadman, Long Distance Pro Reece Barclay, and twice European Elite Aquathlon Champion, Hannah Kitchen.

One of the most played songs ever at major sporting events, this Neil Diamond track is practically the anthem of sports such as Boxing, typically sending the crowd into full hype mode immediately prior to the biggest fight of the night.

Fingers crossed there’s no fighting at the Aquathlon… but hopefully they will manage to play the song immediately prior to the first starter, to get the athletes similarly pumped and ready for action!

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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