A seven strong squad from Stafford Borough Council will be taking part in next month’s Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire – and all but one are triathlon first-timers.

The event is a collaboration between the borough and county councils, along with Ironman, with the 13.1 mile running leg finishing in the heart of Stafford – following a 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile cycle.

Around 2,400 athletes, cheered on by thousands of supporters, will take part in the competition starting with the swim in Chasewater, on Sunday 9 June. And representing the Borough Council will be individual competitor, Sally Haycock, along with two relay teams consisting of women and men from across the local authority’s departments.

One of the first timers, 40 year old Ellie Roberts, said she hadn’t competed in a swimming race since she left school at 16. She said: “I’ve been putting in many hours of practice, in the pool and open water, which has been great for shedding a few pounds and getting in shape. As part of the relay team you don’t want to let your team mates down and I don’t mind admitting I’m feeling a bit nervous as the big day draws nearer.” She will be teaming up with cyclist Richard Farrow and runner John Scott. The other relay team consists of swimmer Ellie Warren, who competed in the event last year, Cameron Hyde on the cycling leg, and Alex Yendole.