In 1993 Mark Rees completed his first Triathlon. The forerunner of the Helvellyn Triathlon, The Lakeland Slateman. This was a Police only event in Glenridding.
After completing this Triathlon Mark, with a few other Police officers, set up a Police Sport Triathlon club which became NYP Tri club. This club remained exclusively for Police for several years and the sport among North Yorkshire Police Officers became ever more popular. There were annual trips to Guernsey for The Police Championships with numbers reaching upwards of 25 at the height around 1997-1999. Trips to other events such as Ironbridge, Windsor, Lanzarote Ironman and elsewhere began and several of our members started to swim regularly at Ripon Lake on the back of permission from the Racecourse owner.
In the year 2000 Ian Wallace, an active local athlete, approached Mark, as the driving force behind NYP Tri, to ask if we would be interested in taking over an event he had rescued and run from 1998-2000. The event was The Ripon Triathlon which had previously been held as a commercial event in the 1980’s during which it once hosted the National Olympic Distance Triathlon Championships. Mark took on the challenge and for some 15 years was involved with the race which grew beyond anybody’s imagination.
During the late 90’s there were very few Triathlon clubs in the entire region.
We started to get enquiries from friends and family members of Police Officers who wanted to join a Triathlon club and wanted to swim at an Open Water venue.
Demand to allow non Police members grew to such a point that a decision was made to allow NYP Tri to become an ‘open club’ for both Police and Non Police members. There was overwhelming support for this among Police members who for a couple of years remained in the majority and remained the core of the organisational committee of our race, The Ripon Triathlon. Non Police members soon became a very active part of our club and brought much to the table.
There were more trips abroad and some great years of racing and socialising together as a close knit group of members. In the early days of the Open Club when non police members began to become the majority we discussed the club name at an AGM. I proposed that the club name be reviewed in order that we were sure it reflected what the membership wanted. The non police members, overwhelmingly at that time, wanted to retain NYP Tri as the club name, they wanted the historic Police connection it brought and it was decided to promote the club with the ‘P’ in NYP standing for both Police and People. The club was re-branded as North Yorkshire Police & Peoples Triathlon Club. During the early 2000’s we started a web site and designed the now iconic club kit, and within no time we were shipping in some of the best quality kit in the world from Cannibal in Australia.
Like every success story NYP Tri grew, and grew, and grew and so did its event until 1000 competitors and upwards of 6000 in total attended our venue on race weekend.