A RECORD number of athletes will be taking part in this weekend's award-winning Lakesman triathlon.

One thousand people have signed up for the epic event which sets off from Keswick, they will be supported by more than 600 volunteers.

Now in its fourth year, the Lakesman will see 350 people swim 2.4 miles in Derwentwater, cycle 112 miles and run 26 miles in the full event. Six hundred and fifty people will take part in the half.

The were all delighted to be told this week that the water had been tested for algae and the swims would be going ahead. There had been concerns following the cancelling of all swim events during the recent Keswick Mountain Festival.

The event is run by Phil and Marie Whitehead, of Lakesman Events Ltd, in partnership with Allerdale Borough Council and leisure services GLL.

New for this year is a children's race, which will take place at 11am on Saturday. At 4pm will be the popular Budgie Smuggler Run. This was first staged two years ago, when seven people took part - running in eyecatching swimwear. It proved so popular that more than 150 chose to join in the fun last year.

The organisers are delighted with the number of Lakesman entries and the support they have received from sponsors and volunteers.

"The event has grown gradually over the years from 350 people at the first one to 1,000 this weekend," said Marie.

"The Lakesman has gained a reputation nationally for being a high quality race with the athletes at heart.

"This year we have won three national awards which is absolutely phenomenal. We are really proud and so pleased to be showcasing this beautiful part of the world that we live in."

There are five aid stations on the bike route and three on the run. These will be run by local tri, run and cycling clubs.

"The aid stations encourage a bit of friendly rivalry between the clubs running them and wanting to put on a good show," said Marie.

"The event could not go ahead without all our volunteers, they are Team Lakesman."

In the past few years the event has been held in a range of conditions.

"We've had monsoon weather and also tropical weather, last year was pretty windy so we're due a perfect day! It will be what it will be, we're all looking forward to the weekend," said Marie.