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Tributes to paid to former world champion triathlete

17 Jul 2023 4 minute read
Robin and Tim Jones (left) of Village Bakery with Peter Norman.

Tributes have been paid to a former world champion triathlete who has passed away at the age of 86.

Peter Norman, from Penycae, near Wrexham, was also a founder of the Village Bakery Half Marathon and helped organise the hugely popular event for many years.

Having overcome prostate cancer a few years ago, Peter was diagnosed with leukaemia last month and died at home where he was being cared for by his family.

His own successes in ironman triathlons – which involve swimming two and a quarter miles, a bike ride of 112 miles topped off with a full marathon – and duathlons were all the more remarkable because he didn’t take up running until he was in his 50s.

As well as winning three world triathlon titles in his 70s, Peter was also a former British champion fell runner in his age group.

The competitions took him right around the world and he was still running earlier this year, winning his age-group in the World Duathlon championships in Ibiza in April.

In looking for a sponsor for the inaugural half marathon race in 1995 Peter used his loaf and turned to the bakery firm where he worked in the maintenance department until his retirement.

As a result, the company has continued to support the half marathon for more than a quarter of a century.

Earlier this year the family firm committed to supporting the event for another five years, including the 30th anniversary race in two years’ time.


He will be remembered at next year’s half marathon with the first male and female runners from Wrexham Athletic Club, of which he was a loyal member for many years, receiving the Peter Norman Trophy created in his honour.

Jones Village Bakery managing director Robin Jones said: “We were all deeply saddened to hear that Peter has passed away and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.

“He was a popular member of staff here for many years and as part of the maintenance team he played an important role in keeping the cogs turning.

“Peter was an outstanding character and always so full of energy – he was an inspirational figure to a lot of younger people.

“To achieve what he achieved and become a world champion at his age was absolutely fantastic.

“Peter was also instrumental in persuading us to support the very first half marathon in 1995 and we are proud that we continue to be the event’s main sponsor.

Over 80s

Back in 2020 Peter said: “I still compete regularly. I did about 15 triathlons last year and I won the British championship for over 80s in the sprint version of the triathlon in Nottingham which involved a 750 metre swim, a 12 mile bike ride and a three mile run.

“I did have prostate cancer a couple of years ago but I had treatment for that, including radiotherapy, and it’s clear now.

“I run six miles every day and I do the park run at Erddig every Saturday morning.

“I am really proud of the way the Village Bakery Half Marathon has grown and I’m really grateful to the Village Bakery for their brilliant ongoing support.”

Half marathon organiser Mike Harrington, from Run Cheshire and Gogledd Cymru, said: “Peter was a remarkable character who was still helping us to organise the race until a few years ago. He put a terrific shift.

“After being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on 20th June he was cared for at home by family and a truly wonderful team of doctors, district nurses and carers.

Peter was a multi World Champion in triathlon and a Welsh International and many times North Wales and Welsh Champion at cross country in various age groups over the years.

“A true gentleman who had time for everyone he will be sadly missed. Our condolences to his family, friends and many club mates in the running and triathlon community. RIP Peter Norman.”

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