Never underestimate the competitive nature of triathletes.

Rob Heap and Peter Enever are friends through triathlon, a partnership built entirely through the sport with a bit of healthy competition thrown in.

They met at the Tri Bramley Baths triathlon club and have continued to race for the club over the last five years in Leeds.

In June, the Yorkshire city will host the World Triathlon Championship Series for the sixth time in Roundhay Park on 11-12 June. The city becoming an iconic centre for the sport in the UK.

At the last four editions Rob and Peter have gone head-to-head, with Peter narrowly edging the battle between the pair on each occasion. This year will also see their children join them to take part in Roundhay Park.

Peter said: “Our kids are now into triathlon off the back of the Leeds event in Roundhay. My daughter is really getting into it, as is Rob’s son.

“So we’ve got our kids wanting to do triathlons and they are both doing their first open water swims at Roundhay.

“Mine say to me, ‘Dad we want to stay in the park all day and watch the elites race.’

“And with athletes who we have all watched in the Olympics suddenly racing right on our doorstep, I think that brings a unique appeal.

“When the kids see me doing it, it’s not like ‘oh Dad did a run that no-one has heard of’. Instead it’s ‘he did Leeds triathlon this morning and now I’m watching it on the television’.”

This is the power of triathlon. A chance for anyone who wants to have a go to also see the elite athletes as their peers.

It’s all part of what Rob believes is a “real camaraderie” between triathletes of all ages.

“The triathlon community are great and you can always have a chat with people,” he says.

“And it’s even better when it’s with a mate.

“When I’m running with Pete it makes me go faster, and I think it is the other way around on the bike, so we’re quite good training partners really.

“It’s also good to have a mate there for the hanging about before a race, and then going for a beer together afterwards.”

Although their competitive nature with one another is evident, the duo are modest in assessing their talents.

“I’m pretty poor at swimming, average on the bike and ‘average-ish’ on my run,” explained Rob.

“So sticking them all together in one event seemed like a good idea. I find it much easier than long runs – at least you can lie down for the first bit, and sit down for the second!

“Three times I think me and Peter have gone head-to-head at Leeds, and each time he has beaten me by about 90 seconds.

“That is how I know how much behind I was. We come out of the water at the same time, I pull away on the bike, before he catches me on the run leg.”

Peter added: “We just enjoy it for the laugh really, and that community feel. Rob is good on the bike, I can probably run a bit quicker and one day we’ll learn to swim!

“If swimming isn’t drowning then we can swim I guess. But we just enjoy it for the fun side.”

But it can’t purely be the social aspect that make the annual, swim, bike, run extravaganza worth coming back to year-on-year.

Both Rob and Peter enjoy the challenge of competing, but also believe the event’s open nature, seeing elite champions like Jonny Brownlee, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee taking on the same course as some triathlon debutants, makes the unique event so special.

So who will win the latest battle in their ongoing friendly rivalry in Roundhay Park in June this year?

According to Peter it is too close to call, but he may be keeping his cards close to his chest.

“It will be very close,” he laughs. “A real close one between us, that’s my prediction.

“Rob’s swimming has been getting stronger, so he’ll probably have a minute or two on me on the swim.

“I’ve been adding a lot more time on the bike, and that is getting closer anyway. Rob will be closer to me on the running as well.

“The conditions on the day may make a difference as well, but I’m looking forward to it as ever.”

Entries for AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds on 11-12 June are open until 22 May, with opportunities to compete in different distances and as a team in Roundhay Park. The event brings together swim, bike, run novices before the elite athletes take to the park for world ranking points. Find out more and book your place -