Hannah Kitchen secured a podium finish in her first UK triathlon of the year at Blenheim Palace.

The Rickmansworth athlete, who was previously a student at Watford Grammar School for Girls, finished in third place in the female elite wave at the weekend, the first time she had finished on the podium for a UK elite race.

The Blenheim event attracts some of the sport’s biggest names, with Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee taking part in the men’s race.

Kitchen got off to a good start, exiting the water in first place and four seconds clear of second-placed Sophie Coldwell following a 750m swim.

The swimming section was then followed by a 400m uphill run to get to the transition, where Kitchen had to swap the water for a stint on her bike. Unfortunately for Kitchen, she dropped to third place on the cycling element, as she was overtaken by Coldwell and India Lee.

She entered the final part of the event, which consisted of a 5.4k run, just in front of five other competitors, but Kitchen managed to fend off the fighting pack and finish in third place, securing a podium finish in her first UK triathlon of the year.

Her next event will be the Eastbourne Triathlon, which takes place this weekend, as she continues to kick off a busy race season for the Watford Harrier, who is now looking forward to what the rest of the year brings.

She said: “I’m very much excited about racing, as injury hampered my results last year and left me feeling very frustrated at times.

“It’s been a long process after suffering with plantar fasciitis for 18 months, but I’m back at the run times I was running two years ago so I’m excited to see what the rest of the season brings.”