The 2014/15 duathlon series has come to an end and it was a great, if rain filled, final event on Sunday.
The series as a whole has been fantastically well attended – numbers have leapt up from the duathlon series last year, with between 20-30 people consistently entering each race. It’s been great to see people new to triathlon getting involved, and people who aren’t from the club coming along to race with us. We’ve had a good mix of competitors too – people who had never done a duathlon before, those who entered as a team and made it their aim to do a full race in the future, those who wanted to beat previous times and a crazy few going for the win.
We’ve had some ok weather, some pretty darn cold weather, and some weather that was kind of in between. But it’s all part of the duathlon and winter racing experience and I’m sure we all enjoyed it in a weird kind of way – a cup of tea afterwards has never tasted so good, right?! I’m sure we’re all well up for summer racing now though – at least then it’ll be warm-ish and rainy.
The final race of this series saw 26 competitors including one team taking on the 5km run, 26km bike, 5km run course. Melanie Hyder left everyone eating her dust on the first run out – she was eventually reeled back in, but she gave the men a good scare and still finished her run in a swift 20 minutes. It was great to see the other three ladies also posting strong run times. Gordon Bayliff was first man back to T1 in a speedy time of 17 minutes, the rest of the field arriving quite close together in the following minutes.
Onto the bike, and it was Paul Taylor who stormed the coast road cycle, coming into T2 first despite being a couple of places down from the lead on the first run. Barrow Central Wheelers member Roger Lindsay also showed his strength on the bike after being a little down on the run. For the ladies, Riikka Groehn posted a brilliant bike time, despite not even having a road bike – which just shows what can be done without all the fancy gear. The main field still couldn’t be parted from each other though, a lot of riders coming in around the hour mark.
After the chill of the coast road it was time for the final leg and some heavier rain. Stuart Garnett put in the most consistent second run to post the fastest time for this final part of the race – but it was Paul Taylor who kept hold of his overall lead, with Stu coming in second and Peter Denness in third. There were some close finishes further down the field with Stuart Blood, Iain Smith-Ward, Roger Lindsay and Euan Mckinnon all finishing within a minute of each other. Euan later lamented the fact he was unable to catch Iain – just make sure you get him next time! For the ladies, Melanie put in a strong second run and finished first, with Catherine Niblock achieving a great overall time to come second and Riikka not far behind, completing her first duathlon to come third. Rachael Dean achieved two great times for her impressively consistent runs as part of a team effort with her partner Andy. Hopefully she’ll be going solo for the series next year (no offence Andy).
As for the overall series standings, Paul Rodger was chuffed to secure first for the men – this despite having a bit of a mare on this final race, suffering from the cold and having to nick marshall Dan Hartley’s gloves on the run. Duncan Eley came in second and Stuart Garnett pipped Peter Denness to third by a single point. Caroline Boyle was victorious for the women, with Renell Brennan and Jo Long putting in great performances across the series to come second and third respectively.
Everyone who placed on the day and in the overall standings was treated to a well-deserved easter egg (to be consumed sensibly) and alcoholic beverages (to be consumed even more sensibly). Others were given a snazzy UTC Duathlon series T-shirt which they will wear with pride, and an equally jazzy medal. All that was left to do was devour tea and cake – special thanks to Renell for making a lovely cake, which went down extremely well. Unfortunately, Renell had to pull out of the race that day due to injury, and we wish her a speedy recovery!
Finally, a big well done to everyone who has competed in the series this year, it’s been a cracker. Thank you to the marshalls who gave their time to help these events go ahead, and to the supporters who were always there cheering us on. It’s been a great atmosphere at every race – always supportive, always encouraging, and always well up for it whatever the weather.
Thank you to the committee for their hard work behind the scenes in getting these races together, it’s appreciated by everyone.
And special thanks as always to Team Macca for doing all that they do – dream team!
See you for the next series. And GAME ON for summer racing!
Results from Race 6 and the overall series standings can be found here: