British Duathlon Championships - 9 April 2017

Holmfirth Harriers had seven athletes in action at the Bedford Autodrome on Sunday contesting the British Duathlon Championships.

First in action at 8am was Richard Anderson in the Age group category, where a massive field of over 100 contestants gathered. He took part in the standard distance event consisting of a 10k run, a 40k bike and 5k run. Richard had a super race recording the seventh fastest time on the 10k run of 34.20 and the seventh fastest time on the bike of 55.21 to finish 3rd overall in 1.49.58 but took the gold medal for the 25-29 age group.

Mark Buckingham, Adam Bowden and Luke Pollard

Mark Buckingham, Adam Bowden and Luke Pollard

The Senior / Junior British Elite Championship race was over the sprint distance a 2 lap 5k run, a 4 lap bike course of 20k and a final run lap of 2.5k. Mark Buckingham in his first race since winning the bronze medal at the World Duathlon Championships in Adelaide eighteen months ago, has overcome a serious injury after surgery a year ago. Fellow elite athlete, Adam Bowden showed his intentions from the start moving into the lead and taking two athletes with him, followed closely by Buckingham in the top 10. On the second lap one of the pre-race favourites, last year’s winner, Richard Horton moved back into the chasing group. Danny Russell completed the 5k run with Bowden in 14.46. Mark Buckingham finished the run in 7th place in 14.53, but quickly moved into the leading group on the bike course. Seven men started to build a lead on the first lap and were joined by a further two athletes who broke away from the chasing group. On the third lap Buckingham made a break followed by Bowden and Luke Pollard of the RAF. In the final stages of the bike course Buckingham broke away as they headed for T2, followed by Bowden and Pollard, but unfortunately they all took a left turn by mistake which reversed the positions inT2. Bowden ran strongly on the final run winning the race in 52.20. Buckingham started the second run conservatively before moving away from Pollard to win the silver medal in 52.59 and Pollard took the bronze in 53.11. Lewis Byram withdrew after the first run.

In the women’s race the Byram sisters Lucy and Erica lined up with the elites in their second year as juniors. Sadly after the first run Lucy retired feeling unwell, twin sister Erica finished the first run in 20th place and worked really well on the bike, but as she approached transition she was “timed-out” along with a number of other girls in error by race officials. Subsequently she received an apology from British Triathlon for the mistake and they confirmed she would be awarded points for this race towards the championship! The winner of the race was defending champion Emma Pallant, who completed the course in an impressive time of 58.24.

Fifteen year old, Fionn Kerry was the youngest member of Holmfirth taking part in the Youths race and had a super run on the first 2.5k course finishing 7th in 7.02, unfortunately he was unable to capitalise on his good start by failing to catch a group on the bike. On his return to transition, both his shoes came off his bike as he dismounted but he managed to recover the shoes to avoid sustaining a penalty. He went on to finish a well-deserved 24th place and gain great experience at this high profile event.

Rich McLeod and Steve Crowley

Rich McLeod and Steve Crowley

At the end of a long day, the final Harrier to take part was para triathlete, Richard McLeod who took part in the PTS4 category. Rich had a great race in challenging conditions battling against strong winds across the aerodrome but won a silver medal in the 45-49 age category with a time of 58.24.

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