Triathlon England National Cross Duathlon Championships - Claire Hitchings Wins!
Bloomin’ eck this was hard. Three hours of fighting a losing battle against mud and rain and wind!
Sam Begg and I (Claire Hitchings) were the hardy ones from the tri club to enter the Triathlon England National Cross Duathlon Championships at Hole Park last weekend. The event comprised a 10 k run, 26 k mountain bike, followed by a 5 k run.
For me the trouble with duathlons is that it has running in it! A lot of running. And the event seems to pick super-fast runners; but I fancied trying a different event so I found myself on the start line in rubbish spring weather.
2 hours and 48 minutes and 53 seconds later and I think I had fun in a warped way. I’d crossed the line as first female athlete; 10 minutes ahead of the next female racer. My glutes were absolutely screaming and I don’t think there was a part of me not caked in mud. My trainer came off on the run and I had to keep scooping mud out of my front forks to allow the wheels to turn. This race was a little taster for me just to see what form I’m in for my main race in September – the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Sardinia. Bike is on track; running has a way to go! (nothing new there then)
Sam’s effort was amazing. The men’s field was stacked with talent with well-known names such as Sam Gardner and Richard Stannard. Sam took a credible 5th place overall and a second in his age group. His time of 02:13:47 was less than 8 minutes behind the winner and he was only two minutes off a podium place. From his Facebook posts it looks like he borrowed the mountain bike that he road on; so full respect Sam.
A nice friendly event in a beautiful setting.
And well done Claire and Sam! Champion and 5th overall is a brilliant effort!