The GE Great Britain Age Group Team secured 32 medals across the various age groups at the 2010 GE Edinburgh ITU Duathlon World Championships. The USA, Canada, the Netherlands and Germany also claimed multiple medals and team USA provided some of the most vocal support around Holyrood Park as athletes raced for world titles in their age group categories.
Local medical student and athlete, Craig Dale, helped kick off the action this morning, racing in the 20-24 age group, which started at 8am. Supporters arrived in numbers to support him and Dale delivered a silver medal, just over a minute behind Gregory Grosicki of the USA. Britain’s James Ratcliffe was third.
Dale said: “The race went pretty much to plan, I knew I had to be fairly conservative on the first run and really do the damage on the bike. As the bike went on, I was passing more and more guys. The hills really started to take their toll, I know how brutal those climbs are, so made sure I had enough in reserve. The second run was just a case of holding on and thankfully I held it together.
“So many people were out giving me a shout. I had the Edinburgh University Tri Club guys out, with a huge banner and cow bells, running the hill with me – it was absolutely fantastic. So many people I know were helping out with the event and as well as the support it was just unbelievable.”
Another local athlete, Arnott Kidd, also delivered a medal with bronze in the 75-79 age group.
Derbyshire Police officer, Chrissie Howard, claimed gold for the GE Great Britain Age Group Team in the 40-44 age group, as did Juliette Minter in the 35-39 age group and Victoria Gill in the 30-34 age group.
Gill, from the Thames Turbo club, ran exceptionally well, having to fight hard to pass Ceris Styler on the final 5km after Styler, the 2000 British Cycling Olympian put in an amazingly fast bike leg and opened a large gap. The pair recorded the first and second fastest times overall with Gill recording 2:18.21, just 30 seconds ahead of Styler.
Other gold medals for the GE Great Britain Age Group Team came from Christian Preece (18-19), James Gilfillian (30-34), Ian Cardy (35-39), Kenny Riddle (45-49), Jeremy Tomlinson (50-54), (Danielle Stewart (25-29), Hillary Ross (55-59) and Elspeth Knott (60-64).
The fastest time of the day was recorded by GE Great Britain’s Age Group Team member, James Gilfillian with 1:58.56. He was the only man to complete the challenging course in under two hours, and finished clear of Germany’s Rene Hördemann, who was second overall in 2:02.30.
The age group events in Holyrood Park presented a challenging course that was enjoyed by over 800 athlets. Darwin Phyfer from Cape Town, South Africa competed in the 50-54 Age Group.
He said: “It was beautiful racing in Edinburgh, one of the beautiful cites of the world, I really enjoyed it. There were lots of South Africans in Edinburgh supporting us, we have a big team and everyone was shouting on the side of the road supporting us.”
Today sees the elite races with the GE Great Britain team aiming to win more medals against tough international opposition.