Mark Buckingham and Emma Pallant won the first senior domestic titles of 2015 yesterday at the British Elite Duathlon Championships at Rockingham Motor Racing Circuit in Northamptonshire.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though – fierce winds forced the organisers to change the format in the junior women’s and both senior races, cancelling the bike leg and make it a straight 10km run.
Buckingham completed the run in a provisional winning time of 31:10mins, finishing ahead of Adam Bowden and David Bishop (times still to be confirmed). “It feels great to win – I’m really happy with how it all went,” said Buckingham afterwards.
“Obviously, we all came here to do a duathlon but the weather just wasn’t on our side. Coming from a running background, I guess it helps me, but knowing Adam Bowden was in the race, it’s still a level playing field. We’re big rivals and great friends – we have been for a number of years – so we had a good tussle.”
Buckingham looks to be on a good run of form with a second place at the ETU Triathlon European Cup in Quarteira, Portugal a week ago, and says he now plans to use April to build up his training ahead of racing WTS Yokohama in May.
Emma Pallant took the chequered flat in the women’s race for the second year in a row, crossing the line in a time of 37:07. The 2014 British Triathlon Super Series Champion was followed across the line by last year’s Super Series runner-up India Lee who finished just four seconds behind in 37:11mins. Third place went to Chloe Cook who completed the 10km in 37:27mins.
Emma Pallant wins 2015 British Elite Duathlon Champs
“I was a little bit disappointed about it just being a run today,” said Pallant afterwards. “I’ve been working hard out in Spain at a training camp and my bike’s the thing we’ve been focussing on a lot, so it’s a bit of a shame about that, but with the conditions there was no way you could bike out there. I just sat in on the run as I wanted to qualify for the World Duathlon and left it down to a sprint finish – job done.”
In the paraduathlon races, Joe Townsend (PT1) defended his title after crossing the line first in a winning time 1:05:25. Joe said after crossing the line: “I am really happy with today. It’s been a slow start to the season after recovering from surgery on my shoulder. Today, I just wanted to deliver a good performance and have a good indicator as to where I’m at performance wise.”
In the women’s races, Lizzie Tench won the PT1 category in a time of 01:32.09 with World Paratriathlon Champion, Lauren Steadman (PT4) adding another title to her name winning gold in the PT4 category in 01:17:37.
In the British Elite Junior Duathlon Championships, the first race of the British Triathlon Youth and Junior Super Series, Ben Dijkstra – 220’s Youth Triathlete of the Year – won the junior men’s event in 59:34mins. Samuel Dickinson was second with a time of 59:59mins and Jimmy Kershaw finished third in 1:01:00.
Ben commented after his second win in successive weekends: “It’s great – I won this event last year so I knew I was coming into it knowing I was one of the stronger lads. The conditions weren’t really ideal today – a lot of wind and spray, so I had to be really careful. I knew what I had to do and I’m just over the moon with the result.”
In the junior women’s event, Kate Waugh celebrated winning the opening title of the season crossing the line in a time of 38.02mins. Mary Hodgson was second with a time of 38:16mins and Sian Rainsley finished third in 39:41mins.
Issy Morris won the girl’s youth race, which was also the opening round of the British Youth Super Series, with a time of 31:01mins. Emma Clapton was second in 32:09mins and Caitlin Roper finished third with a time of 32:20mins.
Tomos Nesham won the youth boy’s race with a winning time of 29:43mins. Travis Bramley was second in 29:48mins and Gregor Malcolm finished third with a time of 29:56mins.
For full results and more reaction from the athletes, head to www.britishtriathlon.org.
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