Jenkins, cover star of issue 261 of 220 Triathlon, and Hall worked well together on the bike leg opening up a commanding lead over the rest of the field. However it was in the run that Jenkins showed her class, effortlessly pulling away from the tiring Hall and finishing in a time of 1:02:28, some two minutes ahead of the junior from Leicestershire.
A delighted Jenkins, third overall in the British Triathlon Super Series last year, said:
“That was a tough day, I’ve got a lot of respect for all the competitors today, it was so cold and windy. I knew Lucy Hall was a really fast swimmer so I tried to get close to her halfway through the swim. We worked together on the bike and because she’s a lot better technically than I am, I tried to get on her wheel for the technical sections. It really helped having her there! ”
Hall, runner up in a time of 1:04:44:15 said: “It’s such an inspiration to race with a top athlete like Helen. I knew she was a really fast runner so I knew I just had to keep calm and get through the 5km. My coach was telling me to keep up my cadence in the run. Jodie is such a brilliant athlete as well – I’m so chuffed with this performance.”
After Jenkins and Hall had built up a healthy lead from the swim, the chasing pack struggled to stay in touch despite a strong run from 2010 British Triathlon Super Series Champion Jodie Stimpson.
A disappointed Stimpson said: “I can’t swim like that in the future, that was shocking. I just had to try and chase down the leading pair as best I could. They worked awesome together. What can I say (about Helen), she’s one of the best there is. I knew I was running well but I left it far too late – you can’t give someone two minutes on a 5km run, it’s just too short to catch up. ”
The GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon is the first race of this year’s British Triathlon Super Series with Helen Jenkins establishing an early lead over the rest of the field as she bids to be crowned 2011 Super Series Champion.
The race, now in its third year at Strathclyde Country Park, attracted athletes from mainland Europe, Australia and Barbados as well as a strong contingent from the UK. The event also included the second race of the British Triathlon Youth and Junior Super Series, and a mass participation event that enabled more than 200 amateur triathletes the opportunity to achieve their own personal triathlon challenge.
Elite competitors will now look ahead to the GE Blenheim Triathlon, the second event of the Super Series, on 4 June. After Blenheim the Series heads to the Toshiba Windsor Triathlon (12 June), the GE Canary Wharf Triathlon (30 June) and finally the Virgin Active London Triathlon (30 July).