220 joined over 2,500 athletes at the crack of dawn in Windsor last weekend at what’s regarded as the UK’s premier triathlon. Both Jodie Stimpson and Stuart Hayes scored successive victories, with Jodie completing the Nokia Windsor Triathlon course in the fastest women’s time in the event’s 19-year history.
Stimpson took her second successive win (after Blenheim) and in doing so retains top spot in the British Super Series ranking. She led from start to finish to clock-in at 2:03.21, breaking the course record by 33 seconds, previously held by Helen Tucker in 2006. But the rest of the women’s race didn’t follow the pre-race predictions with Jill Parker taking second in 2:11.07 and rising star, Non Stanford, chasing hard only five seconds behind.
Jodie commented “I’m delighted with my performance today, it was a beautiful course out there and a great race – I loved it. I’ve been training very hard and it worked out really well for me today.”
As anticipated, Stuart Hayes, who was firm favourite going into the men’s race, took the honours in great style but not without pressure from Adam Bowden and Ireland’s Bryan Keane.
Hayes led from the start following a swim time of 14:02, but the chasing pack, led by former pro cyclist Bryan Keane, soon made up the gap leaving it all to play for on the run. Hayes pulled away on the run with current steeplechase National Champion Bowden on his heels and Keane in third. Bowden closed the gap but Hayes took the victory in 1:47.14 with Bowden thirteen seconds behind and Keane in third in 1:48.19.
“I was pushed much harder than I expected,” commented Hayes. “The weather was hot, but it was the competition that pushed me to my limits today. We all worked together hard on the bike but it’s the run that matters and both Bowden and Keane are international runners so I had to pull out all the stops.”
Amongst the sell out field of age group competitors, was double Olympian James Cracknell, who completed the Olympic distance (1500m swim/42k bike/10K run) as part of his training for the European triathlon championships in Holland next month. He finished in an impressive 3rd place and 17th overall in a time of 2:10:27.
Check next month’s (237, summer) issue for a full race report and interviews with the likes of Stimpson, Hayes, Keane and Bowden. The event will be broadcast on Channel Four (provisionally scheduled for 4th July).