The Whinlatter Off Road Duathlon kicked off to a great start, despite the rain it was a resounding success. We had a great turn out for this new event, with 165 starters on the day. The feedback from competitors has been fantastic, with most people enjoying the tough, challenging course in this spectacular location.
The race itself was the standard run/bike/run format but the distances may have been deceptive as the route involved nearly 4,000’ of climbing. The first run was a tough 5.5km circuit climbing up to Seat How summit (496m) involving steep sections of singletrack & forest trails, before descending back towards the transition area. The MTB route was a 15km circuit incorporating the full North Loop of the new Altura trails. This is graded as a Red route and included something for everyone, some steep climbs, tricky technical sections over wet rock and roots and speedy descents. Back to transition and out on foot again, the second run was a reversal of the first.
The Solo Mens race was won by international fell runner Ricky Lightfoot of Saab Salomon who stormed round in a fantastic time of 1:43:12 despite it being his first duathlon and puncturing at the start of the bike leg! The ladies race was won by local rider Rachael Lawrance, closely followed by Angela Brand-Barker who was also first female vet >40. The relay category was won by Chris Steele and Phil Davies of Cyclewise who also got the fastest time of the day; 1:35:38. For full results visit www.whinlatterduathlon.co.uk.
Feedback from the competitors has been fantastic with most thoroughly enjoying this tough and challenging event. Many have vowed to come back again next year for more punishment!
‘I have travelled to all of the European Xterra races over the last 5 years and in my opinion that bike course is as good if not better than any of these! I look forward to the opportunity of racing there again soon.’ (Anthony Roberts, Skinfit)
The Whinlatter Duathlon was the first in a series of races to be organised by be challenged that aim to be a little different to the usual and to challenge all athletic abilities and interests.
For your race diary our 2010 Lake District race series;
March 14th Grizedale Forest Off Road Duathlon
April 18th Borrowdale Duathlon, involving trail running & road cycling
November 14th Whinlatter Off Road Duathlon
We will be launching our 2010 race series early in the New Year with full details on www.bechallenged.co.uk.