TRIATHLON: Belvoir club members compete far and wide

Kevin Gench on the bike leg of the Clumber Duathlon. Photo: David Hawkin

Kevin Gench on the bike leg of the Clumber Duathlon. Photo: David Hawkin

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With record numbers entered into this year’s Clumber Park Off Road Duathlon, three Belvoir Tri Club members took off in the October sunshine on Saturday morning in the opening event of the Midlands Off Road Duathlon series.

The Clumber Duathlon tested club members on the challenging course that covered different terrains, trails and paths. The course provided something for everybody from the novice off road racer through to the more experienced off road athlete and consisted of a 5km run, 17km bike ride and 3km run to the finish line.

Both run sections took place on fully closed tarmac roads and trail, and featured steady climbs at the outset. The bike course tested their strength as the trail pitched from uphill to descent.

Glynn Attiwell placed 19th out of the very strong 204 field of athletes with a result of 19min 12sec, 44:36 and 13:51 for an impressive finish time of 1:18:56.

David Foster did the club proud with a time of 22:08, 53:25 and 14:42 giving him a total of 1:31:59.

Chris Pugh has spent most of his season battling with several fitness issues including a hip replacement in February and commented: “My entry into this race was done very much in hope that I would be able to complete at least one race this season. Fortunately I took into the race three weeks of running which equalled my longest period of run training all summer.

“This was my first duathlon and first off road race event, but I was really looking forward to testing the legs off the bike.”

Chris completed the race in a total time of 1:39:55 (24:40, 53:47, 16:54).

Club member Dawn Padovano was one of more than 2,000 entrants to race the Great Birmingham Half Marathon on Sunday. The half marathon attracted competitors from across the UK and around the world and Dawn’s supporters turned out to cheer her across the finish line on Broad Street in the heart of the city centre.

Dawn was very happy with her result, coming in at 1:50. She commented: “I managed to complete the Birmingham half marathon with a PB and in my old home town. I’m so thrilled.”

Kevin Gench travelled a little further south to compete in the Holdenby Hall Duathlon, held on the stunning Althorp Estate in Northamptonshire.

The 10km and 5km run sections were all cross country over a mixture of surfaces, with many hills to contend with. The 40km bike course was undulating and did not give much in the way of respite, before going back on to the cross country run circuit to finish.

Kevin said: “This is not my kind of course at all, and with a total of 2,400 feet of climbing over the whole course, it is by far the hardest event for me this year.”

Nevertheless, Kevin completed the event in a sterling time of 2:45:33, finishing 28th overall and sixth in his category.

Closer to home, Belvoir Tri clubmate Rachel Smith completed her first off road half marathon, the Spires and Steeples, a point to point race starting from Lincoln Cathedral and ending at St Denys’ Church, Sleaford.

Rachel commented: “This was my first attempt at cross country running and I really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to competing in another similar event in the New Year.”