TRIATHLON: Belvoir Tri Club’s Sara overcomes injuries to make Olympic distance debut

Belvoir Tri Club's Olympic distance debutante Sara Bedford.
Belvoir Tri Club's Olympic distance debutante Sara Bedford.
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A quartet of Belvoir Tri Club athletes took to the lumps and bumps of Rutland at the weekend as PaceSetter Events “Dambuster” Olympic distance triathlon took place.

The event at Rutland Water comprised a 1500m swim, 42km bike and 10km run.

Representing the club in her first Olympic distance event was Sara Bedford, completing the race in 3hr 11min 30sec, despite not having the easiest run-up to the event. Plagued with a foot injury which threatened to prevent her from even getting to the start line, and recovering from a dislocated shoulder suffered in Rutland Water late last season, Sara had to work hard both physically and mentally to prepare for this race.

She said: “The swim and the bike were great, I really enjoyed them, but I was always worried about the run. I managed to get to the 9km mark before my legs began to complain. I loved every minute and will definitely be doing another Olympic next year.”

Adam Jackson, Abi Schofield and Wayne Searle rounded off the club’s representation at the event, with Adam and Abi putting in typically strong performances at the sharp end of the field. The trio finished in 2:19:26, 2:24:20 and 3:01:09 respectively.

Adam will be hoping to use the result to qualify for the Olympic distance at the World Championships in Chicago in September.

l Continuing the drive for GB representation in the club, Sprint distance specialist Karl Hunt travelled to Lancashire to take part in the ETU qualifier at Southport.

Despite tough conditions on the closed road event, Karl managed to place ninth in his age group. The strong coastal winds made for a tough swim in the Marine Lake, with choppy water making the final 200m into a headwind a real battle.

Karl said: “I don’t think I managed to get a decent breath of air at all in that final 200m, between the waves and being constantly battered by fellow swimmers.”

The wind also made wheel choice on the bike a critical decision for Karl which he said he got right: “It’s always a tough choice, but I was really pleased with fourth fastest bike.”

Going into the run, Karl was in a strong position, losing only two places to fellow 40-44 age group athletes, to achieve his highest finish to date.

He said: “My run is usually the place where my race falls apart but I’ve been working really hard with club coach Stefan Lawrence [of Tri-SL-Training.com] to strengthen my core and that definitely paid off. I’m thrilled to finally get a top ten finish”.

l A group of Belvoir Tri Club athletes took to the roads of Long Bennington on Friday to take part in the Summer Solstice 10km road Race.

With a fellow club member pacing her around the course, Louise Hyde ran a personal best time of 49:20.

She said: “The support within the club is fantastic and my personal bests continue to improve across all three elements with their support.”