TRIATHLON: First time in open water was a ‘blast’ for Belvoir Tri’s Catherine

Catherine Davies on the 5km run leg.
Catherine Davies on the 5km run leg.
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Two female members flew the flag for Belvoir Tri Club at the Tallington Lakes Triathlon, near Stamford, on Sunday.

Catherine Davies took on the Sprint event whilst clubmate Louise Payne stretched her legs in the Standard (Olympic) distance.

It was Catherine’s first time racing in open water but that clearly did not faze her and she completed the swim leg in 13min 44sec – the fourth fastest female and first in her age group.

She dropped to second place following her 54-minute 20km bike leg, and nailed that runners-up spot in her age category with a strong 22:57 run. She finished seventh overall.

Catherine said she loved the whole event: “I particularly enjoyed the swim as I felt strong and confident in my ability to sight and hold my own in the crowd.

“I particularly liked the run leg, getting to overtake many of the faster bikers who had whizzed past me on the bike leg. All in all it was a blast.”

Starting a few minutes after the waves of Sprint distance competitors, Louise completed her 1500m swim in a shade over 32 minutes, placing her third as she went into the first transition stage.

 With most of her competitors riding aerodymanic time trial bikes, Louise rode the 40km bike leg on her trusty hybrid machine and managed to only drop one place in her age group. She too maintained her position after the final run – 10km completed in 50 minutes.

Belvoir Tri Club coach Karl Hunt praised Louise and Catherine’s performances: “For two ladies who are relatively new to triathlon, they both performed brilliantly. Open water swimming can be tough and they have both worked really hard at club coached sessions to improve that part of their races. I’m looking forward to working with them further in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, clubmates Martin Jolly and Paul Letchworth contested the Bournemouth Standard Distance Triathlon.

Martin exited the English Channel swim 20th in his age group, but excellent transitions and a bike time of 1:01:46 and a 45:14 run saw him jump up through the field to seventh.

Clubmate Paul also put in a strong performance, exiting the water 14th in 14:19, however his first transition and bike leg lost him time. A 58:07 10km time consolidated his 34th place.

* Belvoir Tri Club’s swimming for beginners is at The Meres on Saturdays, 7am start.