Mo masters mud to take top spot
ASHFORD TRI Club hosted its first multi sport race this weekend in King’s Wood at Challock.
The challenging off-road course attracted competitors from clubs as far a field as Cambridge and the Czech Republic.
The first section of the race started at a blistering pace as competitors ran along hard forest tracks.
As the route ventured into the trees, the muddy paths proved more arduous, as runners fought for traction underfoot. Appearing out of the wood in first place was the runner for relay team Morris/Ellis.
Hot on his tail was Chris Neale from Larkfield AC, Activ’s Justin Mills and Czech triathlete Jan Popisil.
Leading out the ladies was Deal Tri’s Mo Ovenden, who had a superb first run, giving her almost a two-minute lead over second lady Tabitha Rendall from Larkfield AC.
However, the mountain bike skills of Rendall allowed her to catch her rival to take on the lead.
A little further down the field, Anne Poole from Larkfield AC and Alison Stagg form Deal Tri, were battling it out in the veteran category. Mere seconds split the two riders as they played cat and mouse, jostling for first place.
Meanwhile, back in the men’s race, the overall favourite, Neale, suffered from mechanical problems on the bike and had to resort to carrying his bike to finish lap one.
Swapping bikes, he was able to continue, hot on the tail of his nearest rivals Mills and Deal Tri’s Bryan May.
The hilly sections of the course saw some competitors coming to a complete standstill, having to resort to pushing their bikes to the top. While the fast downhill sections produced some thrills and spills on the sharp bends and slippery muddy sections.
On to the final run, competition was fierce with the relay guys. Team Walker/Hibbard, Team Morris/Ellis and Team Sutton/Jones were ready to battle it out on the last lap.
With more than a two-minute lead going out on the run Team Walker/ Hibbard led all the way, taking a comfortable win and first team prize.
In the men’s individual race Mills set off on the run with a good lead over Neale and Larkfield AC’s Matt Hughes, which he maintained to the finish to take first place overall. In the veteran category, Bryan May took 1st place.
Back to the ladies’ race, and the competition was hotting up. Ovenden’s super fast run allowed her to overtake Rendall to take a comfortable first place.
Meanwhile the lady veterans were only seconds apart going into the run, but Poole’s strong run gave her the edge, taking over a minute from Stagg to claim the winning lady vet prize.
Race organiser Nicki Barron from Ashford Tri Club said: “The duathlon has been very successful and was great fun for both competitor and spectator will all the thrills and spills during the bike section.
“Due to the popularity of this race, Ashford Tri Club plan to hold more races in King’s Wood in the future, with an off-road run in September and the Mountain Bike Duathlon again next year”.
More details of these races can be found on the Ashford Tri Club website www.ashfordtriclub.co.uk
Ladies winner Mo Ovenden
Men’s race winner Bryan May