Mo masters mud to take top spot

Duathlon

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SPORT -

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

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