Julian Lings and Parys Edwards lifted the first Triathlon England Duathlon Championship titles in Ashbourne. They were both convincing winners in cold and windy conditions in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Lings started as one of the favourites having won on this course last year, but a late entry from Will Clarke added some extra interest in a competitive field. Lings and Clarke ran together during the opening 12km undulating run around the perimeter of Carsingon Water and built a healthy lead.
On the bike Lings rode well over the challenging course whilst Clarke dropped back, saving his legs for the ITU World Triathlon Series event in San Diego in three weeks time. Carl Shaw and Hugh Mackenzie moved up to second and third place overall before the final 4km flat run.
Lings took a comfortable victory with Shaw and Mackenzie claiming the other two podium positions.
Lings said: “It feels really really good (to be English National Duathlon Champion). I love this course it’s brutally tough but it’s real a challenge.”
Having run with Will Clarke, he added: “The guy is such and incredibly smooth runner and it was a real pleasure to run next to him and just about hang on.”
In the women’s race Parys Edwards showed no sign of tiredness having been the fastest overall amateur athlete at the ETU Triathlon European Age Group Championships in Eilat last weekend. She built a large lead after the first run and extended it on the bike.
Edwards started the final run with a considerable lead over Louise Bardsley and Esther Evans and soon added another gold medal to her collection.
She said: “It was a really tough race, really windy and incredibly hilly. I took the lead after a kilometre, which surprised me as there are very strong runners in the field. I gave it everything on the bike, thought I’d overcooked the legs a bit but I managed to hold on.”
On winning the Triathlon England title she added: “It feels excellent, when I looked at the start list I wasn’t sure that I could do it. I was certainly aiming to be on the podium so I’m very pleased to be at the top.”
Esther Evans moved up to second at the finish and Julia Matheson came through for third.
In addition to the overall top three men and women, there were Age Group awards recognising some excellent performances across a wide age range. Stuart Hall just missed the overall podium, finishing fourth, but the fireman was a convincing winner in the 45-49 Age Group with a time of 2:08.44.
Former ITU World Age Group Duathlon Champion and local policewoman, Chrissie Howard, added English Age Group Duathlon title (F40-44) to her list of honours.
Overall results – men
1. Julian Lings, M25-29, Team Accelerate 2:05:50
2. Carl Shaw, M30-34, Huub TFN RT 2:07:07
3. Hugh Mackenzie, M-30-34, ProVO2 2:08:05
Overall results – women
1. Parys Edwards, F35-39, Ful-On-Tri 2:28:04
2. Esther Evans, F35-39, Thames Turbo 2:31:33
3. Julia Matheson, F45-49, Newcastle (Staffs) Tri Club 2:32:21