Within the glorious settings of Newby Hall, the National Duathlon Championships took place on Sunday 13 April in near perfect racing conditions.
Anticipation was high as the competitors congregated for the start of the 2014 Triathlon England - National Duathlon Championship which consisted of a two-lap first run leg. Followed by a three-lap bike loop on closed roads and finshing with a final 5km lap.
The pre-race tension was not in vain, as the flat but technical course gave way too some competitive racing which produced some outstanding preformances and times. Many athletes were going for national honours and others were using it as season opener, but there was a palpable surge of excitement at the start-line in front of the glorious eighteenth century backdrop of Newby Hall, Yorkshire.
The action on both the male and female fields really came to life on the bike leg and resulted in some determined performances on the final run, which were thoroughly enjoyed by spectators and family supporters alike.
It proved to be a great day for the TORQ training club as Alex Lawton was the fastest male in a blistering time of 1.57:43 just holding off Julian Lings in an exciting finish on the final straight.
Alex's perfomance was backed up by fellow TORQ team-mate Eleanor Haresign, who finished fastest female with a time of 2.12:16.
Overall winner Alex Lawton took the (25-29) English age-group title said: "It was fantastic to win and be an English Champion, as after the bike leg I was in fifth position and I did not think I would make the podium, let alone win."
Eleanor Haresign (35-29) who was visibly delighted to here of Alex's victory also shared a sense of surprise when reflecting on her victory: "I have been recently training in Lazorarote for a long-distance triathon and my legs did feel a bit tired going into the race. I have done a triathlon on the circuit last year and was familiar with the technical aspect of the bike section. So, apart from the wind picking up I had a really good bike leg which helped."
Race organiser Mark Livesey of Functional Fitness Events delivered a great opener to the 2014 Triathlon England series and at medal cermony time many competitors were commenting on how well the event was organised and that this event could grow into a must-compete season opener.
Whilst on medal cermony duties, Jem Lawson, Chair of the Triathlon England Management Board summarised the success of the day perfectly: "It was great to witness the first 2014 Triathlon England - National Championships taking place at a fantastic new venue in Newby Hall. "
"Credit to the race organisers, supporters, officials and of course the competitors for making the first of our championship races such a resounding success. The 2014 National Duathlon Championships has set a high standard and I am very much looking forward to the remaining six events."
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The next Triathlon England - National Championships to take place is the Nicetri Aquathlon, 18 May 2014. For further information please click here