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Triathlon England: National Championship season kicks off in Stockton this weekend

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The Stockton Duathlon Festival this Sunday, 24 April, will host the 2016 Triathlon England: National Duathlon Championships. The race is the first English Championship event of the season in a calendar, which will see six disciplines contested through the year, ending with the Middle Distance at the Vitruvian Triathlon in September.

The Festival includes something for everyone with Novice, Sprint and Standard Distance options. All races take place on fully closed roads on a course around the Stockton Riverside, incorporating the three main bridge crossings plus the Tees Barrage. Overall, the course is flat, fast and very spectator friendly.

TriHard Events, Stockton Duathlon Festival event organisers, said: “We are delighted to be organising the Stockton Duathlon Festival again this year, along with Stockton Borough Council, and believe that we have an event and a course that will properly showcase the sport from both the competitor’s and spectator’s perspective.

“The support of the local authority means that we now have a fantastic fully closed road course based in the heart of the town and the recently developed riverside area. The route crosses the Tees Barrage as well as three other river crossings including the iconic Infinity Bridge. The runs are along good quality riverside walkways and the cycle route is fast and flat; with enough turns to keep it interesting.”

The Triathlon England Championship race, the Standard distance (10km / 40km / 5km), is the final event of the day, starting at 13:00. Athletes will complete a two-lap opening run, five laps on the bike before finishing with a final one-lap run to complete the course. As well as Triathlon England Championship medals in each five year category, TriHard Events will be awarding the fastest athletes overall a £2,000 prize purse. The fastest three athletes, male and female, will receive £500, £300 and £200 respectively, which should ensure some very competitive racing at the head of the field.

The 2015 Stockton Duathlon was won by Luke Grenfell-Shaw, (Durham University), and he returns again – this time with Triathlon England Championship honours on offer too. Speaking of the event, he told us: “Last year I loved Stockton Duathlon. It was great to race down to its fantastic atmosphere, fast run course and technical bike - lots of 180 degree turns and twists. This year should be a lot of fun too, but down to an Achilles niggle, I'm just going to try and enjoy it!”

If you are not racing, how about heading down to Stockton Riverside on Sunday for what is sure to be an exciting spectator experience given the closed road, multi-lap town centre circuit. Racing starts from 9am (Novice), with the Sprint race at 11am and finally the Triathlon England Standard Distance Championships from 1pm.

Event website: http://www.trihard.co.uk/stockton-duathlon

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