The first running for over 5 years of this historic duathlon from Carsington Water didn’t disappoint with superb racing in both the Sprint and Standard Distances.
In the Sprint race, Simon Clarke (Race off Road) led from the gun with a swift 14:01 for the opening 3.8km run across the dam and back. Heading out on to the demanding 24km bike, he extended his lead with a 47 minute clocking before rounding off his race with a solid 15:03 for the final repeat of the opening 3.8km run.
Arguably the performance of the day came in the women’s Sprint race where Jane Eaton dominated the ladies field to take the top female spot, and most impressively finishing in 2nd place overall, only 3 minutes behind Simon, with an exceptional final run of 15:18, the fourth fastest split of the day, including all the male and female Standard distance athletes.
The Standard distance race was held over the formidable course that has seen the likes of Tim Don, Will Clarke and Duathlon legend, Benny Vansteelant take the win in years gone by. The challenging 12.3km lap of the reservoir saps the legs with its undulating rise and falls (https://www.relive.cc/view/v8qVpJjVe7O), and two laps of the bike loop makes for a stiff 48km challenge that now includes the climb of Hopton Lane twice (average 9% for over 1km) (https://www.relive.cc/view/vXvLXK9Vw7v). Although the final 3.8km run is flat along the dam wall and back (https://www.relive.cc/view/vwq1kMAXNLO), the punishment that the legs have already received can cause many to wonder as one athlete said today “What has happened to my legs!!”
The women’s race saw Claire Biercamp take the early lead after a swift first run of 55:38, but Rebekka Lineker (Belper 10-20) stormed through on the bike leg with a 1hr42 clocking and rounded off the final run with a 16:05 to take the win by 9 minutes in 2hr56.
The men’s race saw the closest race of the day with four athletes remaining in contention for the win going in to the final run. Matthew Waterfield (Icarus) and Jonathan Read (Race Rapid) opened up the race with commanding run performances, looking relaxed as they both posted 45:41 for the undulating opening lap. With a gap of 3 minutes til the next runner entered transition it looked like no one else would get a look in as the two of them headed out in to the hills of the Peak District for the challenging bike leg. However, Edgar Fridensteins Al Bridins and John Peasland both had other ideas, as they took 5 minutes out of the leaders on the bike leg with formidable 1hr28 clockings. Leaving T2 it was Edgar who held a 3 minute lead over the trio of Read, Waterfield and Peasland who could be covered by a blanket as they headed out across the dam wall, but it was Waterfield who was visibly moving the fastest and making significant inroads to the leader’s gap. But it wasn’t to be for him, despite a 13:29 clocking for the final 3.8km run, as Edgar held on to his lead with a strong 14:22 leg, stopping the clock at 2hr32:36. Behind him, Waterfield finished second in 2hr34 and Peasland just got the better of Read by 14 seconds in 2hrs36. Fantastic racing at the front end of the field on a course that really does test the all-round capabilities of the duathlete.
This race will be back in 2022, with a possible Spring date of March 20th and an Autumn date of October 16th, possibly including a middle distance race in one of those dates, if there is sufficient interest?
Welcome your thoughts and comments below, and we look forward to welcoming you to Carsington Water in 2022.
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