Fiona Davies joined our club many years ago and rides the occasional club event but as a member of Rhondda Triathlon Club continues to compete in Duathlons. Never a person to brag about her abilities, she has been persuaded to give us a brief report of her most recent race.
On Sunday 6th April the University of South Wales hosted the Welsh Duathlon Championship at the Isca Duathlon, starting and finishing on the University campus at Caerleon. Having recce’d the bike course earlier in the week in rain and mist, it was good to wake up to a clear dry morning. The race has a “wave” start with a maximum of 10 in each wave; I was in the 5th wave and settled into the middle of the group as we tackled the hilly 4k run course. Then helmet on, quick shoe change and out on the 10 mile bike leg; a more confident descender came past me within the first 500m, but he then made a good target to focus on throughout the gently undulating ride to the White Hart at Llangybi and back. Finally the hardest part of any duathlon, the second run – “Shut up legs” and just get me round those hills again!
The wave format gave earlier starters a chance to watch some of the faster athletes coming in on the bike and doing their second run, including the eventual Welsh Champion Gareth Thomas of San Domenico, in a total time of 1:01:48. He was followed by Alexander Royffe of Newport Phoenix in 1:03:00 and Gareth Green of San Domenico in 1:03:46. The first lady was Fenella Langridge of Team Pro Motion Dynamics in 1:14:15, while I was very happy (and surprised!) to take the female Super Vets title in 1:27:06.
The following Sunday, Fiona took a break from competition to act as a marshal in our Bryn Griffiths Memorial 25 mile Time Trial in the Vale of Neath.
First rider off at 9.01 am on a bright but cool morning was
Simon Kinsey riding in his first open event. There was a little mist in the lower part of the valley at first but a gradually strengthening wind and rising sun soon dispersed it. Simon, a veteran, completed the distance in 1hour 13 minutes and 18 seconds and will no doubt be keen to race again.
All our club members who rode produced good performances with Dai Long improving greatly from last year with a great 1-01-31 and surprising himself. Those winter training runs under the leadership of Carl have certainly benefitted those who took part because Kevin Bartlemore, a top rider decades ago then finished in 58-43 and Steve Williams took minutes off his PB with an astonishing 1-00-19.
Dan Taylor riding his road bike with clip-on aerobars just pipped Kevin with his 58-35 while Neale Lewis somehow arrived at the start 40 seconds late, recording 59-06. His actual 58-26 would have just made him our fastest rider on the day !
The overall winner for the second year in succession was Kieron Davies, Team NBCC, with an outstanding 49-08, a winning margin of two and a half minutes.
We shouldn’t forget the performance of Roger and Margaret’s young grandson Ethan, now riding for Newport Olympic. In his first ever 25 mile event he recorded an amazing 59-51.
As always, our members and wives were out in force, erecting race warning signs from early morning, marshalling, pushing off, recording, or working at HQ to ensure a successful event. Just as important to the riders were the able team of ladies providing refreshments and always in the background. Thanks to one and all. We were congratulated again for providing such a well run event.
Some photos from the race can be seen in the Gallery and more will probably be added soon.
Also in the Gallery are photos taken by Jeff during the Hilly Trial.