As the triathlon season gradually draws to a close, the racing doesn't stop. Pure running events took centre stage on Sunday morning, with most interest and eyes focussed on the BUPA Great North Run, the centre of attention being the return to competition of Paula Radcliffe. 21 months out of action, a new child and injuries, followed by a clocking of 1:07:53 would normally have been enough for the fairytale comeback. However, someone clearly hadn't lent the script to American Kara Goucher, bronze medalist over 10km at the recent Track & Field Worlds. She set an American record, finishing almost a minute clear of Paula (1:06:57) in her first attempt at the distance. Slightly further behind, but in an excellent 12th position, was runner-turned-triathlete Michelle Lee (Planet X), whose 1:15:23 clocking must be pretty close to a PB. Just proves that swimming and cycling doesn't have to dent your running speed...
The other big news of Sunday was over at the Berlin Marathon, where the legend that is Haile Gebrselassie, added more glory to an already incredible CV, by setting a new world marathon record of 2:04:26. That's sub 4:45 mile pace!!
Another 'triathlon-related' event of note going on at the moment is the World Road Cycling Championships which finished this weekend with the elite men's road race. For several years now, triathletes-turned-cyclists have provided a steady flow of athletes to the GB ladies team. With the absence through injury of Nicole Cook, ex-triathlete Emma Pooley (overall age group winner at Royal Windsor in 2005) finished eighth in the time trial and tenth in the road race, evidence of just how well she has transitioned (no pun intended...) to the single sport discipline.
Not exactly a race result but a close finish nonetheless which saw the only non-US entry in the Slipstream jersey competition we featured last week just pipped to the post by just 20 votes. British designer Richard Melik could only watch via the web as the first prize went to Design #5 - the winner gets a team issue bike, full kit and gets a chance to ride in the team car during the Tour... ...apparently he looked pretty smug! Now, if only we had been told about the competiton earlier! You can read the official press release here.
Saturday saw an event sneak past the Editor with the Robin Hood Off-Road Duathlon organised by One Step Beyond taking place at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. (Something of an oxymoron that - given that in Robin Hood's day it would have been a broadleaf forest rather than a plantation of conifers...) Chris Nicoll (Derby Tri Club) took a comfortable win ahead of Chris Rathbone (WOAC). The ladies event was much closer, however, with Jane Beech just getting the better of Sarah Jefferson - both athletes racing for TFN. Full results are here.
First result in on Sunday was the Cheltenham Fun Triathlon. Not to be confused with the Try-a-Tri event that had to be postponed because of flooding, this one takes place at the Cheltenham Lido every year for charity. The winners were Mark French in 0:47:01 and Jane Wood in 0:52:21. They never seem to publish split times but we have the overall results here.
Over 250 athletes turned up for the pool-based Bedford Autumn Sprint Triathlon. Comfortable wins went to Dave Brown (Team Milton Keynes/Phil Corley Cycles) in 1:01:43 and Eimear Mullan (Bedford Traktors) in 1:10:44. Clearly the Ironman/Powerman training which is Dave's primary focus hasn't dented his speed too much. He likes a race too - so much so that after a third place finish at the Vitruvian, he hot-footed it back to compete the next day in the London Duathlon Elite race... The full results are here.
Dorney Lake, the traffic-free home of so many triathlons in recent years, hosted the DB Max Dorney Lake Rowathlon, the fourth and final round in the 2007 British Rowathlon Series. While Dorney may have hosted last year's on-water World Championships, rowathlon sees the swim replaced by rowing of the Concept2 ergo kind. As predicted in our weekend preview, it was no surprise to see Michelle Parsons take the ladies win, having a strong background in cross-training and indoor rowing competition. To the best of our knowledge, she's unbeaten in rowathlon events since 2003, when finishing third behind Tri247 columnist Colette O'Neill and multiple European Champion Sarah Coope at Castle Combe. For the guys, Lee Rankin, himself no stranger to cross-training events, and the odd TV appearance, was a dominant winner, over five minutes clear of vet Marc Scriven. Full results are here.
The Warwickshire Triathlons at Stratford upon Avon may well have had the weekends largest multi-sport turnout. Around 700 athletes competed across the three events and the winners of the sprint distance race were Andrew Davies (FitFor) in 1:01:30 and Sara Burling in 1:08:42, full results are here. Winners in the fun distance race were Andrew Unsworth in 54:33 and Lesley Parry-Jones in 57:51, full results are here. The relay race was won by Arthur's Tri-O in 1:03:58, full results are here.
The Big Triathlon up at Ben Nevis was won by local dentist Gregor Muir in 7:10:38 and the first lady to complete the course was Sian Tovey (Glasgow Tri Club) in 9:10:24. Full results are here and we have a race report from the organisers plus we also found this blog report.
It looks as though the Elbaman triathlon in Italy may have been the official BAD Tri long course championships judging by the number of them taking part! The overall winners were Alessandro Alessandri in 9:39:20 and Laislava Cisarovska (CZE) in 11:04:21 and the best GB performances came from Robert Foietta in 10:36:40 and Tanya Shaw (Bad Tri) in 13:16:18. We have done our best to restructure the results, no splits provided despite chip timing, and they are online here.