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Sun 23rd Feb 2020
Canary Wharf report and video
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Friday 29th June 2012

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Well, that was fun.

The second edition of the GE Canary Wharf Triathlon was run and won last night by Australia's Aaron Royle and Great Britain's ITU World Duathlon Champion Katie Hewison.

The event takes place right in the heart of the Canary Wharf financial district - swimming in Middle Dock directly opposite the Jubilee Line tube station / cycling and running on a tight criterium style circuit circling South and North Colonnade - all in the shadow on One Canada Place, the iconic 'Canary Wharf Tower'.

A Super Sprint Eliminator format adds additional excitement to proceedings with a 'heats and finals' taking place alongside the Canary Wharf Corporate Challenge.

First up was the Elite ladies heat, the top-15 from a starting 30 gaining qualification for the final later in the evening. No real surprises here with all of the favourites moving through safely, able to hold back a little on the run for the final later... when it would be an all out effort.

The men's heats - two races, 25 athletes each with top eight plus for 'fastest losers' progressing - had to be shortened further in distance. A medical issue at the end of the ladies heat / ambulance on the course caused a 30 minute delay, and with racing not due to finish anyway until approaching 10pm... something had to changed such that it wasn't pitch black at the finish. Revised distances of five laps (bike), one lap (run), with similar changes to the Corporate Challenge, allowed time to caught back, the men's final reverting back to the full 400m / 9.8km / 2.1km format.

The ladies final saw Liz Blatchford lead out of the swim and with a swift transition she had a small lead, but after a couple of bike laps the group had formed. The pace was high and nobody was able to break away ahead of the run. Katie Hewison was first out of transition and looked amazing, showing the pedigree which saw her recruited to multisport via the TriGold scheme. The ever consistent Liz Blatchford, resplendent in fluoro pink trisuit, took second place with South Africa's London-based 2012 Olympian Gillian Sanders filling the podium.

Katie Hewsion was overjoyed, punching the air on the finishing straight. “I am in shock. For me it was all about having the hardest swim that I could and if I am in the pack, I am a happy girl because I am a strong runner, that's my strength. I focused on running as hard as I could and when I got near I couldn't believe I was going to win.

“To race here with all the support is amazing there is a great atmosphere and to race in heats and then finals is something different too, it's all really fast.”

Gillian Sanders, Katie Hewison, Liz Blatchford

The men's elite final was a thrilling race with a truly deserved winner. Super fast swimming saw the US pairing of Tommy Zaferes and Benjamin Huffman join Australian Aaron Royle - fourth last year - with a small but distinct gap at T1 with Tim Don, Adam Bowden, Aaron Royle and co. in chase.

Zaferes had lead his heat out of the water earlier in the evening but quickly eased up on the bike then. Not so for the final. The lead trio were clearly going "all in" from the start on the bike, full commitment to their lead group and it was a joy to see. On the tight circuit they managed to build a lead which hovered at around 20 seconds in the later stages of the ride. Not huge, but with just 2.1km of running, possibly enough.

Royle was on a mission, first out of T2 with the US pairing on his heals before Tim Don and Jarrod Shoemaker (USA) started their chase. With a touch over six minutes of running ahead, it was going to be close.

Through the first lap and Royle was still leading while Don, Bowden, Kerr (AUS) and Harris were running hard and trying to bridge up to the front of the race.

The final turn on to South Colonnade, just over 100 metres to go and Royle was first into view... with several athletes right on his shoulder! Epic stuff, but the Aussie was able to dig deep and just about hold off the former World Duathlon Champion Shoemaker to become King of the Wharf, while Aaron Harris added another podium finish to his second place last year. Back next year to complete the set with a win?

Jarrod Shoemaker, Aaron Royle, Aaron Harris

A brilliant effort from Royle, a well deserved win and a fine end to a fantastic evening of triathlon racing. More next year please.

Like this racing concept? If so, heck out the Double Super Sprint in Co Durham on August 5th - more HERE.

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