The First Ever Dartington Duathlon Race Report
Despite the cold (2C) , blustery conditions nearly 150 duathletes took to the start line at the inaugural Dartington Duathlon on Sunday, March 24th 2013
18 year old Chris Perham took an early lead in the initial 5km run and came into transition (T1), in 17:04, nearly a minute ahead of second placed, veteran Jon Parkinson. It was a great time considering the very cold conditions that had two of the front runners pulling out with muscle strains, and the tough hill towards the end of the 5km lap. In third place was Joe Arundel.
On the bike leg, however, it was James Stewart, who despite finishing the first run 80 seconds back in 6th place, put in a storming bike and returned to T2 over a minute ahead of Chris Perham who had now dropped to second place ahead of the consistent Jon Parkinson.
On the final hilly, muddy 2.5km run, Stewart held off the chasers to win in an impressive time of 1:06:15, Jon Parkinson was second, and the winning vet, in 1:07:53 and Ian Lea completed the podium in 1:08:27. Chris Perham unfortunately went off course on the second run and lost several minutes but still finished in a respectable 16th place and second junior.
In the senior women’s race Debbie Marsden flew round Run 1 in 20:58 ahead of Robyn Golding and veteran woman Wendy Urban. On the bike leg Karen Watkins surged to the front with Robyn Golding still in second place and Laura Hutchinson moving up to third place. Debbie Marsden unfortunately pulled out, finding the bike conditions damp and treacherous and riding a bike she wasn’t used to.
The final muddy 2.5km left the finishing order unchanged with veteran Karen Watkins taking the win in 1:16:34 ahead of Robyn Golding and Laura Hutchinson. Emily Attfield, the youngest competitor and still only 14 but eligible to race because she turns 15 this year, won the youth race and was 4th woman overall in an excellent 1:18:25.
Further down the field Eric Barber, aged 76, was the Dartington Duathlon’s oldest competitor and finished in respectable time of well under 2 hours.
Ben Tisdall, co-organiser of the race with Stewart Bergman and Rory Aitken, said, ‘It was great to have such a positive reception to our first event. People loved the course and we expect to be back in the autumn, at the end of the triathlon season, with another race.
Results for full results by category see http://racesplitter.com/races/EC7120EDF
First 3 male finishers
1. James Stewart 1:06:15
2. Jon Parkinson (and veteran winner) 1:07:53
3. Ian Lea 1:08:28
First 3 female finishers
1. Karen Watkins (and veteran winner) 1:16:34
2. Robyn Golding 1:17:189
3. Laura Hutchinson 1:17:55