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26th Mar 2012Issue 218

Welcome to the newsletter

In a sensational weekend of racing, the performance that perhaps made me [both of us, actually!] smile most this weekend was the second place of Rachel Joyce at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championships in Melbourne.

Second place doesn't really do it justice either - it was the tenth fastest female Ironman-distance finish ever, makes her the second fastest Brit behind the legend of Chrissie Wellington and represented a personal best by more than 20 minutes. Of course, you'll know all of this if you are a regular visitor to the (freshly updated) Tri247 Iron-Distance Statistics Library! Not interested in times? OK, Mirinda Carfrae finished almost 18 minutes back in third place. That is great racing however you look at it.

Why does it make me smile? Well, in a sense I feel I've followed Rachel from (almost) the start of her iron-distance career. I first met and interviewed Rachel in early 2009 after she had won the TCR Show 10k. At that stage, Rachel had a fifth place at Ironman Florida to her name. Good, but hardly and indicator towards her potential.

In April of that year I was at Ironman South Africa to watch (from the back of a media motor cycle), Rachel finish third... and was even able to provide a few on-course time splits during the run. From third in Port Elizabeth to second at Ironman Lanzarote in May 2009, Joyce was steadily improving. Nothing drastic, just consistent month-on-month progression. Kona 2009 for the experience then? Yes...but some experience it was, taking sixth overall.

And yet... even Rachel has admitted since that she wasn't sure she 'belonged' at that level. Had she got lucky? Well, a win at Ironman Lanzarote last year, second at Ironman South Africa (I was there again!) and follow up fifth and fourth places at Kona over the past two seasons put that to rest. Still a 'swim-biker'? How about winning the ITU Long Distance Champs - after the swim has been cancelled! And, anyone who watched Abu Dhabi this year knows that Miss Joyce can certainly run now too. Melbourne was no fluke.

What's even better? There is more to come from The Joycinator, who also happens to be one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I look forward to following the next steps.

One final point as we turn our attentions to April... if you thought last week was a big racing weekend (it was), don't think next week won't be. There's a race happening in Texas. A man called Lance is doing it. Lance is from Texas. Lance hates losing. Michael Raelert will be there too. Game on.

Can a 40-year-old man take on and beat the very best in our sport? We'll find out soon, but two men called Craig Alexander and Cameron Brown aren't too far away from that landmark and they both shaped up OK in Melbourne this weekend...

In this issue:

Results

Weekend action

Hard to know where to start really! Take a new event, Ironman Melbourne, with a stellar field and you would expect fireworks but to get a sub-8 from Craig Alexander, the second fastest official women's Ironman™ time from Caroline Steffen plus a career best 8:46:09 from Rachel Joyce and you should be in no doubt that this was a heck of a race. In an email to us post-race Joyce said that she she was, "Very happy - sub-9 was an aim but seeing 8:46 was a good feeling when I crossed the finish line :)" One litle thought: Chrissie's away and the girls are out to play!

One record that Caroline has taken from Chrissie is that of the fastest female iron-distance bike split (4:35:29), eclipsing Wellington's Challenge Roth 2010 mark of 4:36:33. I have a funny feeling that this won't be the first weekend that John's got some work to do re-compiling the Ironman Stats...

Pos Male Female
1 Craig Alexander (AUS) 7:57:44 Caroline Steffen (SUI) 8:34:51
2 Cameron Brown (NZL) 8:00:12 Rachel Joyce (GBR) 8:46:09
3 Frederik Van Lierde (BEL) 8:01:26 Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 9:04:00

The ITU Mooloolaba World Cup also saw some good performances from athletes looking to be in contention for Olympic slots - and countries looking to increase their quota of athletes in the target zone for three rather than two or one come London in the Summer. We've digested the official releases for the men and women and there is a full set of results online HERE. Best GB performances were from Will Clarke in ninth and Liz Blatchford in an excellent fourth. Having finished as 'next best Brit' to Helen Jenkins in Beijing last year, Liz has certainly done her London 2012 prospects no harm.

Pos Male Female
1 Laurent Vidal (FRA) 01:53:22 Erin Densham (AUS) 02:03:32
2 Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 01:53:22 Nicola Spirig (SUI) 02:04:24
3 David Hauss (FRA) 01:53:22 Andrea Hewitt (NZL) 02:04:31

The off-road crowd continued their somewhat erratic route acros the Pacific fetching up almost back where they started a couple of weeks ago, this time it was XTERRA Saipan. The winners, predictably, were Ben Allen and Renata Bucher while Cedric Lassonde took his customary third place and Jacqui Slack went one better for Second. Graham Wadsworth was fifth and has added his report to the main story HERE. The crew will stay on the island for the week as it's the 'normal' on-road Tagaman next weekend. Full results are HERE.

Pos Male Female
1 Ben Allen (AUS) 2:31:05 Renata Bucher (SUI) 2:54:56
2 Olivier Marceau (SUI) 2:31:44 Jacqui Slack (GBR) 3:04:46
3 Cedric Lassonde (FRA) 2:34:58 Carina Wasle (AUT) 3:05:53

Finally on the international circuit, Michelle Parsons was fifth at the USAT National Long Distance Duathlon Championships which were held alongside Powerman Alabama... which she also raced, and finished second in! Results for both races can be found HERE.

Team Kennet put on a small but perfectly formed Newbury Duathlon (actually held at Chieveley) which took full advantage of the brilliant sunshine. Emergency local roadworks made for an unexpected and unappreciated set of traffic lights but everyone seems to have behaved and there were no penalties issued despite the very competitive racing at the front of the field. Full results are HERE.

The big duathlon for Saturday was the Clumber Park Classic and headline wins in the full distance race went to Mark Morgan (Huub TFN RT) and Parys Edwards (Ful-on Tri). We've taken a look at the provisional results which are HERE but there are a couple of obvious problems so we've just put in a link for the moment.

The prestige race for Sunday was the National Elite Duathlon Championships and that's been covered in a separate piece HERE. The headline results are:

Elite - RESULTS: Men / Women
Pos Men Women
1 Mark Buckingham 54:08 Lucy Gossage 1:00:43
2 Matthew Gunby 54:21 Rachel Bamford 1:01:43
3 Richard Horton 54:27 George Schwiening 1:02:45
Junior - RESULTS: Men / Women
Pos Men Women
1 Richard Horton 54:27 George Schwiening 1:02:45
2 Calum Johnson 54:39 Sophia Saller 1:03:17
3 Liam Lloyds 54:45 Megan Withers 1:03:46
Youth - RESULTS: Men / Women
Pos Men Women
1 Miles Burton 28:42 Kate Curran 32:04
2 Greg Chambers 28:51 Megan McDonald 32:22
3 Harry Leleu 28:57 Mary Hodgson 32:46

Anyone Scottish would raise an eyebrow simply because their prestige event was the Stirling Duathlon which was also serving as their National Duathlon Championships. They don't segregate out the elite either so it's a proper 'open' event.

Overall wins went to Fraser Cartmell in 1:48:51 and Kerry MacPhee in 2:02:33. Full results are HERE and there are results from the Sprint and Junior races as well.

Pos Male Female
1 Fraser Cartmell (Stirling Triathlon Club) 1:48:51 Kerry MacPhee (Stirling Triathlon Club) 2:02:33
2 Rory Downie (Edinburgh RC) 1:49:33 Joanne Thorn (Edinburgh RC) 2:04:11
3 Steven Lawley 1:51:23 Jessica Wilson-Young (Edinburgh RC) 2:06:49

The Stokesley Duathlon was won by David Thomas (York Triathlon) and Jane Hodgson (Ryton Tri Club). Full results are HERE and results from the novice event are HERE.

Pos Male Female
1 David Thomas (York Triathlon) 1:28:06 Jane Hodgson (Ryton Tri Club) 1:39:24
2 Garry Walker (NE31 Tri Club) 1:28:16 Jessica Bacon (York Triathlon) 1:43:02
3 Elliot Gowland (RedVenom) 1:28:42 Karen Poole (Cleveland Tri Club) 1:44:20

Minet Park in Hayes saw action for both Seniors and Juniors in the Hillingdon Spring Sprint Duathlon. John Levison was down there doing timekeeping duties and reports that perfect weather attracted an almost 100% turnout plus a large entry-on-the day contingent at the traffic-free Minet Park circuit.

While a relatively small race, the ladies field still featured 2010 Age Group Duathlon World Champion Vicky Gill (Swim for Tri) and multiple British Youth Champion Sky Draper (Hillingdon Triathletes), now a first year junior. Draper took off on the run in her characteristic style and quickly pulled out a lead, however the experience of Gill began to close that towards the end of the two miles. Sky lost time with a 'bike shoe malfunction', but was able to gain enough of a gap on the bike, combined with a strong second run to take the win. The pair finished fourth and sixth overall respectively, a reflection of their quality.

In the men's race Carl Ferri (Blue Door Cycles) took off from the gun to take a good lead into the bike leg. Home club athlete Mark Edwards however was soon into TT mode on the super-smooth cycle circuit, setting the fastest ride of the day by some margin, and more than enough for a clear win with Ferri taking second.

Full results are HERE and results from the Tristar/Youth event are HERE.

Even more duathlon action in the spring sunshine at Dorney Lake with F3's Maxifuel Winter Duathlon series. Thanks to Stuart Steele all the results are linked to the relevant event page, see below, but in the main race victory went to Ben Price (kinetic-one.co.uk) in 1:57:27 and Clemence Copice in 2:13:04.

Portsmouth Triathletes took to the Goodwood Circuit for their Spring Duathlon over full and sprint distances. In the main event Colin Dixon again showed his years of experience and took over a minute out of the rest of the field. Erica Martin (Brighton Phoenix) won the women's race. Full results are HERE and the sprint distance results are HERE.

Organisers of the inaugural Butlers Bonk Duathlon, sponsored by triathlon based clothing brand Bonk, report that the event went off in fine style under beautiful blue skies in Mortimer, tucked away in the Berkshire countryside. This low key event proved a great success and an ideal season opener over the standard and sprint distances. Small the field may have been, but it was perfectly formed with some high class racing at the front. In the standard men's race Glyn Painter smashed his way around the super-quick bike course to turn around a four minute deficit into a 2:30 lead over his Army Tri colleague WO Clark, and did just enough to sneak to line first in a superb time of 1:55:22. In the women's standard race the Army Tri team once again came home victorious. CFN Wroe lead from start to finish; following a strong opening run, a great bike split took her clear of Jodie Gambrill in second place. A comfortable 5km run to close brought her home in 2:20:24 to win by eight minutes.

In the sprint distance event, Pat Flynn lead all the way to take the tape in 1:22:55, closely followed in second overall, and first lady, local favourite Rachel Hill in 1:24:24. In the men's event second place was taken by the 16 year old Joe Walder, who put in a great race on his duathlon debut, and second lady was Georgia Jackson.

Pos Male Female
1 Glyn Painter 1:55:22 CFN Wroe 2:20:24
2 WO Clark 1:56:28 Jodie Gambrill 2:28:32
3 Sam Westhead 1:58:40 Katie Rellis 2:36:35

Also added in on Monday after the main roundup went live are the Bury St Edmunds Duathlon, results HERE.

Click below for links to all the results from this weekend, and remember, where you see the triVIEWER icon, you can re-live your race in graphical simulation form!

FULL WEEKEND RESULTS LISTINGS

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