Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Series Leeds 2016

After the disappointment of her Walden race last week Christy Durbin had a good day on Saturday in Leeds, with the chance to test herself against 30 other competitors from across the country including Abigail Kerr (Discovery Tri) and Tilly Borrett (Cambridge Tri) from the East of England region.

The tough race started with a dive from the elite pontoon
2016 Leeds Tri CD Swim 1
(you can spot Christy in the photo with her orange wetsuit arms).
She had a good 300m lake swim coming out in 20th place just 11 seconds behind behind Abigail and half minute ahead of Tilly…

Then the mother of all transitions…

400m run in the wetsuit uphill from the lake to transition, 100 metres in transition just to get to the bike… 50metres to reach the road… then ANOTHER 300m run with the bike on rough asphalt to the elite’s mount-line and after 15 metres or so, straight into a 400m UPHILL section!
2016 Leeds Tri CD Tran 1If you saw the coverage on the BBC of the elites you will have seen the hill, however the elite’s transition area was next to the mount line…!  Interesting that the southerners like Christy, Abigail and Tilly were on cleats so a LOT of barefoot running before the bike… not to mention the 300m AFTER the downhill dismount line….  Most from the local region were in trainers/baskets – although Christy and others still felt that they made the right decision as it gave them the edge on the uphill technical sections of the bike course and is good practice for the future.

Christy gained a couple of places on the bike however was overtaken by Tilly who had a good strong bike section.  Christy’s running was back on form on the hilly mix of roads and muddy gravel round Roundhay lake,
2016 Leeds Tri CD Run 1with her pulling past Tilly and maintained the gap to Abigail – coming in 14th from the 31 entries to give her an overall position of 14th.  (Abigail 12th, Tilly 19th).
2016 Leeds Tri CD Fin 1Certainly a good experience Saturday; pontoon dive, wetsuit swim in the lake, draft-legal wet slippery road riding up and down hills with dead turns – and then a run that more resembled a fell run than the normal East of England terrain.

Frankie (Juniors coach) and Paul Durbin (Race Director) also competed later that day in the England Aquathlon Championships.  Frankie had a great race, claiming another bronze medal in her age group (20-24… although she is still only 19!!!) and Paul at least didn’t disgrace myself, being beaten by Frankie by only 1:58 minutes… coming in 66th from the 86 finishers – 10th in his age group… you’re never too old to start this lark….. At least he beat some younger ones even if he was also beaten by a few seconds by the winner of the 65+ age group!

You might see some negative comments about the organisation of the Leeds event for the amateurs, especially for the sprint and standard open triathlon races, however we all enjoyed the event, had a good day Sunday watching the elites men’s and women’s races and hopefully will be back next year!