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Athletes brave Thanet's 'toughest race'

by Press Release
Wednesday 14th January 2015

Race report: John Flitch Mountain Bike Duathlon - Sunday, January 11, 2014

Athletes brave Thanet's 'toughest race'

Strong winds, muddy conditions, huge puddles and five dykes were some of the obstacles that over 45 athletes had to contend with in the John Flitch Mountain Bike Duathlon on Sunday 11th January 2014.   In what were energy sapping conditions, each competitor faced a 2.4 mile road run, followed by a nine mile mountain-biking cross-country ending with a 4.5 mile cross-country run in which left many of the entrants drained.

Steve Clarke, Chairman of Thanet Roadrunners AC said, "Thanet’s toughest race certainly lived up to its billing, with the mud and full dykes proving particularly challenging, although it was a beautiful clear sunny morning, if a little windy! The combination of distance, terrain, ground conditions tested even the most experienced athletes."

The race for first place was incredibly close with Jason Paton-Smith finishing just 13 seconds clear of Graeme Blair in 1 hours 37 minutes. Thanet Roadrunners' Chris Brenchley picked up third place six minutes back.  Claire Hitchings of 7Oaks Tri was the first of two ladies to complete, finishing 4th overall in 1 hour 45 minutes. Wendy Bradley completed the female turn out. There were 42 individual finishers, with four pulling out.

Coleman and Dawkins from Deal Tri were the first of 10 teams of two home, in 1hr 34, while Lewis, Kevin and Ross Perkins was the only team of three, completing the course in 1hr 54. There was one team of ladies - Aspital and Petersman from Ashford Tri getting round in 2hrs 3mins.

Chris Brenchley who came third said, "I was looking forward to this event and improving on my last year's efforts. I started running strong knowing my running was my best discipline and soon got into a fast pace.  Into transition to the bike was smooth and simple but into a head wind that was cruel and relentless having to use the bikes lowest gear in the mud to battle away it was relief to turn. At high speed coming down a bank I completely lost control and ended up having a spectacular crash going over into the dyke, laughing away I re-saddled and took it steady on the second lap getting caught by some cyclists. Into transition I felt strong and got running at pace albeit into the wind a picked away at 4 runners. Onto the dykes I was confident to jump and avoid too much water and onto complete the run at a good pace but the few ahead of me were too far to catch."

"I was surprised to get the 3rd place as you don't really know the position of team of 2 and 3 competitors. I'm really pleased to represent our great cub an get on the podium I'll be back next year."

Steve Clarke, said, "Very well done to everyone who took part.  Thanks to race director, Phil Kinnill and his team and all the hardy marshals who braved the conditions.   Thanks also to our race supporters including TMS Property Services, RAYNET, the Margate Ambulance services, and our race HQ venue, Minnis Bay Sailing Club."

He added "We hope to see many of you again next year, or at one of our other races later in the year!  Entries are now open for the return of the Thanet 20 mile on 1st March, ideal for your spring marathon training, and our popular beach race, the Harbour Wallbanger on 23rd May."

Men's results

1 JASON PATON-SMITH   01:37:01
2 GRAEME BLAIR   01:37:14


Women's results

2 WENDY BRADLEY   02:34:58


Click here for full results


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