You have to tri and tri again

A RANGE of keenly contested events was recently held over a weekend by Tri Northumberland at Ladyburn Lake in Druridge Bay Country Park.

On the Saturday there were 1.5k and 3k open water swims and they were followed on the Sunday by a sprint and standard triathlon.

Saturday morning was a wet one but it soon brightened up in the afternoon for the swimming races.

The water temperature was a toasty 17.5°C and the combined swim start preceded four and eight laps of great action.

In the 1500m, Lucy Ellis took first place in a swift 20m32s only just edging out Samuel Yates by one second. Pippa Higgs rounded out the podium.

The 3000m distance was not as close with a few gaps between the leaders.

Danielle Huskisson torpedoed to the win in an amazing 39m11s with Alexandra Robinson one minute further back, followed by Paul Haytack in a very respectable 44m16s.

Sunday gave competitors something else to think about – the hottest day of the year so far. At 27°C there was no holding back the swimmers making the entry into the lake for the start of the triathlons.

The Sprint provided little surprise with Alan Copland coming out the water in first place, which is where he would stay for the duration of the race.

The race for second place was a much closer affair with the experienced athletes evenly matched.

A handful of young up and coming triathletes of the future were next out the drink. Charlie Harris-Pratt, Alex Foster, Nick Wooley, Max Robson all exited within a few seconds, along with the very experienced Paul Jones.

Second and third was a hard fought race between the fast improving Daryl Oguona and experienced ironman John Barker.

John edged the swim by just under half-a-minute but Daryl made up the difference on the bike.

A foot-race ensued with John having to settle for third and Daryl earning his best result to date in second place.

Copland wasn’t seen for dust and crossed the line to massive applause from the hundreds of supporters waiting at the finish line.

In the women’s Sprint race it was Kyah Hall, also an up-and-coming junior and one to watch over the next few years, leading out the 750m swim in 11m52s and a big gap on her rivals.

However, she couldn’t hold on to the lead and was caught by both Rachel Walmsley and Jane Holmes, who put in superb bike splits to take them into first and second off the bike.

All three run splits were evenly matched with Rachel taking the win followed by Jane, with Kyah making the podium in third.

If Kerry Gowland (fourth) can sort out her run split she could be a force to be reckoned with looking at her swim and bike timings.

The Standard distance race kicked off with John Harris leading out the swim with a gap on local favourite and recent Kona Qualifier Elliot Gowland.

The gap was maintained with both putting in great bike splits but the run wasn’t quite as straightforward with runner David Turnbull hot on their heels.

Harris held on to his gap by matching Gowland’s time on the four-lap run.

Turnbull clawed back two minutes but this wasn’t enough to climb the podium and he had to settle for a respectable third place.

Meanwhile, the women’s Standard race was blown apart by Natalie Batey – who took another trophy home with a six-minute gap to the rest of the field.

Leading from start to finish, she was joined on the podium by Caroline Findlay in second and Ellen Tullo in third place.