The junior and senior races rounded off a day of racing that saw many of Britain’s most talented young athletes compete in the youth races followed by the British Paraduathlon Championships that welcomed three world champions and multiple Paralympic gold medal-winning Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE to the Rockingham Motor Racing Circuit.
In the women’s race, it was a close race that saw Katie Hewison
and Emma Pallant
battle it out for the chequered flag.
On the final run, the 2013 British Triathlon Super Series Champion, Emma Pallant pulled away from former world champion Hewison to cross the line first in a time of 01:00.33. The race winner Pallant commented: “I’ve been training with my training partner, Stuart Hayes, and he’s always giving confidence boosts but it’s always nice to prove yourself against the girls – you always want an objective measure.”
Whilst Emma Pallant was the race winner, she did not meet the eligibility criteria for the British title and so it was Katie Hewison
who stepped onto the podium to reclaim the title she won back in 2010. Sian Edwards was third in 01:01.23.
Katie was happy with her 01:00.41 performance after a solid winter of training commenting: “It was tough, really tough. It was a bit of a shock to the system, the first race out. I’m really pleased to get the season underway, I really pushed that bike and I knew Emma would have a good pair of legs on her so I tried to push as hard as possible but the better runner won in the end.”
She continued: “The first run was kind of even, there were a couple of other good girls in there. I think it was quite comfortable the first 5k on the bike. I did get a really good transition and I was riding alone for the first two laps before Emma got on. By the end, we got each other working and we managed to keep the big pack off which was the main aim for me.
“I was quite apprehensive to come into today’s race. I’ve had limited run training but today shows how I’m moving in the right direction. Everything’s been going really well so I’m really pleased.”
In the men’s race, it was an equally close affair with an impressive field that included a number of athletes that all had the experience to win either of the titles on offer today.
In the end, it was experienced duathlete, Phil Wylie who ran his way to victory in 53.49 with a nine-second winning margin over Aaron Harris
who improved on his fourth position in 2013 with a time of 53.58. Calum Johnson
was third in 54.05.
Phil commented: “It was a close race. I was feeling comfortable on the first run and was very surprised because after a fast start a load of the guys just decided to sit back. I expected two or three of them to come with me, push on and create a little gap but they didn’t. Once we were on the bike it was fairly comfortable, but on that fourth lap people started getting edgy, making a few little digs up the front and it started getting a bit tasty from that point onwards - it was never really easy. Had I not given that little extra bit on those last two turns, then we might have been talking about a sprint finish. It was tough today.”
In the junior female race, it was the 2013 British Youth Champion, Bronwen Owen who crossed the line first, showing that her progression to junior racing this season hasn’t fazed her in the slightest.
Bronwen commented: “I feel relieved and really good, especially after last year to follow it up with a win this year as well. I was more worried about the long bike today, with it being double the distance, which is quite a big step up but I didn’t actually find it that bad.”
Bronwen won in 01:01.26, with Sophie Coldwell
almost a minute back in 01:02.21. Third place went to Leah Peploe
who finished in 01:02.54.
In the junior men’s race, George Goodwin won the British title in 55.13. George commented: “It was pretty tough racing with the seniors; we went off really quick so I think I was maybe top 20 going into the first corner and just held on for dear life after that to get in the second pack. A senior can dictate your race. If you get in a good pack with the seniors, they’ve going to drag you along with the pack. I felt fairly confident coming into the race; I had a good cross-country season which I hadn’t really had before so it gave me a lot of confidence going into the run.”
In second place was Deri Stewart in 55.29 and in third was Richard Allen with a finishing time of 55.55.