Today Katie Hewison, reigning ITU Duathlon World Champion, became the 2012 GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon Champion after beating off strong competition from Lauren Campbell and Ashlee Bailie who came second and third respectively, to secure a deserved victory.
Katie Hewison, along with a number of other athletes incurred a 10-second penalty for missing registration prior to the race and it wasn’t until the bike section that she managed to put herself amongst the leaders and in a position to win the race.
Katie finished in an overall time of 0:56.11, she said: “It’s a really tough and challenging course, but really enjoyable. I don't think we caught the front pack until the after the first lap on the bike, myself and Ashlee Baile worked really hard together at the front on the bike to close the gap, we then got a good group working together which enabled us to get a healthy lead on the chasing pack.
"I was thinking that the change to a duathlon was going to play to my strengths. I've been working really hard on my swimming and the whole idea of me doing this race was to get a good hit out on the bike in preparation for the World Duathlon Championships in two weeks, so for that reason my tactics didn't change whether it was a run or swim at the start. I just wanted to have a really solid bike performance."
Of the final top three, just Lauren was included in the lead group for the first run section following the earlier time penalty on Katie and Ashlee. Kerry McPhee had a great run and was first out of T1 for the cycle with the rest of the leaders hot on her heels and Katie and Ashlee working hard in pursuit. After lap one of the second run Katie was in the lead, Lauren in second and Charlotte McShane of Australia sitting in third but Ashlee Bailie managed to snatch the podium position away from her fellow countrywoman on the final lap.
Runner-up Lauren from Canada recorded a time of 0:56.31. After crossing the finish line she commented: “We had a strong group of four or five of us and each took turns working, and I think no-one killed themselves on the bike, but we did what we had to do to build our lead on the chasing group.
“Second place is great because I did a double race last week in Stockholm and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do today, so I’m really happy. Katie is an incredible runner, I knew she was the one to beat today, so for me keeping up with her and finishing second is really great.”
Australia’s Ashlee, who took third place with 0:57.12, enjoyed the duathlon format today. She said: “It was a very hard course and it has been a while since I’ve done a duathlon, so that was a new experience for my body.
“The crowd was great, they were really good all the way round, there were people everywhere. I did the GE Canary Wharf Triathlon and obviously that’s a Super Series race, I had so much fun doing it that I was really keen to do another one.”
The event is also the penultimate race in the 2012 British Triathlon Junior Super Series with Georgia Taylor-Brown being the first junior athlete to cross the line. Georgia commented: "It was a good race, I got the 10-second penalty at the start for being late to the briefing, but we worked together on the bike and I felt strong on the hills, which should set me up for the World Championships. On the run I just relaxed going into it and tried to pick it up as I went through.
“We worked well together on the bikes, we all took our turns at the front on the bike, but we did lose quite a lot ground on the front pack.
“Coming down the shoot to the finish was really good because of all the people cheering, and then on the run course there are people all around cheering for you and having a good time, it was really fun.”
British terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4 has confirmed it will screen highlights of the race in an hour show on Sunday 16 September.
Following the GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon, the British Triathlon Super Series will conclude at the Virgin Active London Triathlon on 23 September 2012.
ALL RESULTS ARE PROVISIONAL