Freedom Tri performed fantastically well at Sunday's Bedford Autodrome Duathlon Race. The run/bike/run event was competed over the Sprint distance of a 5km run, followed by a 20km bike, then a final 2.5km run. Despite a very cold and foggy start to the multi-sport season, the four Freedom athletes, Michelle Reeves, Suzy Hawkins, Chris Belcher and Lee Gilchrist all performed exceptionally. The draft legal race was a qualifier for the ETU Sprint Distance Duathlon Championships, which will be held in Avilies, Spain in June.
Reeves and Hawkins both finished in 5th in their age groups, in respective times of 1:07:46 and 1:09:19, and should automatically qualify for the championships by finishing in the top 6 in their age groups. Chris Belcher should also qualify, by being within the required time, finishing in 17th in his age group, om 1:03:21. Lee Gilchrist just missed the qualifying time, but did very well by finishing in 20th in his age group in 1:06:02.
Sunday saw the fifth year of staging the Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon, and as always, Freedom Tri we well represented at the race. Selling all 7,000 places in a matter of days, 16 "lucky" Freedom Tri athletes managed to secure sought after places to this race. The course has been reformatted to a single lap, which improved the course massively. Mickey "The Masher" Day (pictured above) was finished 49th in his category in a fantastic personal best time of 1:27:46. Chris Clark was next in 198th in category in 1:33:18.Lee Gilchrist was 181st in 1:36:30, Andrew Jones was 337th in 1:43:44, Jenny Cotter was 55th in 1:43:50, Angela Phillips was 53th in 1:44:58,
Rachel Lynes was 76th in 1:46:34, David Ball was 608th in 1:53:55, Gareth Sharp was 672th 1:57:50, John Phillips was 237th in 1:57:51, Janet Bassett was 271th in 1:58:42, Manjit Virdee was 703rd in 1:59:48, Matthew Cotter was 774th in 2:04:41, Jackie Livings was 489th in 2:17:23, Sarah Taylor was 722nd in 2:32:09, David Wright was 376th in 2:57:52.
Also racing on Sunday were a trio of triathletes. Lining up with 300 runners on a cold Sunday morning to take on the Baldock Beast half marathon. Reputed as the toughest half marathon in the area, even the downhill feels like it's uphill. Gareth Bates was first home for Freedom, finishing in 32nd place in a time of 1:37:38, Mark Lacy finished 105th in 1:47:57, and Gareth Bradbury finished in 187th in 2:08:37.
Freedom Tri were out for the fourth fixture of the Run Herts Cross Country League at Watford at the weekend. The cold and snow wasn't enough to put off Freedom's team of 19 athletes, who were out competing, amongst almost 350 hardy types.