Wild and windy on Peninsula for Race 2 of Duathlon Series
Gale force winds on the Peninsula failed to deter a large group of athletes from competing in race two of the duathlon series at Portobello yesterday.
Once again Geoff Williamson put in a classy performance to lead from the outset. Suffering from a virus, Williamson questioned fronting for the race but tested himself earlier in the morning with some sprints and a gym session. Onlookers would not have imagined anything was amiss as Williamson surged from the gun and put the hammer down on the bike leg to record 55 minutes 27 seconds, over 2 minutes clear of second placed Guy Carter, who was 6 seconds ahead of Jason Low.
Triathlete Deb Lynch ran a quick first leg over the undulating, gravel run, which had been accidentally shortened by 2 kilometres. However, it was Sarah Bryant who mastered the vagaries of the strong wind on the bike to take a comfortable lead and finish in 1.02.57. As a junior, Bryant was 3rd in the World Duathlon Champs in 2003 and 2nd in the World Triathlon Champs in 2004 as well as amassing New Zealand and Oceania titles. By 2010 Bryant recognised she had fulfilled her potential in triathlon and switched to ironman, winning the Wanaka Half in January. She recently turned her hand to multisport, her team posting second in the Southern Lakes 24 hour race in November and also starting the Godzone Adventure race, mechanical problems forcing the team to withdraw on day three. Not content with this array of disciplines, the 27 year old dentist’s other passion is cyclo cross.
Cyclist Elyse Fraser powered through the bike leg to start the run in second behind Bryant. However, Lynch passed Fraser 600 metres from the finish to edge her out in a time of 1.07.17.
First junior male, Aaron Lynch, turned a few heads when he finished sixth in 1.00.05.
David Rush, nursing a strained calf muscle, teamed up with partner Julie Wilson to break the tape second in an impressive time of 56 minutes 46 seconds.
In the masters grades Mark Chignall was 16th overall in a time of 1.04.33 and Julia Burgess was 27th overall in 1.11.51.