From the Wilderness to the Amphitheatre – 2-up Duathlon and Chester 10k Review

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It was a remarkable day of sport on Sunday both at Murrayfield and Old Trafford, but St Helens Tri had their own compelling stories to tell at the Firefighters 2-up Duathlon and the Aldi Chester 10k. On the West Pennine Moors four teams of two joined many more in racing over a hilly course featuring two 6km runs either side of a 37km bike course where drafting and teamwork are just as important as strength. Leading the way for the club was the dynamic duo of Chris Hayes and Paul Howard, who have been regular attendees at the Friday night track sessions and put their newly found faster feet to perfect use on the slopes of Belmont, as they powered round to finish in the top 100 in a time of 2:42:27. Chris Murphy and Azzam Taktak have made legends of themselves in their own rights over the last few years, the former with his photography skills at club events, the latter with his spellbinding performance at Ironman Barcelona 2019. What better pairing to put together then, as two of the club’s top endurance athletes? Well, they were more than equal to the task and completed the course in under three hours and placed inside the top 150. It was also a good day out for Mike Gregory and Kevin Dudley who distinguished themselves at the winter cross country races. Here, they dug in deep and finished in a time of 3:01:20 to round off proceedings up north.

Meanwhile, newly appointed club kit officer Robert Saile was taking on the Aldi Chester 10k, a course set through the city centre in much the same way as the annual half marathon and Round the Walls races. In a dramatic race befitting of the amphitheatre itself, which saw the winner break 30 minutes, Robert improved immeasurably on his last significant run performance at the 2019 Manley Mere Triathlon and put on a big finish to get his chip time under the hour to the tune of five seconds! A fine way to round off another breezy day of racing. Hopefully it will be a bit calmer next week at the ever popular Parbold Duathlon, while the spring triathlon season is just around the corner, starting on April 5th in Ulverston, the same day as the Manchester Marathon.

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