THE LATEST series of winter duathlon races sponsored by Angus Bike Chain and SG Baker Ltd, Friockheim, took place at Monikie Country Park a bit later than first anticipated due to the severe winter weather that struck at the end of November.
This is the 10th year of support for the series by Malcolm Fearon at SG Baker Ltd and with their support and that of Steve Smith at the Angus Bike Chain shop the series has grown into one of the most well established and supported winter race events in the calendar.
This latest event also saw a third supporter of the series, Run 4 It specialist running shops (www.run4it.com ) come on board for the last of the three races.
The first race, a four kilometre run followed by 20 kilometres on the bike and a second four kilometre run eventually went ahead in early February under cold and icy conditions with a second round covering the same distances three weeks later.
Both were won by Ewan Taylor, Perth Road Runners, who was pushed close by last year’s series winner RG McLean, Angus Bike Chain CC, Andy Brierley, Fife AC, and Robert Harrison, unattached.
It was a similar situation in the ladies’ category with Dundee University student Kelly-Anne Speight being chased hard by Sandra Tulloch and Kirsti Sharrat, both of Fife AC, but she managed to hold on to her overall series lead.
Winners of the team prize, in their inaugural year, were Monifieth Tri Club.
In order to give the competitors a third event, a stand alone competition was run on Sunday. However due to clashes with other events throughout the country, a small but select field of 38 athletes raced over a four kilometre run, a 30 kilometre bike section over a new course and a second four kilometre run.
Making an appearance after several years away, past series winner Steve Clark exited the first transition neck and neck with Ewan Taylor and Robert Harrison which led to a tight battle out on the bike.
Taylor won the skirmish making it back to the park for the second run ahead of Clark with them separated by the fastest cyclist out on the road RG McLean. Harrison was a few minutes further back. As they went in to the last run, Taylor maintained his lead with Clark passing McLean half way round the run route to take second place.
The fastest lady, and seventh finisher overall was Gillian Palmer, Sandy Wallace Cycles, with the host club’s Anna Harris coming in as second fastest lady.
Other local athletes putting in strong performances in Sunday’s race were Steph Delaney, Angus Bike Chain CC; Peter Herron, Arbroath; Colin Herron, Letham; Alan Rose, Monifieth Tri Club; Steve Smith, Angus Bike Chain; Martin Harris, Angus Bike Chain CC; and Ronald Fraser, Ursula Ryder and Paul Campbell, all Monifieth Tri Club, although Campbell’s race was brought to a premature end by a knee injury just as he started the second run.