Over 1,000 duathletes descended on Castle Combe last Sunday (23 November) for the annual Chilly Duathlon. As always it featured the British University Championships (BUCS) duathlon championships, with some of the country’s brightest young stars were racing.
The day began with the classic Chilly Duathlon, with 400 people lining up on the start line. The race consists of a 3.2km run around the outside of the Castle Combe track, followed by a 16km bike on the track and a final 3.2km run again around the track’s perimeter.
The pace was red hot from the off and in to the first transition the lead was held by Phil Kruse, narrowly ahead of Duathlon Age Group World Champion James Coleman and Benjamin Griffiths.
After the 16km cycle Coleman had worked into the lead, going into T2 ahead of Chris Roxburgh and Robert Abraham. By the finish line Coleman had extended his lead crossed the line in 44:23mins, giving him a comfortable 1mn lead over Benjamin Griffiths (Team Wosskow Brown) and Robert Abraham.
The ladies’ race was taken by Bath’s Nicole Walters, who dominated proceedings to take the race win in 51:05mins – more than 2mins ahead of nearest rival Gwen Kinsey of Stroud and District Athletics Club – with Michelle Kerfoot of Kingswood Tri Club taking bronze.
It was then on to the final race of the day, the British University championships, which attracted some 675 competitors to the venue from all over the country. The men’s race was headed from the off by rising star Liam Lloyd (University of Leeds), with a whole host of athletes racing in just behind him.
At the end of the bike section Liam was holding on to his lead, but only by a second from Dan Bigham (Oxford Brookes University) who put in a storming 20:36mins bike leg, the fastest of the day. Back out on to the second run and Lloyd began to stamp his authority, pulling away to take the victory in a very impressive 42:22mins from the fast-finishing Alex Matchett (University of Bristol) and Samuel Wade (Cardiff Metropolitan University).