Shetland Triathlon Club members Lynsey Henderson and Kevin Gifford started their 2011 triathlon season by heading to Glasgow on Sunday to attend the GE Strathclyde Park triathlon.
The event was hosted by British Triathlon and included amateur and elite races. Strathclyde Park will be the venue hosting the triathlon event in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Henderson and Gifford took part in the age group sprint event made up of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run. The weather didn’t look promising for the day ahead as it started overcast with occasional showers.
Henderson’s swim heat was up first. The swim was in the Strathclyde Park loch with a deep water start. Once the horn was blown for the start she took to the front of the pack with fellow competitor Lisa Tweddle from NE31 triathlon club battling it out over the 750m swim. With just a short distance to the finish Henderson pulled ahead to be first out of the water.
Moving swiftly into transition Henderson made a quick turn around and headed out onto the bike course which involved four undulating laps of the park, however the weather was closing in with more frequent rain showers. She extended her lead over Tweddle but unknown to her, strong bike rider Joanne Thom was trying hard to close the gap by recording the fastest bike split time. Henderson stayed strong coming into the second transition still leading the race.
Holding her form, she headed out onto the run course along a scenic route beside the loch. She powered out and on the return leg kept the pace high to hold off Thom, crossing the finish line over a minute ahead of the other competitors and recording an impressive 5km and PB time of 19:52. Henderson finished first in the senior women category (19-39 age group) with a time of 1:15:08 and also claimed the trophy for the fastest amateur woman competitor on the day.
Henderson’s next event will be this weekend at the British Sprint Championships in the Midlands.
Gifford was in the last heat of the day against a strong senior men’s field. He showed his strength in the swim leg with a great time of 11:02 coming out in the top three competitors. After a quick transition he made his way out onto the bike course and gave it his all, setting a great pace. Disaster struck though on the last lap when he experienced a slow puncture which slowed him down.
However he managed to keep it going with a flat tyre to finish the bike leg and get back to transition two. Fighting back after a frustrating bike ride Gifford headed out on the run determined to claim back time lost on the bike. A well paced hard 5km run, showed his “never die” attitude, indicating he has great potential in the sport of triathlon. Gifford finished 22nd overall in the senior male category (19-39 age group) with a time of 1:18:24, a great start to the season in a strong field of competitors.
Meanwhile, the Shetland Triathlon Club will be hosting an Aquathlon event, consisting of a 750m swim and 5km run, on Sunday at Clickimin, start time 11am, for more details visit the club website.