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Striders get on their bikes….and make a splash

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South Cerney Olympic Distance Triathlon (June 15 th )

This was a debut for both Alice Johnston and Jo Wilkie over the full Olympic distance of 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run. A cold blustery day, increased the nerves and looking on from the shore, the lake looked choppy enough to be the Bay of Biscay, and was a tough start to the challenge for the two first-timers. Both survived and were slightly relieved to have that section of the race out of the way and set off for the bike transition. Jo’s flying mount almost landed her in the hedge and after much fumbling, she headed out, undeterred, to face the cross winds and brief hailstorm that only the UK could deliver in June! Alice, more comfortable on the bike, than in the lake, quickly got into her rhythm, passing 7 people on the course. Jo had a more lonely ride having passed her nearest competitors unknowingly in transition after the swim and was well placed (8th) coming into the final transition. The run course was not made easy over grass and paths, but it was on the run section that both athletes were really able to excel with their running backgrounds, clocking the 3rd(Jo) and 4th(Alice) fastest female run times of the day.

Jo was delighted to finish in a much faster overall time than expected, in 2hrs 36 minutes placing her 5thfemale and well in contention, less than a minute behind the 3rdplaced athlete. Alice was also pleased very pleased with her result, finishing well under the 3hr mark in 2 hours 54 minutes and in 17thplace.

South Cerney Aquathlon (June 19 th )

At the 3rd of a series of 6 Aquathlon races (750m swim followed by 4.6km run) through the summer, Jo Wilkie was looking to improve on her race from earlier in the season. With more open water experience the swim time was over a minute quicker, clocking 13:34, though some of this may been down to the course. The run course was certainly the exact same route and Jo was over 30 seconds quicker in 18:09 and therefore finished in a much faster time overall of 31:43. Having another female competitor to really chase down on the run and catch in the last quarter of a mile helped and so the most pleasing result was achieving 1stfemale place and 9thoverall, putting her in good stead for the series as long as 2 more events are completed.

10m Bike Time Trial (June 20 th )

In the spirit of branching out and trying new things, Becky Boulton and Jo Wilkie entered their first road Time Trial organised by Cheltenham and County Cycles aimed at getting newcomers along to try it. The 10 mile out and back course between Teddington and Toddington was a true test of speed and both surpassed expectation with Becky coming very close to the half an hour mark in a time of 30:18 and Jo taking the fastest newbie prize (female) in 27:35 clocking an average of nearly 22mph.