Hundreds brave poor conditions for triathlon

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TRI Northumberland hosted their second qualifying event of the year recently with the prize being qualification for the Eilat ETU Sprint Triathlon World Championships.

The remnants of Hurricane Katia came one day early for competitors with high winds blowing into Newbiggin Bay from the south.

There was little the breakwater could do to prevent choppy swimming conditions making life difficult for anyone entering the North Sea.

Not to be disheartened, more than 360 competitors turned up as well as hundreds of spectators to watch the action that was started by special guest and north east running man Mark Allison, better know as ‘Run Geordie Run’.

Starting in three waves it was junior Kieran Hill who was quickest into T1 with an impressive time of 11.41 considering the waves.

He was closely followed by Ben Newman just three seconds behind.

Not far behind Ben Newman was his sister Becki Newman in 13.49 and leading the women’s race with local Harrier and race favourite Jane Mooney more than 90 seconds down in eighth position.

Extending his lead off the bike ahead of team mate James Wilson, Newman was first out on to the run course with another promising junior making it in to third place, Matthew Griffin.

Newman’s team-mate James Wilson could not quite catch him on the 5.2km run, even after making up 39 seconds. Harry Coates pipped young Fergus Roberts to third place.

There were plenty of position changes out on the bike course in the women’s race with ex-world champion Joyce Mark returning to racing and turning a three minute deficit into a two minute lead out of T2.

Becki Newman slipped back to third place off the bike and suffered on the run to finish in seventh.

But the star was Jane Mooney, who was eighth after the swimming, making up three minutes on the run to claim the win ahead of Mark and Natalie Batey.

Congratulations were given to everyone who finished the racing while Brian Shiel was the winner of the Zone3 Aspire wetsuit.

Special thanks were given to all the marshals, medics and all other volunteers, and the water safety crew – the RNLI, Newbiggin Sailing Club and Blyth Kayak Club.

Thanks went to sponsors UTS, Zone3, Northumbrian Water, Eat Natural, and Dorset Cereals.

The next event is the QE2 Halloween Duathlon on October 31.