Sue Bathgate won the National Championship in her age group at the Ellesmere Triathlon in Shropshire on Sunday. The race was also a qualifier for the World Championships in Auckland New Zealand in October.
Shropshire Triathlon, which is sponsored by TriUk, starts with a 1500 metre open water swim in Lake Mere. Out of the swim the competitors cycle a 40km challenging bike ride, which is both fast and undulating ranging over very pretty countryside in and around Ellesmere. Once the bike course is finished it is then onto a very hard out and back run on closed lanes and although picturesque it is difficult for the tired runners to get into a good running rhythm because of the terrain.
The weather, although not ideal, was reasonable with a downpour lasting only 20 minutes on the bike course. The swim was challenging because of the continuous rain the previous week making it cold. Despite that Jo Maddocks had an amazing swim of only 19 minutes 21 seconds, with Simon Clarke close behind in 20:35 and Richard Walklate in 24:50. Doug Waymark and Graham Beddis were a few minutes behind. Onto the bike and the race was on for Jo and Simon who both had amazing bike and run times, and not far behind Richard had a very fast run to be only just over 3 minutes behind them.
Fastest time out of the water was Emma Godson in a superb time of 21:54. Sally Freeman closely followed in a time of 23:27, then destroyed the bike and run to be the first Cheltenham female home in a fast 2:25:19. Behind them Petra Vymetalova achieved a personal best swim time of 27:46, going on to complete the course in 2:32:27. There was a race on in the ladies vets with Ellie Millington coming out of the swim in 25:04 with Hazel Everett close behind in 26:50 and Sue Bathgate in 29:11.
Ellie Millington stormed the bike and run course to finish first lady vet home, breaking the 2hr30min barrier with an impressive 2:29:09, with Sue second club vet home in 2:37:59 and Hazel Everett in 2:39:59.