The race within a race at the Winter Duathlon – V40 men giving it their all!
The first run may have only been 3K in length but it included three substantial climbs that served as real leg stingers as the ground was super soft in places to make things even tougher!
In 5th place coming in off the first run was Stu Bowers (Multiple XC National Champion) closely followed by Jon Heasman (Former Xterra Pro) and they set out together on the three lap bike course which would prove to be an intriguing and exciting close battle between the two of them
They couldn’t be separated after the first lap as they both moved up through the field, both over taking Gerald Tudor (the previous weeks winner at Escape to Afan Duathlon) A fast and flowing MTB course proved to be a perfect combination of open fire road, twisty single track with some wide open farm tracks and grassy paths and leg testing climbs. Perfect for the first timer and the more experienced alike.
it was early on in the second lap that Jon took to the front and had seemingly pulled a good gap on Stuart and was now sitting in 3rd overall going into the last bike lap. Stu had a barn storming final lap and as the pair approached the transition Stuart was back on Jon’s wheel as they climbed up past the barn for the final time. Stu then took the lead just before the dismount line as they charged through transition. But it was Stuart that faltered in transition and a super quick transition from Jon that saw him flying out of transition first onto the final 3k run now only 51 seconds behind Calum. Jon had sight on Calum up front now but was running scared from the threats behind and put the hammer down straight away to try and gap the once again chasing Stuart Bowers.
But only a further 56 seconds back was Gerald Tudor and a swift transition from him saw him immediately closing in on Stuart and possibly Jon (the battle first 3rd place overall and 1st Vet was going to go to the wire!) Gerald’s run pace was superb although it wasn’t until they entered the last kilometre through the twisty single track that Gerald was caught. He now had his sights set on Jon but he was running out of ground. Jon seemly got sight of Gerald’s charge and put in a huge effort up the final climb to hold him off and to cross the line with a slender winning margin of just 12 seconds with Stu Bowers rounding out the Vets Podium just a 10 seconds behind.
Info about the TrailX Duathlon, near Reading
All photo credits to Light Trapper