Challenging weather conditions and chilly temperatures greeted duathletes at Coed y Brenin Forest Park on Sunday 12th November for the first ever Odlo Coed y Brenin Trail Duathlon.
The cross duathlon, the first of its kind at the world famous Mountain Bike park at Coed y Brenin, drew what is believed to be a record number of duathletes for a race of this kind in the UK.
Kicking off the proceedings on the cold Sunday morning was the full distance race. Consisting of a 28km mountain bike course along the famous ‘Tarw Du’ section, and sandwiched by a 9km and 5km trail/fell run with some tough technical sections, this was a course for experienced off roaders.
In the men’s full distance race, Doug Hall emerged victorious ahead of Dylan Lewis and Dafydd Hollis after battling both the tough terrain and weather conditions. Less than five minutes separated the top three.
The women’s race was similarly closely fought, but Sarah Willhoit took first place ahead of GOG Triathlon’s Rhian Roxburgh and Rosemary Byde.
Following an hour later, the sprint course was made up of a shortened 15km lap of the same ‘Tarw Du’ course, with a 5km and 1.8km run on either side. Tom Nesham capped off an incredibly impressive 2017 Always Aim High season by adding the men’s sprint race win to the Pedalcover Slateman sprint race earlier in the year. Tom crossed the line a full ten minutes ahead of second placed Rob Kerr in an astounding time of 01.08.48. Gwynedd Jones rounded off the top three.
The women’s sprint race was a much closer affair with Nicole Walters of T3 Triathlon claiming first place ahead of Kim Baptista. Always Aim High Adventure Triathlon Series legend Suzie Richards was third on her return from injury which hampered much of her year.
A spokesperson for Always Aim High, organisers of the duathlon said: “The first ever Odlo Coed y Brenin Trail Duathlon was hugely well received by everyone who took part. Competitors particularly praised the challenging nature of the course and the incredibly friendly atmosphere in the event village at Coed y Brenin Forest Park.”
“We’d like to thank Natural Resources Wales and Coed y Brenin for warmly welcoming us on their trails, and brand new headline sponsors Odlo who have agreed to continue the partnership with Always Aim High Events through to 2019 and beyond.”
“We’d also like to thank all the marshals along the way, our races simply wouldn’t happen without their tireless dedication and enthusiasm”.
The 2018 Odlo Coed y Brenin Duathlon will be a Welsh Triathlon National Championship race – entries will open very soon.
For more information on 2018’s race, visit alwaysaimhighevents.com
Image Credit: Always Aim High Events/Sport Pictures Cymru