Ashbourne Duathlon 2005

24th April 2005

The 5th Ashbourne Duathlon took place in chilly yet dry conditions yesterday based at Carsington Water, Derbyshire to the delight of 250 starters in the 220 Race Series and the Oregon BTA Grand Prix Duathlon Series. The event also incorporated the National Police Championships.

The event is raced over the 12K-40K-4K distances and is one of the most popular yet toughest Duathlon events in the country and continues to be an early season favorite of hard-core Duathletes and Triathletes alike.

The event was split into 3 waves and started off at the early hour of 8am to limit the volume of traffic on the roads and visitors to the popular tourist attraction of Carsington Water. First off were the elite and senior men followed by the vet men with all women and finally the Police championship wave.

From the gun a blistering pace was set by 2004 World Junior Duathlon Silver medallist Will Clarke (Team Giant) and Kairn Stone who was 2nd at Swindon in his first season of Duathlon. They ran neck and neck all the way round the 12K run, which goes around the perimeter of the reservoir and is certainly undulating around the back of the lake. They both entered T1 in 42:44 with age-grouper Oliver Mott a 21 year old from Shrewsbury a further 52 secs back running alone and Joe Gavelle (Sheffield Tri), Simeon Lloyd, Richard Jones ( and John Dewey (Tri UK) all around a further minute back.

Meanwhile in the women’s event pre-race favourite and former National Champion Loretta Sollars (BRAT) was neck and neck with Helen Purdy to hit T1 in 49:15 and managed to put nearly a 2 minute cushion into their nearest rivals.

Clarke was the slickest in transition and set off on the 40K bike like a demon, the Loughborough Student has obviously been working hard over the winter with the objective of being able to compete with the seniors over the longer distances and managed to build on his great run leg and used his strength on the ‘Punishing’ bike leg, which took in the now famous Middleton Top climb. Not only is the bike course demanding but also very technical with some tricky descents giving those bike specialists plenty of opportunity to make up valuable time. Clarke extended time on his nearest rivals and entered T2 with a 55 second cushion over Mott having overtaken Stone during the bike section. The fastest bike split was by legendary cyclist Mark Redwood (Quintana Roo TFN RT) who blitzed round the bike course in 1:07:20, which took him from 17th after the first run to 4th ahead of Stone but just behind former team mate Jones. The conditions were certainly tougher this year with severe headwinds for the first half of the course and this was clearly apparent after comparing last year’s splits.

After leaving T2 many of the athletes have in the past and again on this day suffered cramps and many had the objective of surviving the final discipline to hold on for positions. Although the final section is only a flat out and back 4K run key positions can be won or lost.

Clarke controlled the pace and looked comfortable on the final flat out and back 4K run to record the fastest Run2 split in a time of 12:47 and take the overall honors and prize money home in a time of 2:04:50 with age-grouper Oliver Mott taking 2nd a further 1.36 behind and Richard Jones taking the final podium spot in 2:07:34. Kairn Stone and Mark Redwood rounded up the top 5 respectively.

Loretta Sollars broke away early from Helen Purdy on the bike to record the fastest bike split in 1:19:00 Compared to Purdy’s 1:25:13. Freya Bloor had a fantastic bike to record the 2nd fastest split of 1:19:38 to move up from 10th to 2nd before setting off on the final run. Sollars managed to enjoy the run and hang on to a well deserved victory in 2:23:28. Meanwhile the real battle for the minor placings was being battled out by Bloor and Purdy with Purdy producing the fastest final run split of the day in 14:30 to take 2nd in 2:29:00 and Bloor taking 3rd just a further 35 seconds back.

The team event was won by Derby Tri (Antony Gray, Mark Skelton & Nick Keeling) and the Vets titles were won by Adrian Sowerby (Andersons Racing) who had a great race to finish 9th overall and take the Police title and Jill Mcgee respectively. Although tough the athletes loved the challenge and pain in a perverse way and no doubt will be back again next year to enjoy a great event.

Full results can be found at

Jim Cresswell Punishing Events 25th April 2005

Back to the race results page