Heavy rain. Blazing sunshine. Single digit temperatures. Plenty of mud and hills. And more hills. The debut Odlo Coed y Brenin Trail Duathlon from Always Aim High kicked-off in North Wales today in true Snowdonian style, with over 250 duathletes attempting either the full or sprint-distance run/bike/run races.
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, the full-distance race was a stern test of stamina and mental fortitude for duathletes.
In the men’s full-distance race, Doug Hall emerged victorious ahead of Dylan Lewis and Dafydd Hollis, with less than five minutes separated the top three. The women’s race was similarly closely fought, but Sarah Willhoit took first place ahead of the hugely experienced Rhian Roxburgh and Rosemary Byde.
Coed y Brenin Trail Duathlon. Wedi gorffen – Finished! Fel hyn fydd @Alnodllawn erbyn dydd Gwener!! #triathlon #running #cycling @aahevents @JonesoGymru @SIMONrun @WendJames @WelshTriathlon @WildTrailsnacks @_TriathlonNews @Triathlon_tweet @GogTriathlon https://t.co/lRLJ0G5mKP pic.twitter.com/rAqZcqcInZ
— SportpicturesCymru (@gwynforjames) November 12, 2017
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. 220’s Matt competed in this race and it boasted a hugely enjoyable yet testing mix of technical trails, lightning descents and hundreds of metres of lung-busting elevation gain, all flanked by panoramic views of Snowdonia and plenty of camaraderie.
Tom Nesham added the men’s sprint race win to the his Slateman sprint victory in May. Tom crossed the line a full 10mins 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 stalwart Suzie Richards was third on her return from injury.
The race organisers believe that the race – the first duathlon to be held at the Mountain Bike park in Coed y Brenin – drew a record number of duathletes for an off-road duathlon in the UK. And, with Human Race’s Wildman and Iceman no longer on the UK calendar, there’s certainly room for further growth, with the 2018 event already confirmed as a Welsh Triathlon National Championship race.
Full race timings for the Odlo Coed y Brenin Duathlon can be found at tdleventservices.co.uk, with more information on 2018’s race at alwaysaimhighevents.com.