Duathlon huge success for Grangemouth athletes

The event at the Helix was a big success (Pics: Alan Murray)
The event at the Helix was a big success (Pics: Alan Murray)

The third Helix Duathlon Festival  attracted more than 150 entrants and proved a sparkling success last Saturday.

Organised by Grangemouth Triathlon Club, the athletes relished the opportunity to compete within the picturesque Helix Park. A duathlon is a three-part long-distance race typically having a running phase, a cycling phase, and a final running phase.

It was an early start as volunteers from the club were on hand from 5am to set up the course and the small tented village that encompassed registration, a physiotherapist and the famous home baking stall. Racing got underway from 8am for the adult and youth categories.

The winning adult was Michael Paxton in a time of 43 mins 40 secs but it was in the youth category that Grangemouth athletes excelled in with Chantel Thomson and Lottie Jeffrey taking first and second respectively for the girls and Ben Gavigan third in the male youth category.

It was then time for all the juniors to compete who had waited patiently in the cool, crisp conditions.

First up were Tristar 3 athletes which is the 13-14 years age group. With ideal conditions the young athletes were ready to show off their cycling and running skills. Grangemouth continued to compete well with Alexandra Ross winning the girls Tristar 3 category and her brother Matthew Ross coming second in the boys equivalent race.

The youngest athletes of the day were up next. The Tristart category is for eight-year-olds and, while it’s a shorter course, all of the competitors ran hard and cycled furiously. It was a clean sweep for Grangemouth again with Luke Sedman winning for the boys and Ferryn Stewart for the girls. There was also a third place for Harris Cochrane of Grangemouth in his first competitive event.

While competitive in all categories, Grangemouth athletes didn’t make it to the podium in the Tristar 1 (9-10) age group. Victory went to Michael Gitnik in the boys race and, for the girls, Hope Thomson took the honours in first place.

The last race of the day featured Tristar 2 (11-12 age group) athletes and with the largest junior field of the day competition for podium positions was fierce.

The boys race was won by Geoff Vera though Grangemouth featured again through Arron Crombie whose cycling leg lifted him onto the podium in third place. The girls race was won by

Millie Thomson with Grangemouth athletes just missing out this time in fourth, fifth and sixth places.

The club thanked supporters, including Falkirk Community Trust, Morrisons, Ascent Physiotherapy, The Falkirk Air Cadets, William Spalding, Mstikwithus and everyone who contributed.

Grangemouth Triathlon Club is hosting a session for anyone wanting to “Tri” the club for free on Saturday, September 29 at Grangemouth High School.