By Ruth Jones
Nene Valley Harriers may be better known for their road running, track and field and cross country running successes – but veteran Sean Beard and international Charlotte Taylor proved the club is also home to some elite duathletes when they secured selection for the European Age Group Championships
Beard, a long term club stalwart, fought hard to finish 13th overall and second V45 on a muddy course with plenty of testing hills at the Althorp Estate in Northamptonshire.
The Bretton-based postman, who was running in his triathlon club PACTRAC’s vest, completed the standard distance duathlon in 2.18.56hrs, with splits of 40.26mins for the first 10km run, 1.12.19hrs for the 40km bike section (which measured significantly long), and 24.00mins for the final 5k run, which was also far longer than many competitors were expecting.
Taylor finished second lady in the sprint event (5km run, 20km cycle, 5km run) just two seconds behind first place, due largely to the fact that she came off her bike after slipping on the wet surface.
The 2013 under-20 World Triathlon champion spent several minutes on the side of the road considering whether or not to pull out after falling to the ground, but decided to complete the race, fighting hard to gain her top three finishing position.
The 20-year-old Spalding athlete, who was representing the University Of Warwick and Mike Vaughan Cycles on Saturday, had splits of 22.28mins, 46.14mins and 23.21mins, with a total time of 1.33.37hrs.
Beard will now go onto represent Great Britain in the ETU Standard Distance Duathlon European Championships in Alcobendas in Spain next April, while Taylor will consider her options regarding her 2015 season.
- Nene Valley Harriers’ GB triathlete ace Tracy McCartney scored her first course record when she took the top honours on a tough ten mile multi-terrain course at Thurlow on October 19.
The Stilton-based personal trainer has gone from strength to strength since joining the club, and followed up her recent victory at the first race of the Frostbite series at St Neots with a convincing win at the notoriously challenging Suffolk event.
McCartney finished tenth overall in strong winds, beating her nearest competitor, Ramsey Road Runners’ Lisa Marriott, by more than two minutes when finishing in 66.31mins.
This dominant performance came just one week after smashing her personal best half marathon time at the Peterborough Great Eastern Run, where she came eighth lady (sixth British female) in a swift 82.46mins.
The multi-talented mum of two also recently tackled the famously demanding Man versus Mountain 20m race in September, where competitors are required to run up and down Mount Snowdon whilst completing a number of gruelling obstacle challenges. Having won the event last year, she had to settle for second place this time, despite her time being much faster than in 2013.
McCartney is now setting her sights on lowering her PB’s for the 5km and 10km distances while maintaining her long distance speed, and, if she can keep up her formidable form, those times are sure to continue to tumble.