Morpeth was certainly an exciting place to be this Easter Monday with a fantastic turnout for the Morpeth Duathlon, a great event hosted right in the centre of this historic market town. The multi-lap run route takes in the riverside and lovely town parks with a cheeky little climb around the mediaeval Mound, and with the town centre roads closed, made this a varied and fantastic experience for competitors and spectators alike. The feedback on the new format has been brilliant on both run and bike courses.
A great start list of just under 300, some of whom had plans for representing the GB Age Group team at Ottowa, starting outside the 13th Century Chantry at a leisurely 10am. Early leaders were together for the first of 3 laps and only spread to 30 seconds going into T1 for the top ten apart from leader Scott Ellis, the only sub-20 minute split of 19:38 who led by 26 seconds. Run 1 often leads competitors to over-reach themselves and it would be interesting to see the fast run times impact the bike and second run legs. First female Alison Dargie at 21:46 led Angela Campbell by 1:28 with Georgia Campbell a further 22 seconds behind going out onto the bike.
The strong cyclists started reeling in the leaders and Garry Walker, posting the fastest bike split of 47:13, moved up from 10th to 2nd place, but still 65 seconds behind David Thomas who had now moved up from 4th out of T1 and now led by a considerable margin going into the final run leg. The chasing pack of Brown, Addyman, Elliot Gowland, Niven and Oguona had just a few Km to pull back the gap, and judging by their expressions when finishing, none held back, giving their all. But it was Thomas who ran out an easy winner in the end, with Garry Walker keeping his 2nd place with Brown in 3rd who managed to ease away from Oguona by 13 secs. The other chasers came home in close order; great racing.
The female race developed out on the bike course, and it was Jessica Bacon who dominated the bike leg by almost 3 minutes over nearest rivals Kerry Gowland and Georgia Campbell. All 3 paced run 1 well leaving plenty in their legs for a strong bike and second run. It was Campbell who came in 2nd and Gowland 3rd.
Once again, great organisation and superb support from the amazing marshals, making sure everyone finished with a big smile. Congratulations to everyone who completed their first Duathlon, let’s hope you have the multi-sport bug! Feedback from everyone has been brilliant, it appears the new format is going to become a firm favourite in the race calendar. As ever, all feedback that helps to improve the event are most welcome, please tell us what you think via our facebook and twitter pages (links in the footer below).
Race photography will be available shortly courtesy of Rob at http://www.double-i-photography.co.uk.