1,000 triathletes to face Dambuster challenge

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ONE thousand triathletes will descend on Rutland to race the Dambuster on Saturday.

The annual race is over Olympic distances and is a UK qualifier for the World Championships which take place in New Zealand in the autumn.

Among the 1,000 competitors testing themselves with a 1,500m Rutland Water swim, a 26 mile bike ride and finally a six mile run will be Rutland’s Robin Brookes and Mary Hardwick.

Mary, who has focused on coaching in recent months, says she doesn’t expect a record-breaking time, but Robin has set himself a personal target of 2 hours 20 minutes.

Robin, 50, races in the 50-55 age group and said: “My best was 2h21 but my swimming has improved since then.

“The best in my age group finished in about 2h15 last year so I’m hoping for a top 10 place.”

The top three out of around 70 racers in each category will qualify for the New Zealand championships but a lot can depend upon the weather.

Rain and wind can dramatically affect the cycling stage in particular with the stronger riders benefiting.

“It can become a case of who dares wins,” said Mary, adding the swimming stage can also be affected: “If it’s windy people will be all over the place so if you are not such a strong swimmer it makes it harder.

The race is one of three organised by Pacesetter events at the reservoir during the year with a duathlon in the spring and the longer, even more challenging Vitrvian Triathlon in September and Robin added: “It’s fantastic to be able to race in Rutland.”

Racers will start in five waves with the first one diving into Whitwell Creek at 7am. Once out of wetsuits, the racers will cycle from Whitwell to Oakham, Uppingham, Morcott and Empingham before the run across the reservoir’s dam.

Rutlander Roger Canham is tackling the Ironman Triathlon at Wimbleball, near Yeovil, on Sunday.

Canham, who races with Peterborough Area Combined Triathlon and Athletics Club, will compete over a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run.

n IN addition to the one-off endurance events, Rutland Running and Triathlon Club have started their summer series of runs around the perimeter of the county.

Each year, the club tackles the 65 mile Rutland Round, which is split into 10 runs ranging from five to eight miles.

The runs are a social jog through the countryside, taking in sights such as Fort Henry at Exton and the cement works in Ketton.

The first leg was completed last Thursday, with runs taking place every Thursday until August and all runners are welcome to join. For details of start times and locations, visit www.rutlandrunandtri.co.uk or e-mail clubsec@rutlandrunandtri.co.uk.

Seven members of Rutland Running and Triathlon Club were among almost 100 racers to compete at the Hickling Corn Dolly Seven on Sunday - a race that qualifies for points in the club’s own championship.

In conditions almost too hot for running, Chris Jones was first home with a time of 54.14, just one second ahead of John McCrone with David Summers close behind in 54.38. Damian Wilkins finished in a time of 56.58 with club president Paul Rogerson finishing in just over 59 minutes.

Clare Dorman, winner of the club’s Female Improver of the Year at their 2012 awards, finished in 72.33. Also running with the club members, but officially listed as Quaker Running Club was Andrew Henderson, who finished third in a fantastic time of 45.13.