Triathlon team narrowly beaten

Team Magz, Zoe Smith, Gail Warner and MAry Hardwick
Team Magz, Zoe Smith, Gail Warner and MAry Hardwick

A TOP triathlon trio teamed up to compete in the Speedo Big Triathlon at Holme Pierrepont National Water Sports Centre on Saturday.

Racing as Team Magz, Mary Hardwick and Zoe Smith from Rutland, and Melton’s Gail Warner completed a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run in a time of 1h10m01, just 17 seconds behind the winning all-male team, to take second.

Despite a deceptively flat course this was by no means an easy race with choppy conditions in the swim and strong cross winds for the bike and run sections.

For Mary, who competes for the British triathlon team in the 50-54 age group, and Zoe, who represents Britain in the duathlon at the 25-29 age level, it was a chance to practice swim and bike sprint skills ahead of September’s World Championships. For marathon runner Gail this was a first taste of triathlon.

Mary said: “Team triathlon may seem less physically demanding than having to complete all disciplines yourself but there’s the added pressure that you’re competing flat out to do your best for your team-mates.

“We raced really well together, posting a much faster time than we’d anticipated.”

But there’s no resting up for the trio. Mary’s next event is the Speedo Open Water Swim Series 10K in Dorney Lake, the Rowing venue for the 2012 Olympics, at the end of this month. Gail will be tacking the challengingly hilly Buxton Half Marathon and in mid-June, Zoe will compete in the Dambuster Olympic Distance Triathlon at Rutland Water, cheered on by her MAGZ teammates.