Three members of Halifax Harriers travelled the short distance to Wakefield to compete at the city’s Olympic Distance Triathlon.
James Franklin, Helen Roby and Heath Reilly all took part in the event which involved a 1500 metre open water swim in Pugney’s lake, followed by a 24 mile cycle ride through Durkar, Clayton West and Bretton before returning to Pugneys for a two lap 10K multi-terrain run up around Sandal Castle.
Making their first foray into open water swimming, Franklin completed his swim in an impressive 25 minutes 48 seconds and Roby, fresh from her recent pool swims at Ribby Hall and St Anne’s, came out of the water in 31 minutes 21 seconds. Reilly, although experienced in open water, elected to extend his swim somewhat by veering off the shortest line, coming home in 33 minutes 36 seconds.
On the cycle route, a long climb up to Bretton was followed by three gruelling loops before returning in a headwind back to the lake. Early conditions were far from ideal with the rain requiring officials to instruct the cyclists to take care on the steep sections, strategically placing a St John’s ambulance as a reminder, at the bottom of a steep descent. Times for the three reflected the conditions, Franklin clocking 1:28:09, Reilly 1:41:10 and Roby 1:48:21
Franklin finished off with a sub 40 minute 10K and including transitions posted an overall time of 2:35:35. Roby, pleased with her first attempt at the Olympic distance in preparation for next month’s London Tri, finished in 3:11:34 and was fifth overall in the Ladies event, also coming home as first in the junior category.
Reilly, on his way back from injury, came home in 3:13:27 and described the event as the toughest Olympic distance race he had ever taken part in.
Harriers athletes will now plan for the Todmorden and Ripon sprint tri races, before also heading for London at the end of July.