Coles Sixth in European Duathlon Championships

GOG Triathlon Club member Simon Cole represented Team GB in the European Duathlon Championships in Soria, Spain on 30th April 2017. Having qualified for the race in October 2016 Cole and his family travelled to the mountainous area of northern central Spain to take part in the race alongside a strong field of European athletes. In Coles age category of 35-39 GB and Spanish athletes dominated the start list but there were also representations from France, Ireland, Belgium and Italy.
This standard distance duathlon comprised of a 10km run, 40km bike, 5km run on hilly terrain around Soria. The weather forecast for race day was 12 degrees, 30 mph winds and rain for the start, which made for worrying conditions. However thankfully as the day dawned athletes were greeted by a bright and breezy start without the rain.
The first 10km run was four circuits of a 2.5 km loop, each loop had six 180 degree turns, a dizzyingly 24 in total. The turns combined with the incline on the course, along with the effect of the altitude (Soria is at 1000m, roughly the height of Snowdon) made for tough running. This was definitely not 10 km personal best territory. The local Spanish athletes dominated the first run but Cole ran well clocking 36.07 for his first 10km.
The bike course was an out and back, 3 lap ride of 13km. The 180 degree turnaround point 6.5km SSW of Soria was actually at the same altitude as Soria. So athletes rode down out of Soria, with a climb up to the turnaround point and the reverse on the return. However, the breeze had been building to a strong headwind, so the return translated to a difference of 4 minutes on each outward leg. Cole clocked 1hr 15mins of riding time for the 40k bike a respectable time considering the wind.
According to Cole the last leg of the duathlon “always goes fast so no matter how bad you feel, you just have to go for it”! And go for it he did recording 18.53 for the second 5 km run, notably the third fastest 5km overall.
He finished the duathlon in a time of 2:14:06, 19th overall out of a field of 260 athletes. He was 6th in his age category and was the 4th GB athlete to finish. Guillaume Le Mouhaer, a Spaniard was the winner of Cole’s age group, and the overall winner in 2:05:55.
Cole a promising multisport athlete, had a fantastic performance in Soria particularly in such testing conditions and given this was his first time competing at this level. He has just qualified to represent Team GB in the Duathlon World Championships in Canada later in the year, and hopes to qualify for the European Championship’s in Ibiza next year.