Liz Dunlop (1)

LIZ DUNLOP BECOMES EUROPEAN MIDDLE DISTANCE TRIATHLON CHAMPION FOR THE 2ND YEAR IN SUCCESSION

Liz Dunlop (2)Wight Tri member Liz Dunlop had a fantastic weekend of racing at the 2023 European Aquathlon and Middle Distance Triathlon Championships in Menen, Belgium, representing Team GB in the 65-69 age group.

Liz took on both events – as she had done in 2022 – and was hoping for podium spots band to retain her European Champion status in the Middle Distance Triathlon Event.

The Aquathlon was up first on Friday, starting with a 1km river swim, followed by a 2 lap 5km run route around the town of Menen.

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Liz had a great start to her weekend with a solid swim (20:07) and excellent run to finish (26:06) in 48: 25 and take 3rd spot to secure the Bronze medal in the 65-69 age group.

This year, there was a day between both events, which gave Liz time to rest and recover and prepare for her main event: the European Middle Distance Triathlon Championships run over the 70.3 distances (1900m swim, 90km cycle and 21km run).

Liz Dunlop (3).jpeg (cycling)Liz swam well and exited T1 in 40:51, (which included the entry and exit run) and was in 1st place in her age group, having passed several of the younger competitors on the way. She then jumped onto her bike and started on the 2-lap 90km bike course. Initially, Liz struggled at the start of the bike, feeling the effects of Friday’s race in her legs on the undulating cycle course.

Liz completed the course in a solid time of 3hours 7mins, a few minutes over her estimated time but still well ahead of the next competitor in her age group.

The 21km run was a 3-lap flat loop. Liz was hoping to get close to 2 hours to enable her to reach her target of a 6hrs finish time.

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As she left T2 to start the run, Liz’s right quad started to cramp, but Liz kept running and it soon disappeared. Liz soon got into her goal race pace, feeling strong and determined to reach her target.  She kept this pace up for most of the way, passing several younger athletes, but her pace slowed towards the end having suffered cramp.

Liz posted a personal best time of 2:04:33 for the half marathon distance in a triathlon race. She finished in 6 hours 04 mins and 11secs to take the Gold Medal in the 65-59 category and become the European Middle Distance Triathlon Champion again, finishing almost 30mins ahead of 2nd position in her age group and beating many younger age group athletes.

Liz Dunlop (5)

After winning the triathlon, Liz said:

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“I am so happy to have ran close to 6 hours having raced hard 2 days before and achieve the Gold medal again. I felt strong on the swim and run but found the bike tough, but so proud that I could still produce a PB run split.

“I had mainly been doing standard distance training for my earlier season races, having taken a Bronze medal at the European Sprint Championships in June, but since then I had managed to put together 6 weeks of solid middle distance training, which has definitely paid off.”

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