Liz Dunlop


Last Sunday (6th June) proved to be a busy day for several members of Wight Tri, who took part in 3 different events around the UK.

Jan Fletcher and Liz Dunlop took the long journey to Leeds to take on the British Triathlon Championships at the AJ Bell Leeds Standard Distance Triathlon, which also incorporated the qualification for the 2022 World Age Group Standard Distance Triathlon Championships.

This was being held at the same venue as the Elite World Triathlon Series and several other open events over the weekend, so there were strict COVID-19 conditions throughout, with competitors starting at 2.5 second intervals.

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The field was well loaded with top athletes in all age groups, with the event being the British Championships, the World qualifier and also one of the first standard distance events this year.

Jan and Liz both had super races to finish 4th and 2nd in their F45-49 and F65-69 age groups respectively.

Jan posted a fantastic PB time for the 1500m swim to exit the lake at Roundhay Park in 26:35 and in 6th position, and ready for the 1 km uphill run to transition. With the 3rd fastest bike split of 68:24 in her age group for the undulating 2-lap 36km course, she entered T2  in 3rd position, almost 1 minute ahead of the next athlete. However, with all athletes starting at different times and it being a multiple lap bike and run course, Jan was not aware of this but still ran have a super 10km run time of 46:36 for this very hilly 3 lap course. With an overall time of 2:31:12, Jan finished in 4th position from 45 in the 45-49  AG category, and only 1 min 35 seconds off of a bronze medal, and her best result ever.

Liz, racing in the 65-69 category also raced well. Even with a disappointing 30:13 swim, she was still 2nd in her AG when she entered T1. She worked hard on the bike and runs to take time out of many in her age group with a bike split of 74:51 and made some time up on the 1st place athlete. A solid 54:13 on the run ensured she had retained her 2nd place and silver medal in the British Championships in an overall time of 2:49:34.

These results gained automatic qualification for both Jan and Liz for the 2022 World Age Group Standard Distance Triathlon Championships in Abu Dhabi.

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Tribourne Eastbourne Standard Distance Triathlon

Meanwhile further south and nearer to home, Natalie Lawrence took on the Tribourne Eastbourne Standard Distance Triathlon, which was a qualifying event for the 2022 European Age Group Standard Distance Triathlon Championships.

Even with the start being delayed due to foggy conditions, and a strong sea current,  it did not deter Natalie, who had a PB swim time of 22:21 and 4th fastest in the 25-29 age group.

She then headed out for a tough 2 lap bike course, incorporating a tough climb over Beachy Head to post a solid 1:25:37 time for the 40km hilly route, although losing a few AG places to faster cyclists.

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Natalie Lawrence

However, with the run being her strength, Natalie stormed the 10km run in 40:30 with the 2nd fastest split of all females to finish in 5th position overall in 2:30:47.  This also earned Natalie an automatic qualification for the 2022 European Age Group Standard Distance Triathlon Championships.

Jan, Liz and Natalie will continue training and racing in UK events in preparation for their forthcoming Team GB events. They have already qualified for several of the  2021 World and European Age Group Sprint and Standard Triathlon Championships but are awaiting on confirmation on whether they will go ahead or not.

Cotswold 113 Triathlon

On the same day, Dan Morgan travelled to Cirencester in the Cotswolds to take part in the 113 Events 70.3 “Half Ironman” Middle Distance Triathlon. Competing for the 3rd time at this distance, Dan finished a respectable 143rd from 700 starters.

An early 06:00 start in a calm lake, saw Dan complete the 1900m swim in 34.23. Onto the bike, as the summer rain began to fall, Dan put in a strong performance, covering the 56mile cycle course a super fast time of 2:24:26, which placed him in a fantastic position of 35th overall for the bike leg.

Next up was the 13.1 mile half marathon run. Dan started well, but faded towards the end, but still posted a very respectable time of 1:58:26.

Having completed his 3rd Half Ironman distance triathlon in 5:01:41, he had achieved a super PB time of almost 30 minutes.

Dan has also been using this event as preparation for his first Full Ironman Distance Triathlon event in July, which he will take part in along with several of his Wight Tri teammates.

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