BROMSGROVE & REDDITCH Athletic Club’s Helen Russell was crowned British Aquathlon Champion in the 35-39 age category at the British Championship race at the West Midlands Water Ski Centre just outside Birmingham.
The race comprised a 750m lake swim followed by a 5km off-road run and proved exciting throughout.
Russell struggled with the cold lake temperature of just over 13 celsius so posted a slightly disappointing swim time of 13.25, which put her in second place, 36 seconds behind Clare Halina from Darlington Tri/Team Triology.
She had a decent transition time but was being closely pursued by the third placed woman, Michaela Furlong from Team Bodyworks XTC, who was only 12 seconds behind.
Russell pushed hard in the run and finally caught the leading woman in the final 2km. She then extended her lead and finished the run in 19.58 to post a final time of 34.52, 18 seconds ahead of Halina and 61 seconds ahead of third placed Furlong.
This is the second time Russell has won the British Aquathlon Championships after also taking the title in 2010 in Salford.
Unfortunately Russell could not repeat her good form the following weekend at the British Sprint Triathlon Championships at Emberton Park near Newport Pagnell.
Russell exited the water in a swim time of 12.06 which put her in third place and she maintained this position through most of the bike leg, but was overtaken in the final few miles and entered transition in fifth.
She overtook the fourth and third placed athlete on the run but was then overtaken in final 2.5km and so had to settle for fourth place.
Russell said: “I am delighted to win the British Aquathlon title but I was also aiming for a podium place in the British Triathlon Championship race so I’m disappointed with this result.
“However, it was a tough field with the former Long Distance Triathlon World Champion and former Sprint Triathlon World Champion taking gold and silver.”
CHAMPIONS Barnt Green celebrated their first Birmingham League
SEVENTEEN of Bromsgrove Preparatory School’s leading swimmers took
DROITWICH moved ten points clear at the top
THERE was an interesting build-up to the competition
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