Collins up and running with Portsmouth Duathlon win

Liz McDougall finished first lady. Picture: Mick Young
Liz McDougall finished first lady. Picture: Mick Young
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Neil Collins won the opening race of the Portsmouth Duathlon Series for the second year in succession.

The Great Britain age-group triathlete showed he’s getting faster and faster with an exceptional performance to beat his time from last year and see off strong competition.

Bob Pentland completes the race in Southsea

Bob Pentland completes the race in Southsea

As always the duathlon hosted by Rob Piggott’s Believe & Achieve saw a great atmosphere as the contestants supported each other and were cheered on by a good crowd of spectactors in Southsea.

Collins set off at a good pace with former champion Patryk Huczkowski and the rising star Piotr Meller, from Portsmouth Triathletes.

They were in pursuit of series newcomer Adam Mitchell, who eventually took second place.

Collins, from Southsea, won with a time of 1hr 1min 37sec for the 5k run, 15k bike, 5k run event.

Jahan Hunter and Andy Wheeler sprint for the finish

Jahan Hunter and Andy Wheeler sprint for the finish

Mitchell finished second in a time of 1.02.07 with Huczkowski third (1.03.31).

Liz McDougall finished first lady in 1.11.00 with Hayley King second in 1.11.51 and Tabitha Divall third (1.12.47).

Collins enjoyed the race and was pleased to get his season off to a cracking start.

He said: ‘Run one was completed in good time alongside Piotr and Patryk.

‘I came into transition one just behind Adam Mitchell.

‘Then a good, solid bike leg sent me into transition two with a nice lead out onto run two.

‘Then it was a nice leg-stretching 5k to finish.

‘My overall time was nine seconds faster than last year!

‘A year older and a little faster. Great start to the season.

‘As usual, Rob Piggott organised a great event aided by lots of enthusiastic volunteers.

‘And we all got a bottle of beer at the finish. Nice touch!’

Defending series champion Emma Jolley also improved on her time from last year as she finished fourth lady in a time of 1.13.43.

She said: ‘I had a great first race, exactly six minutes quicker than last year.

‘Both 5k runs were sub 20 minutes, and my cycle was over two minutes quicker than last year too.

‘I finished fourth lady overall which is also one place better than last year for race one.

‘The first three ladies are all amazing super-fast cyclists and so great, but tough competition.

‘As with last year, the atmosphere was very friendly and supportive, and it was another great event by Rob.’

The second race in the series takes place on Sunday, April 17.