Olympic legend set for Portsmouth Duathlon challenge

Dame Kelly Holmes, who completed the middle-distance double at the Athens Olympics in 2004, is heading to Portsmouth for the duathlon on Sunday
Dame Kelly Holmes, who completed the middle-distance double at the Athens Olympics in 2004, is heading to Portsmouth for the duathlon on Sunday
Gosport Borough won 1-0 in their match against Dunstable this afternoon. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport Borough get first victory of season

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Double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes is set to take part in the opening race of the Portsmouth Duathlon series tomorrow.

The event, organised by Rob Piggott, made a successful debut in 2013.

And it’s going to be bigger and better this year – with the news Holmes is among the entrants adding to what promises to be a great spectacle on the seafront.

The athletics legend famously completed the middle-distance double at the Athens Olympics in 2004.

She won the 800m title, before going on to secure victory in the 1,500m.

Now she’s tackling a series of new challenges for Sport Relief.

And Piggott is looking forward to seeing the 43-year-old in action, as she takes on the three-stage test of a 5k run, 15k bike ride, and 5k run to finish.

He said: ‘It will be interesting to see what Dame Kelly can do.

‘I would like to see her push the 5k to start with.

‘It will be good to see where she comes in off that, and then see how she does in transition.

‘She’s doing a duathlon every month this year.

‘It’s great she is coming to our event. She’ll be centre stage on the start.

‘I’m sure there will be a bit of banter about who can challenge her.

‘We’ve certainly not had to ask for volunteers.

‘Everyone suddenly wants to come and help.

‘Maybe that’s what we need for all our events – an Olympic gold medallist on the start line.’

The duathlon race is the first of three in the series.

Race two takes place on Sunday, April 13, with the third race on Sunday, May 11.

You can enter each race individually but plenty have already signed up to race all three.

There is also the opportunity to compete as a team.

Piggott believes everything is in place for it to be a cracking event.

He said: ‘The seafront is looking much better and the weather forecast is good. We have the British Legion Riders helping out – they will marshal the bike stage because we don’t close the road off.

‘They are promoting their event, a 100-mile run in four days from Eastbourne to Portsmouth, finishing at the Spinnaker Tower.’

Piggott is also hoping for a good turnout of spectators on the seafront.

There will be plenty of action to cheer.

He said: ‘It would be good to see a few locals down there.

‘Down by the Blue Reef is probably one of the best places to watch.

‘You will be able to see the runners on one side and the bike stage on the other.’

The 2013 series was won by Patrick Huczkowski.

He completed his success with a win in the third race, after second and third place finishes in the first two events.

The race tomorrow gets under way at 8.30am, from Speaker’s Corner in Southsea. There are entries on the day for race one, costing £30.

Anyone wishing to sign up on the day must head down to the start for 7.30am.

See the website fitprorob.biz/ for more information about the duathlon series and other events put on by Believe and Achieve.