Dramatic finish to Portsmouth Duathlon Series

Victoria Ayriss on her way to winning the series. Picture: Ian Burnett Photography
Victoria Ayriss on her way to winning the series. Picture: Ian Burnett Photography
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ROB ARKELL wrapped up his Portsmouth Duathlon Series success while Kelly Stokes and Victoria Ayriss produced a remarkable finale.

The popular multi-sport event always provides plenty of drama and it was no exception on Sunday.

Successful duathlon competitors Piotr Meller and Kelly Stokes. Picture: Neil Marshall

Successful duathlon competitors Piotr Meller and Kelly Stokes. Picture: Neil Marshall

Arkell knew what he had to do and finished in 1hr 32min 45sec ahead to win race three ahead of his main rival Ben Terry (1.33.06).

Rob Ford took third place (1.35.50) and Tom Barnard finished fourth (1.35.52).

The event which started at Speakers’ Corner in Southsea saw the long course race feature a 10k run, then a 24k cycle and a 5k run to finish.

It’s always a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

Rob Arkell. Picture: Neil Marshall

Rob Arkell. Picture: Neil Marshall

The race for the ladies’ series title proved so exciting right to the very last.

Stokes and Ayriss were battling throughout and were amazingly close over the three races.

Ayriss held sway going into the final event as her great training work with the Endurance Hub has paid off.

But it was Stokes who flew around the course to win the third race in 1.46.47 with Ayriss second in 1.49.18.

In the series that meant they could only be separated by seven 10ths of a second with Ayriss taking the crown in 4hr 30min 34.1sec for the three races and Stokes second 4.30.34.8.

Organiser Rob Piggott is very happy with another successful series ahead of his upcoming wedding.

He said: ‘It was an amazing finish to the series.

‘We had seven 10ths of a second between Cookie and Kelly. So a new champion and in the men’s series Rob Arkell finished first from Ben Terry with Tom Barnard third.

‘The weather held out and everybody helped us celebrate before we head off to Nashville to get married.’

Arkell’s winning time for the series was 3hr 47min 10sec with Terry second (3.48.32).

The short course race on Sunday saw Paul Cardy win in 1.15.07 (5k run, 24k cycle, 5k run) and Kim King finished first lady 1.46.21.

It’s also an excellent race series for beginners and lots of people also compete in teams.

The dates have been set for the Portsmouth Duathlon Series in 2019. Race one will take place on Sunday, February 24, race two is on Sunday, March 24 and race three is on Sunday, April 21.

Looking back at the 2017 Portsmouth Duathlon Series here...