Portsmouth’s mini Iron War ensures fantastic start to duathlon series in super Southsea sunshine

Rob Arkell and Neil Collins racing during the duathlon opener
Rob Arkell and Neil Collins racing during the duathlon opener
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Brilliant sunshine and Portsmouth’s mini version of the Iron War ensured a fantastic start to duathlon series

Rob Arkell got his title defence up and running fast in a superb showing against quality opposition with Neil Collins pushing him all the way.

Lynsey Carveth was first lady in race one. Picture: Keith Woodland (240219-368)

Lynsey Carveth was first lady in race one. Picture: Keith Woodland (240219-368)

It was even dubbed Portsmouth’s Iron War as the duo fought it out all the way on the run, then the cycle and the final run along a sun-drenched Southsea seafront.

Arkell took the glory in 1hr 01min 02sec with Collins finishing in 1.01.08.

It wasn’t quite Kona heat but if the duo continue in this scorching form throughout the series they will be forging a mini Iron War – the name for the iconic Ironman World Championship race in 1989. 

The ladies were flying in the first race of the 2019 series in Portsmouth as well with fantastic depth of classy competition.

Sharn Hooper, number 100, set a quick pace on the first run with Esther Wiley, left. Picture: Keith Woodland (240219-54)

Sharn Hooper, number 100, set a quick pace on the first run with Esther Wiley, left. Picture: Keith Woodland (240219-54)

Lynsey Carveth proved the winner with a great time 1.09.40.

Sharn Hooper competed really well and was second in 1.10.14 with a determined effort from Kelly Stokes seeing her take third in 1.11.25.

It was a superb turnout for the first race with 223 finishers and six teams. The event saw lots of beginners to multi-sport events and a packed seafront provided an awesome spectacle.

Organiser Rob Piggott was very pleased with the good start to the series.

He said: ‘It was a spectacular morning. Everyone enjoyed it and we had lots of comments praising the marshals.

‘We’ve had the sunshine agreed on a long-term deal! The weather was brilliant.

‘Everyone supported each other and lots of people were chatting away in the transition area.

‘We always have a really nice atmosphere for this race.

‘The times were really good. We had to make a slight change to the course but it still saw some of quickest times for this opening race.’

Race two takes place on Sunday, March 24.

Don’t miss The News on Monday for a picture special from the Portsmouth Duathlon Series opener.