Racers gearing up for the seventh Portsmouth Duathlon Series

Rob Arkell leading the way in the 2018 Portsmouth Duathlon Series. Picture: Neil Marshall (171738-1)
Rob Arkell leading the way in the 2018 Portsmouth Duathlon Series. Picture: Neil Marshall (171738-1)
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The first race of the 2019 Portsmouth Duathlon Series takes place on Sunday with multi-sport stars ready to move through the gears.

It’s always a flying start to the year with the events providing some great competition and a friendly start for many who are new to the event.

Victoria Ayriss won the 2018 duathlon. Picture: Neil Marshall

Victoria Ayriss won the 2018 duathlon. Picture: Neil Marshall

Defending champion Rob Arkell will be back and has his sights on a repeat performance.

He won the series in 2018 after finishing second in the opener and then taking victories in races two and three.

It was a really close race for the ladies’ crown in 2018 with Victoria Ayriss just managing to edge Kelly Stokes.

Ayriss led into the final event but it was Stokes who won the third race.

Rob Arkell racing in the 2018 Portsmouth Duathlon Series

Rob Arkell racing in the 2018 Portsmouth Duathlon Series

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

The seventh edition of the Portsmouth Duathlon Series starts at 8.45am on Sunday at Speakers’ Corner in Southsea.

It’s a 5k run, followed by a 15k bike and then a 5k run to finish.

Organiser Rob Piggott and his team host the races.

Last year 252 people completed the first event.

Some teams will be taking part with one person doing the running and one doing the cycling.

Hugh MacKenzie won the first race in 2018 with a time of 1hr 01min 32sec.

Stokes finished first lady (1.13.21) just ahead of Ayriss who was two seconds back, starting the amazing battle they fought over the three races.

Race two takes place in March and the finale is in April.