ROB ARKELL was thrilled to secure victory in race two of the Portsmouth Duathlon Series.
The talented Ironman triathlete, from Fareham, is in superb form and showed his speed on Sunday.
He completed the 7.5k run, 17.5k bike and 5k run in Southsea with a fast time of 1hr 12min 39sec.
A superb final run split of 17.30 took him clear of his main series rival Ben Terry who finished second in 1.13.27.
Paul Cardy had led from the first run but he had to settle for third spot in 1.13.47.
Arkell is pleased to be going well early in the season and was happy with how he paced Sunday’s event.
He said: ‘The competition was really strong. Paul Cardy set a fast pace on the first run and I think the first mile was under 5.20. He had opened up a big gap on the first run.
‘I settled into a pace I felt I could maintain and then managed to reel him on the bike.
‘After the turn point I took the lead and it was nice to have the lead motorcycle for company. The guy was chatting away to me.
‘It wasn’t full gas all the time on the bike leg and Ben Terry caught up. I didn’t realise he was right behind me until we went into transition.
‘Then we went out on the second run together and I started to pull away when we got up to the pier. I made sure I had some energy for the second half of the run because I could see Paul was still there as well and he looked quite good on the run again.
‘I think I managed to pace it quite well throughout because I had the fastest split overall for the second run.
‘It was nice to win, I’m pleased with how it went. It’s good to have the competition, it does ensure you push a bit harder than you would in training.’
Arkell is running in the London Marathon next month as well and has qualified again for the iconic Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, later this year.
First he hopes to seal series victory in the third race of Rob Piggott’s popular duathlon on Sunday, April 15.
He leads the way in the series with a total time of 2.14.24 for the first two races. Terry is exactly a minute back in second with 2.15.24. Third is Tom Barnard in 2.20.29 and fourth is Robert Ford with 2.21.35.
Arkell is competing in the series for the first time and he is enjoying it.
He said: ‘It’s a great event and we had a brilliant day for it on Sunday with such good conditions.
‘I’m looking forward to the last race and hopefully I can win the series, that would be really nice.
‘Then it is the London Marathon the week after that.’
Helen Nicholls finished first lady on Sunday (1.26.00) with Victoria Ayriss second (1.27.52) and defending ladies’ champion Kelly Stokes, who has also qualified again for the Kona Ironman event, in third (1.30.25).