VICTORIA AYRISS is determined to come back even stronger after she was involved in an epic opening battle for success.
Since finishing a very good fifth overall in the 2017 Portsmouth Duathlon Series the focus has been on getting quicker and her work with the Endurance Hub in Gosport has really paid off.
Going into the final run Ayriss was leading the charge, ahead of defending series champion Kelly Stokes, who represents Portsmouth Triathletes.
The competitive nature of racing meant they soon began to step up their rivalry in pursuit of the victory.
Charging along Southsea seafront it turned into a real thriller for the supporters.
Stokes is a super talented triathlete having raced the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii and has qualified for it again.
She stepped up the pace and took the win by just two seconds, so close at the end of the 5k run, 15k cycle and then 5k run to finish.
Stokes finished with a time of 1hr 13min 21sec and Ayriss stopped the clock at 1.13.23.
It was a great start to the season and Ayriss is pleased to see her training paying off with such good form.
She said: ‘After training hard with the Endurance Hub, I was determined to beat the time I achieved at last year’s race one.
‘I knew Kelly was racing and she is an inspirational athlete.
‘To be racing along side her was amazing. To be leading going into the second run was unexpected, only to be caught in the last half a mile, but now I have something to work on.
‘Through great coaching I have the drive and determination to achieve.’
Rebecca Hughes, of Portsmouth Triathletes, had a good race as well and she finished third lady (1.17.59).
The second event of the Portsmouth Duathlon Series takes place on Sunday, March 25 (8.30am).