Sell-out opener to launch duathlon series

Patryk Huczkowski is back to defend his crown. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141378-868)
Patryk Huczkowski is back to defend his crown. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141378-868)
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There will be plenty of pedal and pavement pounding as the Portsmouth Duathlon Series gets going tomorrow.

Race one, a 5k run, 15k cycle and 5k run, has sold out with more than 200 entries.

Last summer’s champion, Patryk Huczkowski, will be among those lining up in the men’s race.

He finished second in the opening race last year in 1hr 05min 37sec and will have some strong challengers again this time.

Andrew Waddington impressed with victory in races two and three in 2014.

He didn’t take part in the opener but this time he’s in for all three.

George Little, a regular winner of some of organiser Rob Piggott’s running events, could be another strong contender, while Portsmouth Triathletes will be well represented.

Piggott is looking forward to getting the much-anticipated 2015 series off to a flying start.

He said: ‘I’m excited. We’ve had a great response again.

‘Patryk is in to defend his title and he has quite a lot of people breathing down his neck.

‘George Little could be right up there and Andrew Waddington has entered all three.

‘We have 100 people who have entered all three races and 113 who have just entered race one.

‘The medal is awesome and I’ve been around the course a few times so we are all set.’

Ladies’ champion Alison Wilson misses the first competition of 2015.

She won all three races last year making it a dominant performance.

Last year Dame Kelly Holmes also competed in the first event of the series.

The double Olympic gold medallist from Athens 2004 enjoyed the challenge and finished second lady in a time of 1.12.47.

But it’s the absence of Wilson, who won the first race in 1.11.02, that means the event will crown a new champion.

Triathlon specialists Rachel Clay, from Petersfield, and Portsmouth’s Emma Gueterbock are two names to watch out for.

‘Alison informed us she won’t be coming back to defend her title,’ said Piggott.

‘That means the ladies’ race is wide open.

‘Rachel Clay and Emma Gueterbock have both entered race one. They are very strong contenders and should do well.’

The race, sponsored by Aces Ltd, starts at 8.30am tomorrow, with the headquarters and the transition point at Speaker’s Corner, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea.

With more than 200 cyclists on the charge, the seafront will be extra busy in the morning.

Piggott added: ‘We would just ask anyone in the area between 8.30am and 10.30am to be careful of the cyclists.’