VICTORY at the Shrewsbury Quadrathlon secured Evesham multi-sport athlete Helen Russell a clean sweep of wins in her British Trophy Series races.
Comprising of the four disciplines – swim, kayak, bike and run – a quadrathlon is a real test of an athlete’s endurance and ability across four challenging sports.
The event started at the West Midlands Showground and saw competitors swim 500m and kayak 4.2km in the River Severn, cycle 23km out to Baschurch and back and before finally running 5km in the showground.
As with the other three races in the series, Russell, who races for Worcester Canoe Club, exited the swim in first place but the relatively short distance of 500m meant that she was unable to create the usual big gap between herself and the other competitors.
Second placed Jacqueline Davies from Frome Triathlon Club was close behind and overtook Russell entering the water for the kayak leg.
Having only started kayaking last year, this leg is always Russell’s weakest discipline, and she was overtaken just past the halfway mark by last year’s British Series winner Jean Ashley, putting the Vale athlete into third place at the end of the kayak leg.
Russell had a smoother transition into the bike leg than Ashley and so took to the road in second place and it was not long until she chased down Davies, who she overtook within the second mile.
The wet and windy conditions meant Russell struggled to stay warm but, despite this, she was able to build a two-minute lead going into the 5km run and continued to extend her lead significantly to finish in 1.39.28.
Meanwhile, Ashley had run herself into second place, finishing in 1.45.17, and Davies was pipped to the third spot by Natalie Abbott from Maldon & District Cycling Club (Essex) who finished in 1.46.45.
Although Russell had already clinched the British Series title at the Box End Quadrathlon in July, this victory means she is undefeated this season.
Russell said: “It has been an amazing first season in the quadrathlon circuit and I definitely surpassed my expectations.
“I’ll now think about how I can build on this success and what my goals will be for next season.”