EVESHAM Vale Triathletes (EVT) Lindsey Lewis-Painter and John Peacock won medals at the Ibiza Duathlon European Championships.
Almost 3,000 athletes descended on the Balearic island to take part in the ‘must’ event in the European Duathlon Championships calendar. The EVT pair had to race in one of the qualifying races staged in Great Britain and to be in the top three before they were asked to represent their country.
The course was all set the day before the run, bike, run route but unfortunately the tide washed away half of the transition area! The officials changed the course on the eve of the race so athletes were unsure of the correct route and location.
The day of the event was not quite as smooth as the pair would have liked. Transition set-up was at dawn, so it was hard for them to see where their bike and kit was meant to be set up.
About one hour before the race it started to rain, making the course very slippery for slick race tyres. Everyone was in the same frame of mind and just wanted to do their best for their country.
The start of the race was immense and very atmospheric, as crowds of supporters had assembled in the streets with music being blasted out of speakers. The runners were set off in waves and so started the 5km run along the seafront – which they completed twice – in the rain.
Into transition to collect their bikes, the helmets were full of water which made it quite hard to put on. Out on the rain-soaked bike route for 20km, it was very slippery with quite a few athletes falling off at the turnaround points.
Fortunately, Lewis-Painter and Peacock took these turns slowly and chose to lose a few seconds, but were able to carry on. The athletes returned to the town centre where the sun was now shining to complete the last 2.5km run – again along the seafront – before finishing the run along the blue carpet with crowds shouting their names.
Peacock finished second male in his age group and Lewis-Painter was third in her age group.
This is the first time Lewis-Painter has represented her country and she said: “I am so proud to have been selected to race for Great Britain. I raced the best I could and just kept pushing myself through to the end.
“I am so happy to have finished on the podium. My husband and children have been so supportive, as have all my friends back at home. I just hope I have done them proud.”
Not being one to rest on her laurels, Lewis-Painter will be straight back into training at Lift Up Gym in preparation to represent Great Britain again – this time at the World Championships in April.