20th Oct, 2020

Russell clinches British Quadrathlon Race Series title

Liam Moakes 3rd Jul, 2017

VICTORY at the Box End Quadrathlon secured the British Quadrathlon Race Series crown for Evesham athlete Helen Russell.

This triumph in Kempston, Bedfordshire, is further success for Russell on the back of her British Championship title won in May.

Russell, who races for Worcester Canoe Club, lined up against the country’s best quadrathletes to battle over the cross-sprint race distance of a 750m lake swim, 15km off-road bike, 4.8km kayak and 5km run.

In only her first season, Russell had already won two out of the five series races and, with three races to count, knew victory in the race would secure her the British Series title.

Russell, who is sponsored by the Rivers Evesham Gifted & Talented Scheme, had an excellent swim and exited the lake in first position in a time of 10.41.

Having only started kayaking a year ago, the kayak leg is Russell’s weakest discipline, but she covered the 4.8km in 32.29 and was able to hang on to the lead despite being closely chased by 2016 race series winner Jean Ashley, who completed the kayak section in 30.32.

Russell, who was still recovering from cycling up Mont Ventoux three times in one day for charity just the weekend before, found the off-road mountain bike route energy-sapping.

However, although fatigued, she had the fastest female bike leg of the day of 46.02 and headed out on to the 5km cross country run three minutes, seven seconds ahead of second placed Ashley.

Knowing she had a decent lead and is usually a faster runner than Ashley, she was able to relax a bit and focus on her footing on the very uneven and undulating grass course and was eventually first across the finish line in a final time of 1:56.53.

Meanwhile, behind Russell, there was a real race for second place as Ashley was overtaken on the final stages of the run by Cambridge Canoe Club competitor Alice Clarkson, who ran hard to take silver in a final time of 2.01.30, whilst Ashley finished 29 seconds behind in 2.01.59 to claim bronze.

Having won the first three out of the five scheduled series races, and with three races counting, Russell is now assured of the overall crown.

A jubilant Russell said: “I am really surprised to win both the British Series and British Championship title in just my first season. It definitely makes all the hard and cold winter training worth it!”

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