VICTORY at the Shrewsbury Quadrathlon secured Evesham multi-sport athlete Helen Russell the British Quadrathlon Race Series title for the third year in a row.
The series rewards consistency over the season, as athletes score points at races, with the points from the best three efforts to count towards the title.
Russell had already scored maximum points with wins at Dearne Valley and Box End in June and a win at Shrewsbury would confirm the title.
The race, which consists of a swim, kayak, bike and run, started at the West Midlands Showground and competitors swam 500m and kayaked 4.2km in the River Severn, cycled 23km out to Baschurch and back, before finally running 5km in the showground.
As with the previous events in the series, Russell, who is supported by the Rivers Evesham Gifted & Talented Scheme, exited the swim in first place but the relatively short distance of 500m meant she was unable to create the usual big gap between herself and the other competitors.
Second-placed athlete Jacqueline Davies from Frome, Somerset, was close behind and overtook Russell entering the water for the kayak leg.
Russell quickly overtook Davies on the water to take the lead but entered the bike leg less than a minute ahead. The positions did not change on the bike, with both athletes entering the final transition almost neck and neck.
Russell entered the run leg with a slender lead but was by far the faster runner and finished the race in 1.40.35, with Davies crossing the finishing line second in 1.44.01.
Third-placed athlete was Natalie Abbott from Macclesfield & District Canoe Club, who finished in 1.48.35.
An elated Russell said: “I am delighted to take the series title for the third year in a row and am grateful to everyone who has supported me over the last three years.”
This result rounds off the 2019 quadrathlon season for Russell, who also won the overall British Championship and World Championship in her age group.