The Derwent Valley Duathlon
Gathering at the west tower of Howden Dam Nr Bamford in Derbyshire a group of athletes warm up as the light tries desperately to break through the clouds. Once the scene of the legendary 617 squadrens Lancaster bomber low level training runs back in the 40s. Now part of the Peak District National Parks and the 1st ever Peaklife sports Derwent Valley Duathlon, but this was no training run.
Some 80 competitors took to the start line for the first stage run, a choice of a road run or cross country, returning to the changeover station and their waiting bikes for a pacey 29k race along the side of Howden Reservoir, made up of 2 laps before a quick changeover for the final run to the finish (taking the opposite choice of run to the start).
An early lead was established in the mens race by Matlocks Ben Cartwright who was first to the changeover with a pursuing pack on his heels. In the women’s Matlocks Christine Howard appeared to be struggling with an injury as she crossed the base of the dam before the accent to the cycle station, but opting for the cross country first would give her an easier time later in the race.
The cycling was a challenge in this, a popular tourist area and competitors found they were having to take extra care whilst mixing it up with other visitors who were just out for a pleasurable ride.
The stage completed without incident other than Darren Ridout who out on his first lap when hitting a pothole that damaging his front wheel. He then opted to return on foot carrying his bike back to the changeover station. Then running back to his car for a replacement wheel, only to start the 2 lap stage again.
As the cyclists came in Rob Baldock had taken the lead of the race. A lead he was to maintain to the finish line with Alex Hall just under a minuet behind him for 2nd and Matlocks Ben Cartwright taking 3rd only 84 seconds behind 1st place.
Christine Howard had a fantastic latter stage and was able to take first place in the woman’s.
Race organizer Karl Webster passed on his praise due to the massive support received from the Peak National Park Ranger Services and Seven Trent Water also Vic Hallam of the Derwent dam Museum.Without their help and support events like this simply wouldn’t happen
Images By M Ludbrook,S Gresty,D Thorburn
Copy by M Ludbrook