Triathletes take on world’s best

Two triathletes from FVS TRI took on the world on two different continents. Kevin Smart represented Great Britain in the Long Course Triathlon Age Group World Championships in Canberra, Australia, which he described as the hardest race of his life! With s

Two triathletes from FVS TRI took on the world on two different continents.

Kevin Smart represented Great Britain in the Long Course Triathlon Age Group World Championships in Canberra, Australia, which he described as the hardest race of his life!

With several ironman events under his belt and the European Age Group Championships earlier in the year, he was ideally prepared for the big one Down Under.

A 4k two-lap swim, 120k bike and 30k run proved to be harder than any ironman despite the shorter distances involved as a combination of high temperatures, high winds and a hilly course meant a tough race.

Smart still managed 39th in his world age group and third in the 30-34 age group for GB finishers.

He was 225th overall from a field of more than 600 starters in 8-10:07.

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Over in America, Hitchin triathlete Gavin May raced for FVS TRI in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Florida.

The 70.3, so called as it is the total distance raced, was completed over a 1.2 mile sea swim, 56 mile bike and a half-marathon road run.

Finishing a superb season that saw him represent GB in the European Long Course Age Group Championships, as well as a superb Ironman Austria result, Gavin was 360th overall from 1,800 athletes who had all qualified with top 10 age group finishes in one of the 17 worldwide 70.3 events.

He stormed through the field in the half-marathon to finish 360th overall in a total time of 4-34:31.

Veteran athlete Brian White improved on his time from last year to take top Vet 50 honours in the Ballbuster Duathlon based around Boxhill in Surrey.

With the race comprising five times around the eight-mile loop - one run, three bike and then a last run - the athletes became rather familiar with the infamous hill!

White was more than three minutes faster than last year in a time of 2-58:58.

FVS TRI members Graham Markham and David Hamill raced for the Army and Met Police and additionally Simon Hall and Steve James were forced to retire with illness and injury.

Times: Brian White 2-58:58, Paul Gibb 3-09:19, James Grierson 3-17:23, Graham Markham 3-22:39, Dave Coard 3-34:23, Marc Trussell 3-38:00, Samantha Tophill 3-38:30, Chris Baxter 3-44:11, David Hamill 3-54:00, Drew Lowrie 4-01:06.

In the second Sunday League cross-country fixture at Digswell, Welwyn, FVS TRI managed to hold on to their second position overall with strong performances from the women and solid men's team performance despite the loss of key runners with injury.

An excellent debut in the league from Paula Adams and a welcome return from Sam Tophill gave the ladies second overall and a resounding win in the Masters competition.

Paula led home the women in sixth overall and Jackie Perry was the leading W45 and 10th overall.

Sam Tophill (12th), Lesley Dutton (13th) and Chris Yuill (20th) were the other scorers in the women's' team competition (five to score).

The Masters' team of Paula, Jackie and Sam took overall honours on the day to consolidate their second position after two fixtures.

In the men's competition, Steve Harrison stamped his dominance on the league with a strong win beating the second placed athlete by 25 seconds.

Coach Brian White returned to cross-country to deliver a second place finish for the club and 15th overall and first M50 veteran.

The eight scoring men were Steve Harrison, Brian White, Mike Russell, Steve Chalk, Mark Grayson, Steve James, Jon Gillham and top FVS TRI junior Sean Bradley. They were third on the day and retain second position overall in the league.

The Masters' team of Brian White, Mike Russell, Steve Chalk and Steve James were third on the day and stay second overall.

Ladies' times (3.5 miles): Paula Adams 25:55, Jackie Perry 27:40, Sam Tophill 27:51, Lesley Dutton 28:04, Chris Yuill 29:35, Ellie Burton 31:02, Anna Priestley 32:29, Sally Harkins 36:44.

Men's times (6.2 miles): Steve Harrison 36:41, Brian White 40:30, Mike Russell 42:54, Steve Chalk 43:01, Mark Grayson 44:06, Steve James 44:27, Jon Gillham 44:37, Sean Bradley 44:52, Kevin Ash 45:31, Jeff Ryan 46:58, David Hard 47:03, Andrew Mussett 47:12, Darren Woodhall 47:45, Dave Welch 47:59, Andrew Chadwick 49:18, Ian Owens 49:19, Jeremy Lintott 49:42, Clive Adams 50:07, Andy Proctor 50:24, Pete Eames 51:11, Gary Shanahan 52:49, Richard Thomas 53:50, Kevin Bradley 55:52 Ian Hobbs 55:56, Steve Mussett 56:28, Mick Clark 57:13.

Five members of FVS TRI raced the first Stevenage 5k in midweek. Brian White showed a remarkable return to form with 17:24 to be first MV50 and 19th overall. Times: Brian White 17:24, Paul Gibb 17:39, Robert Wilson 19:19, Jeremy Prodger 19:45, Richard Easterbrook 22:19.

David Hamill raced on the roads with 1-17:30 at the Bishop's Stortford 10.

Ian Owens completed the aptly named Cardiac Arrest cross-country in 1-36:26 to finish 37th male for the eight-mile course including ditches, tunnels, and a ditch four foot deep with water!