Local trio qualify for World Championships

Claire Steels.

Claire Steels.

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Three locals gained top-two finishes in the Bedford Duathlon on Sunday.

Claire Steels was first female finisher while Jim Fell and Eric Winstone claimed runners-up spot in the Over 65 and Over 70 age groups respectively.

The event, held at Bedford Autodrome, was over the sprint distance of a three-mile run, 12.5-mile bike ride and then a 1.5-mile run and it was a World Championship qualifier.

All three locals therefore qualified for the World Sprint Distance Duathlon Championships to be held in Penticton, Canada, in August.

The World Standard Distance Championships take place two days earlier at the same venue and Steels and Fell have also qualified for that - Steels by finishing 10th in the 2016 World Championships and Fell by winning the 2016 British Championships.

Fell is looking to compete in both races but Steels will conserve her energy and concentrate on the standard distance race.

Steels, who recently joined Peterborough Triathlon Club (PACTRAC), was second after the first run but pulled away on the bike. She established a big lead and held it on the final run to finish 50th overall in 60:08.

Winstone completed the race in 1:13.31 and Fell (PACTRAC) in 1:16.04.

The 2017 Eastern Junior League also started at Bedford Autodrome on Sunday and two young PACTRACers gained top three finishes.

Katie Tasker saw her extra stamina-running sessions over the winter pay dividends as she raced home first in the TriStar 3 race, 40 seconds clear of the field.

Olivia Corner was runner-up in the TriStar 2 race.

PACTRAC results:

TriStart: 10 Josh Moore 16:07.

TriStar2: 3 Olivia Corner 22:13; 18 Chloe Moore 30:23.

TriStar3: 1 Katie Tasker 26:09.

Andy Rawlins and Sarah Haslam of PACTRAC competed in the Mud & Mayhem Duathlon in Thetford Forest (run 3-miles, bike 11.5 miles, run 3-miles). They finished 38th and 49th in 1:39:10 and 1:44:06. Haslam was fourth in her age grougoup.