Steels sprints to silver medal in the European Championships

Claire Steels.
Claire Steels.

Local duathlon star Claire Steels won a silver medal at the European Championshps in Germany at the weekend.

Competing over the sprint distance (5k run, 20k bike and 2.5k run), the Peterborough-based athlete clocked a personal best 01:03:58 to finish second in the 30-35 age group behind Germany’s Julia Ertmer, who finished in 01:02:34.

Josh Reed.

Josh Reed.

Steels, who won an age group gold at the World Championships in Adelaide last year, also finished second lady overall.

She said: “I’m so happy. I’m buzzing after a huge personal best and a massive improvement on the bike.

“It was just a shame that the overall winner was in my age group too.”

The next target for Steels is the World Duathlon Championships in Spain on June 4.

Paul Vernon.

Paul Vernon.

Also competing over the sprint distance in Germany was formerArthur Mellows Village College student Josh Reed.

Reed (25), who now works in London but hails from Newborough, was in the 25-29 age group and did well to finish fifth in 01:01:11. He was fastest in both runs but slowest on the bike.

His age group was won by fellow Brit David Cole in a rapid 00:58:48.

Reed is a duathlon novice, only having taken up the sport 12 months ago when he qualified for the Europeans in his first competitive race and on a 20-year-old bike he borrowed off the girlfriend’s dad.

He has also qualified for the World Championships in Spain.

Closer to home, Peterborough Triathlon Club (PACTRAC) member Paul Vernon was a runaway winner of his club’s Peterborough Duathlon at Castor on Sunday.

A total of 87 athletes tackled the event, which involved a four-mile run, 18-mile bike ride and 2.5-mile run, and Vernon won the race by 7:27 minutes.

This event was also the BTF Eastern Region Duathlon Championships and PACTRAC came away with three of the six trophies on offer.

They went to Paul Vernon (male vet), Paul Jephcott (male super vet) and Andrea Robinett (female senior).

Vernon finished in 01:21:23. James Corlett and Matt Waterfield, both representing Icarus, were second and third in 01:28:50 and 01:29:24.

Angela Joiner-Handy (01:36:01 ) from West Suffolk was first female in ninth place overall.

PACTRAC veteran Jim Fell was 42nd overall in 01:51:20 and won the 70-75 age group to make it five age group wins on the trot.

Other PACTRAC results

Duston Kids Triathlon: TriStart - 3 Sophie Pickering 9:53. TriStar 1 - 24 Joseph Pickering 16:08. TriStar 2 - 5 Olivia Corner 17:56; 43 Chloe Moore 24:12; Youth - 2 Hannah Bassett 28:14.

Duston Triathlon: 8 Mark Weathersby 59:19; 153 Nicholas Partridge 81:17.

Brighton Marathon: 1433 Emma Walker 4:29:00.

PACTRAC junior Jonathan Oakey meanwhile has qualified to race in the National Youth Super Series after completing a performance assessment at the weekend.

This is a prestigious five-race series for the best young triathletes from all over the country.