A 100k ultra marathon is next for superfit 81 year-old Peterborough pensioner after he reigned in Spain: ‘when you convert 100k into miles it doesn’t seem so far!’

Age is clearly no barrier to success for a golden oldie from Orton Waterville.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 4:49 pm
Bryan Smale is cheered home by spectators in Spain.

Bryan Smale represented Great Britain for the first time in the World Duathlon Sprint Championships in Avile, Spain at the age of 81!

And he didn’t travel to make up the numbers. The superfit pensioner picked up a bronze medal in the 80-83 age group.

A sprint duathlon demands competitors run for 5km, then cycle for 2okm before finishing with a 2.5km run. Smale recorded a very creditable time of 1.58.39.

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Bryan and Zoe Smale

Smale’s daughter Zoe Tetlow, who lives in West Sussex, also took part in a standard duathlon and finished an excellent fourth.

Smale made the news when taking part in his first marathon at the age of 77 in 2018. He finished the Brighton Marathon is an excellent time of four hours and 40 minutes.

“I’m always up for a new challenge,” Smale said. “Which is why I did a marathon just to see if I could run 26 miles. A friend introduced me to the duathlon and I qualified for the race in Spain in an event in Bedford which took place just a week before the very first Covid lockdown.

“We obviously had to wait to compete in this event. Originally it was scheduled for the Netherlands and then it was moved to Spain and we had a great time over there.

Bryan Smale during the duathlon in Spain.

“I was pleased with how it went and now I’m looking for my next challenge.

“I can’t do triathlons as my swimming isn’t great, but I fancy doing an ultra marathon run which is over 100km. When you convert that to miles it doesn’t seem so far!”

Former butcher Smale has lived in Peterborough for 70 years. He was introduced to the duathlon by well known local veteran athlete Eric Winstone who took part in the 70-74 age group in the Sprint triathlon in Spain and finished an excellent seventh place in a time of 1.31.21. The pair are members of the Bushfield Joggers Club.

Also competing in Aviles was Don Hutchinson in the 75-79 age group. Hutchinson is a long-time member of Cambridge Triathlon Club and recently moved to Water Newton. He also finished seventh in his age group, having previously won gold in the European Triathlon Championships in Valencia in June.