Three local triathletes made a superb start to the new season when qualifying for a European Championship event at the weekend.
Paul Vernon and Jim Fell from the Peterborough Triathlon Club and Claire Steels from Bourne were all age group winners at the Grafham Water Duathlon and that earned the talented trio places at the European Duathlon Championships later in the year. The date and venue has not yet been announced.
Steels, who was a 25-29 age group winner at the World Duathlon Championships in Adelaide last year, was first lady home in the Grafham race finishing two minutes clear of the runner-up.
She completed the three stages of a 6.25-mile run, a 25-mile bike ride and another three-mile run in 2hrs 14mins and 56secs
She was 38 seconds down after the first run, but beat the second-placed girl by 2:02 on the bike, showing a big improvement to that side of the sport.
Vernon won his age group (35-39) by 4:37 minutes having taken the lead from the off.
He was also second in the overall race, moving up to second in the bike section and holding onto his position until the finish.
Fell also used the bike to his advantage, moving up to first in his age group (65-69) on the bike and maintaining the advantage to win by 4:18 minutes.
Fell has made good strides and is now catching younger athletes that he would not have thought possible just a year ago.
2nd Paul Vernon 1:57:49 (age group 1st).
76th Richard Nixon 2:26:38 (age group 9th).
115th Jim Fell 2:47:44 (age group 1st).
Ladies: 1 Claire Steels 2:14:56 (age group 1st).