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The Men’s Fitness Rough Track triathlon returned to Dorney Lake, Windsor, in September for a fourth successful year. Hundreds of people took part across four different categories, including advanced and relay triathlons (800m swim, 20km bike, 9km run), a sprint triathlon (400m swim, 10km bike, 4.5km run) and a duathlon (5km run, 10km bike, 4.5km run).
Clear skies and dry ground meant that all the races where contested at a fast pace. The presence of Britain’s top three off-road triathletes, who were using the race as a warm-up for the X-Terra world championships, also helped inject some speed and gave the rest of the field the chance to test themselves against international-standard competition. Upping the elite athlete count even further was top Olympic-distance triathlete Will Clark, who was on hand to present winners’ medals.
First home in the advanced triathlon was Tim McDowell in an impressive time of 1hr 15min, 19sec, with Graham Wadsworth and Jim McConnel taking the other two podium places. Bike problems prevented Sam Gardner, Britain’s best off-road triathlete, from regaining a title he first won in 2006 but the three incredible X-Terra World Tour wins he’s had this year should ease his disappointment.
Winner Tim McDowell said, ‘I was saying before the race that Rough Track was the unofficial UK championship because there was so many top names competing on home soil. The international nature of triathlons means this doesn’t happen that often, so I was over the moon to win. I gave the swim everything – like it was the only part of the race – and it gave me a decent lead that I managed to hold on to. I’ve raced for 20 years and Rough Track is one of the most intensive because there’s no descents and so no time to relax and catch your breath. It’s all out from start to finish.’
Congratulations to everyone who took part and thanks to all the spectators who gave them such great support.