2019 is a crucial year for Paratriathletes looking to fulfil their dreams and head to the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020 and the British Paratriathlon Championships was set to be a great testing ground for British athletes in the build-up to the Tokyo test-event in August. Hosted at Eton Dorney, this sprint distance event saw Zone3 athletes competing for national titles across various classifications.
Racing in the PTVI category, Dave Ellis and his guide took to the start line and proceeded to lead their event from gun to tape. The pair set fast splits over the bike and run legs, finishing the event with a blisteringly quick 17:01 over the 5km run. This was the first time that Dave had raced with Tim Don as his guide, and while there was room for improvements in transition, the race result was a very positive one.
Having raced very recently in the Yokohama Paratriathlon Series event, Claire Cashmore was slightly worried about her running legs when she took to the start line in the PTS5 category. In this event, she was lining up against strong competition in the form of Lauren Steadman, who had narrowly beaten her to take the Gold medal at the 2018 Grand Final event. This weekend, Cashmore took an early lead in the swim and with a strong bike leg put herself in a commanding position to start the run leg. Although Steadman worked hard to close the gap, it was too late and Cashmore took the tape for the victory.
In his first appearance in the British Championships event since 2016, Steve Crowley was lined up against some young GB talent in the PTS4 category. Second out of the water, Crowley worked hard to close the gap on the bike and pushed past his rivals with the fastest bike and run for his category – also taking the win!
A very successful weekend for all of the Zone3 athletes involved, which will have acted as a great confidence booster and fitness test ahead of the Paralympic qualification opening this summer.
Photography: Mark Fountain