Stockton Duathlon 2017

Reporting back from my first ever visit to Stockton – where I was host for the Stockton Duathlon!  A great event put together by Stockton on Tees Borough Council and Tri Hard Events, with 800 competitors taking part over the course of the day.

Check out http://www.trihard.co.uk/events/ – there’s the ‘Day in the Lakes Triathlon’ to look forward to this year, as well as the Redcar Sprint Triathlon too.

A Day in The Lakes is on June 25th, Ripon Tour Cycle Sportive is on July 2nd… the Redcar Sprint Tri is on July 30th and the 9 Bar Helvellyn Tri is on September 3rd.

I’ve worked on two events for Tri Hard this year, and I can genuinely say they’re brilliantly organised, extremely professional – if you haven’t tried one out, sign up for one today!  They have a great team working at each event, thank you for making me feel so welcome.  Thanks also to Jade, Andrea and everyone at Stockton Council for welcoming me during the day.

There were various races throughout the day:

At 9am there was the ‘Novice’ and ‘Non-Drafting’ Sprint Races – the Novice race consisted of a 2k run, a 10k bike race and a 1k run… the ‘Non Drafting’ Sprint Race was a 5k run, 20k cycle and a 2.5k run.  Last year, Andrew Dobson was the fastest person back in just over 38 minutes!  The participants crossed the line thick and fast during this race!  I enjoyed interviewing participants as they completed the race – and continued to do this during the day.  Well done to David Binns who said “I have never done a triathlon or duathlon before!”, but took part today.

At 11am, there was the ‘Sprint Draft Legal’ race, consisting of a 5k run, 20 kilometres on the bike and then a 2.5 kilometres run back to the finish.  In 2016, James Wilson finished this in just over 56 minutes.  A special mention to Paul Thomas, who says he did a 720 mile round trip just to take part in this race – well done Paul!  The ‘Draft Legal’ race was a qualifier event for the World Duathlon Championships.

At 1pm, it was time for the ‘Standard’ race – compromising of a 10k run, then 38.4 kilometres on the bike, and then another 5k run before the finish!  Last year, Daniel Jenkin finished this in 1 hour, 48 minutes and 41 seconds – so this is an extremely fast race.  Special mentions go out to Marcus Cram who took part – it was his first multi event race and he’s training for an Ironman in July.  The ‘Standard’ race was a qualifier for both the European and World Championships.

Thanks have to go to http://www.sportstimingsolutions.co.uk who were great to work with – they kindly provided me with a tablet so I could commentate as participants crossed the finish line and various transition areas, etc – they were extremely helpful, reliable equipment – please do check them out for your event.

Also, a big thanks to The Velveteen Rabbit Luncheon Club – who kindly gave me a coffee during commentating duties!  Look out for them at outdoor events – you can’t miss them, they have a small yellow caravan that they serve their food and drinks from.  Really friendly, and great coffee which kept me going!

Great to see so many stalls near the finish line – Skinnergate, Halfords, Triology, Triscience, Canal and Rivers Trust…  Matty’s Bistro…  There was also sports massages available from Get Back To The Action Sports Therapy – great value for participants and spectators, find out more about them at http://www.getbacktotheaction.co.uk

Stockton will also be hosting the ‘Stockton Dragon Boat Festival’ on Saturday September 2nd – taking place in the River Tees, and starting at the Watersport Centre.  For more information and to sign up, visit http://www.stocktondragonboatfestival.co.uk – it sounds like it will be a great event, to raise money for the Prince’s Trust.

And if that’s not enough, the Stockton Cycling Festival returns between 14th and 16th July – the festival will include Town Centre Racing on Stockton High Street forming part of the British Cycling HSBC National Circuit Series… there will also be the Stockton Sportive featuring races over four distances up to over 100 miles… and on the final day there’s the Stockton Grand Prix.  140 of the UK best’s riders and teams line up on Riverside Road and all taking part in a dramatic road race.  There’s also an Extreme Bike Battle featuring six of the best stunt cyclists in the UK!  Follow @StocktonSport on Twitter for the latest information.

And… there’s the River Rat Race on August 19th!  You’ll have to swim, wade, crawl, climb, jump and splash your way around their circuit before diving back into the River Tees.  Sign up now at http://www.stocktonriverratrace.co.uk – sounds like good fun.

Stockton looks like a great place to visit – Sound It Out Records has a great reputation, and for a vinyl collector like me, I might have to head back to Stockton just to check out their stock!  (Incidentally, the shop the day before the duathlon had queues outside for Record Store Day, with people picking up limited edition record releases!  Great to see record shops busy again).

 

If I can perhaps help you with an event you’re planning, then feel free to contact me at chriscbenson@hotmail.co.uk – I look forward to hearing from you.  Chris