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Marlow event a sunny success despite recent flooding
OVER 100 people took part in a Marlow sporting tradition today as the warm weather helped organisers overcome the recent flooding.
The Marlow Duathlon is an annual event organised by running club, the Marlow Striders.
The event sees participants challenge a 7km run and a 25km bike ride before they endure another 7km run to the finish-line.
Race Director, Richard Coe, said: “I said to my wife as I left this morning, we need good weather and we need to get through the whole course safely.
“Organising has been quite hard work, a lot of it has been quite time consuming, but it has been very rewarding.”
He added: “I have run through the course many times checking it to make sure it is okay. We even got the chainsaw out to cut a few trees back to make sure nothing would be in the way.”
The winner of the race was, Sam Blanshard whose parents live in Marlow. He finished with a time of one hour, 37 minutes and 26 seconds, almost three minutes ahead of the second-place competitor.
28-year-old, Mr Blanshard said: “The race was really good, it was the perfect day for it, the course was great and the marshals were great too.”
He added: “It is rare for the weather to be this good at this time of year, to go around in a t-shirt and shorts was a bit unexpected.”
The Communications Director who lives in Ruislip, was in second place after the cycling but made up the time on the final leg to cross the finish-line first.
He said: “I had a slight mishap on the way as there were some road works and traffic lights which I had to stop at for about 10, 15, seconds.
“But with these things it is best to stick to the rules rather than risk getting disqualified. I am just dead chuffed with the finish.”
Despite competing for a combined total of 39km (24.2 miles) Mr Blanshard still had plans to go on another run later in the day with his club.
He said: “It is nice to go running with my club still, this was more for myself.”
The first-placed female was Claire Vallance. She finished with a time of one hour, 56 minutes, 51 seconds; six and a half minutes quicker than the second-placed female.
The teacher, 35, said: “The weather conditions were perfect for it. But you could see at some points how bad Marlow had been affected by the flooding.”
“This was my first race of the season, it all went well but I cramped up during the second run. My brain was telling me to go but my muscles didn’t want to” she added.
Her partner, Piers Vallance also did well, just missing out on the podium place after coming fourth overall.
The event was supported throughout by numerous volunteers who marshalled, gave out drinks and supported the competitors.
Two St Johns Ambulances were also in attendance in case of an accident.
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