ROUND four of the Stratford Tri Grand Prix Series was held in the shape of the Banbury Triathlon on Sunday and signalled the welcome return to action of Emma Bexson.
Although a sprint distance event, this one includes an open air swim of 750m followed by an undulating rural bike route of 20km and finishes with a 5km run.
Due to a busy schedule of events, only three Stratford Triathlon Club members competed in this round.
Dave Clarkson and Brian Weetman continued their duel in the series. Clarkson went off first with a strong swim, overtaking several competitors over the 15 lengths of the heated outdoor 50m pool and, coupled with a speedy transition, he was soon out on the bike leg.
Once through the traffic, he started picking off many early starters over the single-lap course before returning back to transition for a change of shoes for the 5km run.
Clarkson produced an improvement of form with a personal best time over the distance by six minutes.
Meanwhile, Weetman was out of the water after a steady swim and controlled bike leg. He passed Clarkson on his way out on his run but knew the gap was too great to close, but finished with a strong run to complete a big weekend’s training block.
In the ladies’ event, Bexson returned to racing after a prolonged injury/recovery period which had hampered her training for 14 months.
Bexson produced a fine display of form over the three disciplines with a blistering swim and fast bike ride, topped off by a strong run to place third lady overall and first in age group, whilst also finishing in top spot in the GP round.
Results: Emma Bexson – swim 13:11 T1 1:01; bike 39:09 T2 1:09; run 22:49 – total 1:17:17 – 3rd lady, 1st in age group; Dave Clarkson – swim 14:49 T1 1:18; bike 42:36 T2 1:27; run 25:21 – total 1:25:31; Brian Weetman – swim 17:09 T1 1:01; bike 46:03 T2 1:25; run 24:57 – total 1:30:34.