Successful race day puts Hucknall on the triathlon map

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A ringing endorsement for the Hucknall Triathlon was given by a world championships contender this week after the success of the 2013 event.

Celebrated Hucknall triathlete and duathlete Pete Orme (54) was one of more than 70 competitors who took part last Sunday morning.

And, after finishing fourth, Orme was full of praise for the event, which was organised by the multi-sports club, Balanced Performance, based at Hucknall Leisure Centre.

“A great concept and a fantastic event,” said Orme, who is planning to take part in the world triathlon championships in London in September.

“It puts Hucknall on the map, and I can see the event growing and growing.”

Orme, of Wighay Road, won a silver medal in his age category at the British Duathlon Championships earlier this year. In the Hucknall event, he was first male veteran, clocking a time of one hour, three minutes, 26 seconds.

A time trial, the triathlon comprised a 400-metre (16 lengths) swim in the Linby Road Leisure Centre pool, an 18km bike-ride round the streets of Hucknall and then a five-kilometre road run taking in The Ranges (former Linby Colliery pit tip).

The overall winner was 32-year-old Alex Mead, of Derby, who recorded a superb time of 57 minutes, 15 seconds -- six minutes quicker than the winning time in 2012.

Mead was almost a minute in front of runner-up Jonathan Marshall, of Balanced Performance, and more than six minutes ahead of third-placed Anthony Holdsworth, another member of the Hucknall club.

In sixth spot was the first junior male, Jordan Boam (1-4-20), of Mansfield Triathlon Club. While in 20th was the first female, Gillian Johnson, of Mansfield (1-11-37), who celebrated her return to competitive sport after having her second child.

The first female veteran home was Paula Wheatley (1-21-13), of Eastwood, in 41st overall, while the first junior female home was Hayley Goodwin (1-39-1), of Hucknall, who was competing with her father, Brian.

Chief organiser Chris Aulton, of Balanced Performance, said he was delighted with the “good, positive feedback” he had received from competitors and spectactors alike.

“The event has shown 50% growth from last year and should grow again next year,” said Aulton.“We had a diverse range of competitors -- from experienced national age-group athletes to complete novices, and one lady who entered at the last minute without any training. Everyone liked the course and the marshalls were fantastic.’’

Among the 76-strong field last Sunday was a Hucknall mum competing in her first triathlon - and doing it for charity.

Hairdresser Jayne Blissett (44), of Station Terrace, is expected have raised about £700 for Dementia UK.

“I have always done a bit of exercise, but I fancied taking on a new, personal challenge,” said Jayne, who works at the Avanti Hair salon on Watnall Road, Hucknall. “At first, when someone suggested the Hucknall Triathlon, I just laughed.

“But I went to Hucknall Leisure Centre and started training last November five days a week.

“I used to swim when I was younger, but I’ve never entered actual races before.

“ I really enjoyed the event. My time was one hour, 28 minutes, 30 seconds, which was a big improvement on the one hour, 50 I had been doing in training.

“I had lots of sponsorship support from family, friends, work collegues and clients and from the local community.

“I’ve really got the bug now and might do the Robin Hood Half-Marathon in Nottingham in September.”

Dementia UK is a national charity dedicated to improving the quality of life of all people affected by the condition.

Jayne, who finished 55th overall, chose it because, during her hairdressing career, she has had many elderly clients affected by dementia and because she also works every Wednesday at the Hawthorne Nursing Home in Bestwood Village, cutting the hair of elderly residents.