In the European Aquathlon Championships at Menen in Flanders, Belgium, on Friday August 25th, Sarah Osborne finished 1st of 13 in her 30-34 age category, achieving European Aquathlon Champion status in her age group; a great achievement. Overall, she was 129th of 386 competitors and 22nd F of 160. The race consisted of a 1km swim followed by a 5km run. It was a tantalisingly close contest between leaders Sarah Osborne and Laura Wilby (also from GBR) in the 30-34 category. After the swim, Sarah was 21 seconds down on Laura, but managed to pull back 15 seconds in the transition, leaving her 6 seconds adrift when starting her 5km run. Sarah made up most of the lost ground in the 5km but was slightly behind Laura as they passed the finish line. However, this event was based on individual chip time (rather than gun time) and the clock made her fractionally ahead over the whole race. It doesn’t come much closer than that.
Two days later, on Sunday 27th August, Sarah’s husband Daniel Tee competed in the European Aquabike Championships, also held in Menen, the day after the European Triathlon Championships. The format was a 1.9km out & back swim followed by transition to a 2-lap, 90km bike ride. Daniel clocked 3:11:33 altogether, finishing 90th of 260 competitors overall and 12th of 16 in his M40-44 age group. The standard of cycling was very high, with the winner achieving ~44 km/h (27 mph) average speed and Daniel sustaining an impressive 35.5 km/h (22 mph). His power meter failed during the race, which was bothersome.
Paul Holley spent a very pleasant Bank Holiday weekend in Budapest, Hungary, watching the World Athletics Championships. Shortly after the men’s Marathon was concluded on Sunday, the Budapest 2,023m (2.023km) fun run and the Budapest 10km Heroes’ Run took place, which were charity races for the masses, with over 6,000 total entries from 70 countries around the world. Paul Holley had entered the 10km race, but it was unexpectedly shortened to 5.75km for safety reasons, due to the extreme heat on the day. Despite the heat and the shorter distance, Paul Holley (20:39, 87th of 3,936 overall, 81st M of 2,442, 1st of 182 in M55-59, 87.25% Age Grade) produced a fantastic performance, true to his own high standards.
Above left: Paul Holley with medal and trophy for 1st M55 of 182; above right, scene at the start in Budapest. Many thanks for the photos.
Out of interest, in the same race was Rosa Mota, the famous Portuguese marathon runner, who won gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and whose PB remains at 2:23:29 (1985, Chicago Marathon). She was the first Portuguese athlete to win an Olympic gold medal. Now in the W65-69 age bracket (aged 65), she still managed to finish this race in 23:31, 1st of 14 in her age category and achieving 97.59% AG. That’s how to keep fit.
On Friday, August 25th, Nathan Brown produced a superb performance in the RAF Mildenhall & Lakenheath Half Marathon, finishing first runner home and clocking 1:13:37, his best time for the distance this year. This was a useful preparation race for his main target, the Berlin Marathon on September 24th.