By Liam Moakes 02/05 Updated: 02/05 15:26
BROMSGROVE & REDDITCH Athletic Club cyclist Helen Russell powered her way to victory in the European Sprint Duathlon Championships, not only winning the 35-39 age group title but finishing first female overall in taking the the European title outright.
Europe's best amateur duathletes assembled in Horst aan de Mass in the Limburg area of Holland to battle over the 5km run, 20km bike and 2.8km run.
Russell took the lead early in the run but was challenged throughout the race by Anke Lakies, from Germany, who entered the first transition just one second behind Russell who covered the 5km in 19.29.
Lakies had a quick transition and led out on to the flat but highly technical bike course through the outskirts of Horst.
Russell pushed hard and overtook Lakies after about 5km but was unfortunately unable to create a large lead, finishing the bike leg in 35.45 just one second in front.
This meant the win would come down to the final 2.8km run around the town centre. Russell had an excellent second transition, getting out on to the second run 12 seconds ahead.
Determined to take the victory, she gave everything and built up a larger lead, eventually crossing the finish line in 1.08.56 - some 29 seconds ahead of Lakies.
Third place overall went to Anna Jordens from Spain who finished in 1.10.35. The second placed athlete in Russell's age category was Ann De Clerk from Belgium who finished way down the overall field.
This result means Russell is both the current World and European Champion in the 35-39 age category and also the overall European Champion.
This was her final duathlon race of the season and she will now turn her attention to the triathlon season, which starts later this month.
Russell is supported by a number of local businesses including Bromsgrove Living Well, Mint-Ease, Bromsgrove Chiropractic Clinic, Bodyline Pilates studio in Barnt Green, Photo Boothe Photography, NASUWT and Bromsgrove District Council.
To find out more about becoming one of her supporters log on to www.hrussell.co.uk.
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