The first ever paratriathlon champions at the GE Strathclyde Park Triathlon were crowned after an enthralling contest at the stunning Strathclyde Country Park on, Sunday 2 September 2012.
The elite paratriathlon, which was open to all six classifications of paratriathletes, featured a 1.5km run, a 21km bike course over four laps and finished with a 5km run.
Men’s paratriathlon Tri 1 champion, David Cooke (50) from Taunton, Somerset, completed the race in 1:20.25. He found the course very challenging: “I hated every minute of it and I loved every minute of it in equal measure. The hills were particularly challenging, especially in a racing chair, I found it very hard to get into a rhythm.
“I quite enjoyed the duathlon, I normally do triathlons, but I really enjoyed the change and I think I could possibly do a few more. It’s nice not to have to get out of a wetsuit”.
Men’s paratriathlon Tri 3 champion James Smith (39) from Whitchurch, Cheshire, is the current the ITU Paratriathlon World silver medallist. James enjoyed the duathlon format finishing in 1:13.44, he said: “I found the change form triathlon quite interesting; with my disability I found it slightly harder with a run bike run. The swimming element is always a chance to rest my legs; unfortunately I didn’t have that, which made the rest of the course challenging.
“The venue is fantastic, the hospitality has been wonderful. The course and the marshals have been brilliant, I’d love to race here again. I’m so glad the British Triathlon Super Series have decided to put on a paratriathlon here and I hope it will help us progress further and get more competitors.”
Men’s paratriathlon Tri 4 champion, Joe Allen (23) from Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, finished with a overall time of 1:04.30, he commented: “It’s great to be able to race here in the event, as it brings the sport to people’s attention. My swimming is my weakest attribute so I was quite pleased to see the event changed to a duathlon.”
Men’s paratriathlon Tri 5 champion, Matthew Emmerson (25) from Sandwich, Kent, found the race excellent preparation for the upcoming ITU Paratriathlon World Championships. He completed the course in 1:07.01 and said: “The course was very tough, I didn’t realise how undulating it was, I struggled on the hills as I haven’t done much hill work but it was good fun. I did miss the swim but I was really pleased with my run today. I’m heading to the World Championships next month which will be my first major championships, so I’m really looking forward to that and the event has been great preparation.”
Women’s paratriathlon Tri 1 champion, Jane Egan (40) from Kilbarchan found the course at Strathclyde Country Park very challenging. She said after crossing the finish line in 1.44:48: “The race was absolutely brutal, for the race-chair and hand-bike the course was very hilly and very technical and I think that is probably the toughest run route I have ever done in all the years I have been doing paratriathlon. It was a good training exercise which will stand me in good stead for the World Championships in Auckland which is supposed to be flat.”
British terrestrial broadcaster Channel 4 has confirmed it will screen highlights of the race in an hour show on Sunday 16 September.