THE BENEFITS of racing on home turf paid dividends for several Stratford Athletic Club competitors at the Warwickshire Triathlon on Sunday.
The race, which starts and ends at Stratford Leisure Centre, includes a bike circuit through the villages of Tiddington, Charlecote and Hampton Lucy. Several of the Stratford triathletes were competing in the Sprint Distance race.
Richard Shephard was first home for Stratford (1st male, 51:27) in what was a confident end of season win for the Bidford athlete. Richard had a tough spring recovering from illness, so this was a welcome show of fitness.
His wife Ceri Shephard (8th female, 1:08:15) won her age group to provide Team Shephard with the main smiles of the day.
Battling for honours in the men’s race were Neil Gardiner (33rd, 1:04:41), closely followed by Ricky Davies (35th, 1:04:54) and Simon Taylor (39th, 1:05:48) who were fifth, sixth and seventh in their 45 to 49-year-old age category respectively.
Caroline Gionis continued her great form as first woman home for the Stratford triathletes, finishing third in her age group (15th, 1:12:16). Caroline had a great bike ride which set her up for a strong run home, stating afterwards: “All in all, a great end to the season.”
She also managed to beat her May time for this course by nearly two minutes. She was closely followed by fellow Stratford triathlete Phillip Groom (100th, 1:12:32).
Jean Hill continued her fantastic debut season of triathlon with another strong finish in 1:23:55 to come second in her age group and 60th woman home overall.
Just behind Jean came John Angus (190th, 1:24:37) whilst Nicola Reynolds, another novice triathlete, continued to build her experience with a strong run on the final leg to finish 123rd in 1:44:33.