TW Race Report: Bustinskin Middle-Distance Triathlon



by Louise Steggals

bustinskin middle-distance triathlon
Credit: Sarah Elvin

Distance: 1.9K/ 94K/ 21K
When: July 10
Where: National Sailing Academy, Dorset
First man: Karl Alexander 4:58:56
First woman: Fran Bungay 5:47:19
Last finisher: 8:23:17
No of finishers: 75

Some say this course was "designed by the devil himself". If true, old satan was in a very bad mood that day.

This incredibly tough triathlon - which was moved from its September date to make way for the 2012 Olympics sailing test events - is one that earns you brownie points for life if you make it to the finish.

The swim was a straightforward out-and-back affair but the bike, described as "very undulating" was the kind that crushes spirits: it features 2,500ft of ascent. However, it wasn't enough to slow down Karl Alexander, who opened up a big lead and never relinquished it.

The off-road run was another killer: even Alexander, who went on to become the first man to finish the course in under five hours, slowed to a crawl up what is popularly known as Heart Attack Hill. Runners were then brought cruelly within feet of the finish line before shooting past to complete the course.

Alexander, who was third here last year, was in a class of his own this time: he crossed the line almost 25 minutes ahead of second-placed Richard Mackie. Fran Bungay won the women's race in 5:47:19, ahead of Lucy Bowen. This is one of the toughest races around, so you can bet that most competitors will be back next year.


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