Holy Trinity School and Sixth Form Centre teacher, Sarah Paterson, secured ‘bronze’ in the World Triathlon Duathlon Championships: GB Sprint Distance Age-Group in in Targu Mures, Romania.
Involving running, cycling and a final run, 54-year-old Sarah said: “It was the hardest race of my life but one of the things I love about sport and duathlons in particular is the fact that nothing is guaranteed. It is tense and exciting in equal measure, and Targu Mures certainly didn’t disappoint for the drama.”
Previously 2021 world champion at November’s World Triathlon Duathlon Championships: GB Sprint Distance Age-Group in Aviles, Spain, Sarah is delighted to have secured ‘bronze’ in very challenging conditions.
Added Sarah: “Both bike and run courses were changed at the last minute, due to a combination of dangerous road conditions and the course taking us past the cathedral during Pentecost. These changes, coupled with the intense heat and humidity (86oF), meant that many athletes unbelievably did the wrong number of laps and were disqualified, only to later and contentiously be reinstated. The heat certainly affected me as somehow, I couldn’t find my bike in the first transition. A mistake that ultimately cost me Gold!
“The bike leg was lumpy and technical too, lots of cornering, uneven cobbles and dead turns. Remarkably, and possibly because I have been doing more bike training due to a chronic running injury, I recorded the fastest bike leg for my age category!”
With a final brutal run, made worse in the midday sun, the euphoria at crossing the line and discovering she had finished in third-place position, with only 21 seconds separating the first three competitors, Sarah was understandably delighted.
“Reconnecting with my GB friends to regale our race stories made up for everything. There is the most remarkable camaraderie and support amongst the GB duathlon team and it is this as much as the sport itself which draws me back each year.” added Sarah, “So, due to my podium finish, I am delighted to have received automatic selection from the British Triathlon Federation for next year’s World Championships in Ibiza, but before then, I have the European Championships in Spain this September, that may well prove to be the most hotly contested race to date, with any one of at least five GB athletes capable of being on the podium in my age group.”
Headteacher Pamela Leek-Wright commented: “We are all incredibly proud of Sarah who is an inspiration to all ages. Time and time again she demonstrates what can be achieved through high aspirations and sheer hard work, a mindset that is invaluable in life.”