Karen qualifies for world championships

Date: Tuesday 23rd October 2018

AFTER winning a gold medal at the European long distance triathlon championships in her 45-49 age group in Madrid last month, Eden’s Karen Bridge returned to competition in Bedford to try and qualify for the standard distance duathlon world championships in Spain next year.

Conditions in Bedford were the complete opposite to Madrid. In Spain, where it was hot and dry, the 112-mile bike ride and 26-mile run were undertaken in temperatures which reached 40 C. The biggest problem was trying to keep cool and 49-year-old Karen, from Tirril, had to resort to putting ice down her tri suit.

In Bedford, many competitors had to withdraw due to the harsh wet and cold conditions. Karen said it was the hardest triathlon she had ever done and she was happy just to finish.

She finished in a time of 13hr 33min, which is about two hours slower than her usual time.

When she arrived at the event at Thurleigh Airfield, Bedford, the course was already starting to become waterlogged. Karen is used to running in wet conditions and was not too bothered about the water lying on the course, managing to finish in fifth place.

As Karen started the bike section she was worried that the surface would be slippery as the course is used for car racing and could be covered in grease and oil, so she started cautiously. She saw two men who had crashed, which made her more anxious and she started to lose places, and was happy just to finish the bike section. With just a 5k run left, Karen managed to pull back a few places and finished seventh overall and second in her age group, which was good enough for a place in next year’s duathlon (run and cycle) world championship.

Karen said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better finish to the season — a gold medal and a world championship place. I would like to thank everyone who has supported me this season, including Justine, of Traybakes Ltd, Penrith, and Neil and Emma, from Lakes2tri coaching.”