Sue takes British triathlon title

Date: Tuesday 29th May 2018
Sue Toppin
Sue Toppin

EDEN’S Sue Toppin is the British triathlon champion for her age group after taking gold in the national Olympic standard championships at Southport, which included the first open water swim of the season.

The Eden Valley Tri Club member, who also races for Team Mountain Fuel, completed the 1,500m swim, 40k bike course and 10k run in a time of 2hr 22min 42 sec to take top spot in the 45-49 years age category.

First was the swim, and competitors were informed that the water temperature was a tropical 17.8 degrees C.

“It was a mass start for all the female competitors, so it was vital to get a good position at the start,” said Sue, who lives at Clifton. “We got counted down and then we were off. I settled into a good rhythm and was feeling good. It was a two-lap course around the island, so after the second lap we headed to the exit and headed into transition to collect our bikes and then headed out on to the 40k bike course — two laps along the sea front, which was flat and fast.

“The final part was a 10k run around the promenade which again was two laps and flat. I set off and got into a good run and started to overtake other competitors. By the time I started my second lap it was really warm, so I was pleased to see the water station, where I took a bottle of water and just kept pouring it over my head and shoulders to cool me down. I finally came to the final turn and sprinted to the finish line knowing I had given it my all.

Her swim time was 24.37, bike 1.11.02, and run 43.35.

Also racing was Karen Bridge, of Eden Valley Tri, who recorded a personal best swim time of 24.12. She then set a time of 1.11.43 on her new bike, before heading out on to the run feeling good after recently recovering from an injury. She completed the 10k in 45.17, finishing with a total time of 2hr, 25min, 8sec.

Karen was fourth in the race, but received the bronze medal in the national British standard championship race, as competitors must be British Triathlon registered to be eligible, and the winner of this category, in a time of 2.21.28, was not.

Karen is sponsored by Tray Bakes, of Penrith, and has recently been coached by Neil Cooper, of Lakes2Tri coaching, with the aim of competing in the Lakesman ironman distance triathlon on 17th June (3.8k swim in Derwentwater, 180k bike ride and a 42.2k run) and the European Ironman Championships in Frankfurt in July.

Meanwhile, at Nottingham, Nicola King was competing in the Outlaw half ironman. She won her age group (45-49) and was seventh female overall in a time of 5.05.09.