Gentry wins Keith Stephens Memorial Duathlon

As a complete contrast from last week end the Sunday weather was cold and very wet, but this did not deter all potential contestants in the Keith Stephens Memorial Duathlon.

This informal event in memory of the Velo Club Baracchi’s former treasurer, who died in a road traffic accident during a time trial in 2002, might well have attracted more entries on a better day, but lack of quantity was compensated for by quality.

Gentry approaches a junction

Taking the top honours for his solo performance, Liam Gentry of VCB and the Rock Estate Runners and Riders set a new course record by two minutes despite the many large puddles and the unpleasant rain.

His time was 1-21:40 for the total of the two 5km runs and the 25km ride round the lanes south of Carlton Colville.

Andy "Chopper" Harris on the road

Also taking part was a composite team formed by Carl Prewer, who was swift on his feet and Andy Harris, who carved a quick route through and between the standing water on his bike.

As the final run started, Gentry had a reasonable lead of 47 seconds, but he was quickly overhauled by the light-footed Prewer and at the finish the composite team achieved 1-20:00, though only the solo winner Gentry can have the trophy.

A rather wet Nick Esser

The second-fastest solo entrant was VCB member Nick Esser, who probably lost most time on the run and looked under some pressure.  His time was 1-31:47, four minutes faster than his 2009 time.

Carl Prewer

Next to finish was Bradley Tubby from the Rock Estate, a strong 16-year-old, who should be proud of his 1-44:25.  He managed this despite suffering from cramp in the cold weather but at least was able to keep going.

Not so lucky was Alex Blake of VCB, who completed the first run and four of the five bike laps before being put out of the event by a puncture on the fifth lap.

See more photos on   Keith Stephens Memorial Duathlon – a set on Flickr

Other cycling on Sunday was hit by the weather but there were no organised events and those who were less hardy would have waited and watched until the overnight and morning rain had abated.

John Thompson revelled in the end of season feeling and reported “I rode to Dunwich via Uggeshall and Wenhaston.  After a pot of tea and a slice of coffee cake, I went through Westleton to do my usual thing of playing around in the lanes riding a couple of roads for the first time to Kelsale, then Sibton, Walpole, Blyford and Uggeshall to Stephanie’s Kitchen at Wrentham.  The chocolate pudding with chocolate custard was lovely!”

This is not an advertising column but the rewards of a country ride surely deserve to be mentioned.