Harbord sole VCB member in Keith Stephens Memorial Duathlon won by Lee Cook


In the rainy gloom of last Sunday it was surprising that anyone at all ventured out to take part in the informal Keith Stephens Memorial Duathlon staged by Velo Club Baracchi.

Jay Lingwood, Chris Scott, Lee Cook (the winner) and Pat Harbord in the sunshine that followed the event

However four hardy souls did so and Lee Cook of Rock Estate Runners and Riders repeated his win of last year.

A good club member and treasurer of Velo Club Baracchi, Keith Stephens died in a cycling accident eleven years ago.  He combined competitive cycling and running, so a memorial event consisting of a 25km ride sandwiched between two 5km runs is held at the end of each season.

Pat Harbord of VCB referred to the low attendance and said, “Sadly it was just me from VCB although Mark Newnham and Mark Womack also came out to witness the suffering, take some pictures and ensure fair play. Ray Skipper came along to record the times.”

Referring to Cook and Jay Lingwood who finished second Harbord added that they “had a slight advantage in that they seem to take this training and competition lark seriously, are both keen triathletes and are taking part in a sprint duathlon in Northampton next weekend so it was a nice preparation event for them.”

They had a close-fought battle until the return leg of the final run when an increase of pace gave the winner a clear lead.

Harbord said, “Having gained a significant lead over me in the first run, I spent the whole of the cycle leg slowly clawing back the guy in third place (Chris Scott) and had more or less caught him by the transition meaning we both set off on the second run/hobble together.  However by Gisleham church I’d decided that I needed to plod a little slower and he eased ahead leaving me to finish at my own pace.”

“Basically the finish positions were all set in the first hundred yards which makes me wonder why we had to do all the rest.” The times were Cook 1-24:31, Lingwood 1-25:17, Scott 1-32:27 and Harbord 1-34:26.

Harbord summed it up, “All who enjoyed the event were grateful to those who came to help and give a cheer to them.  Hopefully next year there will be better weather and a few more competitors.”

Riders also ventured out in the “Silly Suffolk” Audax (150km and 200km) from Blundeston organised by John Thompson.

Thompson said, “Despite the torrential rain early Sunday morning, around half of the entrants for both distances started and all but one finished in the stipulated times despite a number of punctures and flooded floods to negotiate.”

Fifteen finished in the 200, one packing after puncturing twice in 20km!  All twelve starters in the 150 were successful and Thompson praised 10-year old Ben Laflin who completed the 150km, with a few extra kilometres added in.

Thompson had devised some interesting routes that in the case of the longer one took in Thornham Magna, Worlingworth, Shottisham and Orford.

This Sunday the inter-club Holmes Cup reliability trial with Gt Yarmouth CC is at 9am from the Blundeston Plough.