Wakefield trio thrilled to take part in World Duathlon Championships

Three athletes from Wakefield Triathlon Club have returned home after qualifying and taking part in the World Duathlon Championships that were held in Aviles, Spain.

Saturday, 27th November 2021, 9:00 am
Sarah Hobbs at the World Duathlon Championships.

Training, preparing, organising and travelling to these events is no small task with years of hard work behind all the glory, but it has proved worthwhile for Wakefield’s Andrew Dovernor, Sarah Hobbs and Sarah Ward.

Dovernor raced in the standard distance duathlon (10k run, 40k bike, 5k run). He trained hard up to the event and was in good health despite contracting Covid just three weeks before the big race in Spain.

He was able to pace himself for the first run and was smashing the bike leg, reaching eighth place at one point only for disaster to strike with a puncture in the last five miles.

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Andrew Dovernor at the end of his World Duathlon Championships performance.

Andrew was able to limp it home, though, and fight his way through the last run to secure a highly respectable 17th place out of 44 in his 50-54 age category.

He will be back and the club is confident that with no bike malfunctions he will smash it.

Andrew said: “The race was extremely well organised with something in the bike route for everyone and Aviles was a perfect host.

“Luckily I have four qualifications for next year in age group racing and can’t wait to be back.”

Sarah Ward at the World Championships in Spain.

Sarah Hobbs also did the standard distance duathlon and finished in sixth place in the 50-54 age group, which is a fantastic achievement.

This was her first World Championship and Sarah had carefully planned her race beforehand. She was able to stick to it for the first 10k run, but then it all went out the window and she gave everything she had to the 40k bike, coming in to transition in a superb second place.

Fortunately, she had some fuel left in the tank for the last 5k run and came in at a satisfying sixth place in her age group.

Sarah said: “Oh my word – what an incredible experience! I haven’t stop smiling since.

Sarah Hobbs during her duathlon run.

“So exciting and so much fun. So many nerves. But so glad I managed to turn those nerves into excitement and energy. It was hard work but I absolutely loved it.”

Sarah Ward is the baby of the group and raced the sprint distance (5k run, 21k bike and 2.8k run).

This was her fourth World Championship event and with a bit of experience under her belt she was able to really enjoy every moment of the weekend and the race itself.

It was a seriously fast and intense race and Sarah was able to achieve her most competitive and fastest duathlon to date finishing a superb seventh in her 25-29 age group. She has her sights set firmly on a podium place next time.

Sarah said: “After the past 18 months, and two-and-a-half years since the last World Championships, it was just incredible to have the opportunity to race internationally again.

“The atmosphere in Avilés was incredible and you could tell everyone was just so happy to be there.”