Ella Preston with sister Abby at the Coventry Sprint Triathlon

Ella Preston (left) was competing in the slightly less exotic Coventry Sprint Triathlon, along with her sister Abby (right)

Whilst some of the more experienced members of the multisport fraternity were over in Mallorca for the Ironman 70.3 event, Ella Preston was keeping it more local at the Coventry Sprint Triathlon.

It may not quite match up to the crystal clear ocean and the pristine white sands of the Balearics but Coventry is the next best thing, right?

The event took place at the Xcel Leisure Centre in Coventry and consisted of 400m pool swim, a 20km bike and a 5km run. It two years since Ella had last done a triathlon so it was a good one to do get reacquainted with the nuances.

It was the week after Ella had bagged a massive PB in the Great Birmingham 10k, recording a terrific time of 47:26. That was 40 seconds quicker than her previous best from the RunThrough Southampton Running Festival in February.

Getting a bit carried away at the start of the race, Ella went through the first two miles in 7:05 and 7:10 which was much quicker than she would usually go in a 10k. Going through the 5k point in 23:25, she immediately though at that point – why have I done that?

It was a fairly undulating route though and the next mile contained quite a lot of downhill. Going through that in 7:15, she now only had a couple of miles or so to go and they were pretty flat.

Having worked so hard through the first 5k though, it was always going to be a battle for Ella to hold it together but she did remarkably well. Taking 290th place in the overall standings, it was a terrific performance from Ella and she was 37th fastest female and 22nd in her age and gender category.

Ella Preston at the Great Birmingham 10k

Ella recorded a fabulous new PB of 47:26 at the Great Birmingham 10k

The race was won by Chris Thompson in 29:27, with Kadar Omar of Birchfield Harriers taking 2nd in 29:34. Dean Williamson of Colchester Harriers was 3rd in 30:47 and Southampton man Sam Costley claimed 4th place in 30:49.

Rachel Gifford of Leamington was 1st female and 33rd overall in 36:30, with Rosanna Vickers of Army Athletics coming in a couple of places later to take the 2nd female spot in 36:39.

Since she hadn’t done for a while though, the triathlon was going to be a much bigger test for Ella. She completed the swim in 9 minutes 18 seconds which put her in 75th place out of 120 participants and 9th placed female.

Next it was onto the bike for the 12-and-a-half mile cycle. That took Ella 52 minutes 12 seconds which was 97th best in the field and 10th fastest out the women.

The cycle had taken a lot out of her though so it was going to be difficult to must up the energy for the run. That didn’t stop her being 2nd fastest out of all the athletes in the field in her transition though between the bike and the run. She must have been keen to get it over with.

The first half of the run was on a slight incline but then after that it was on a mild downhill trajectory the most of the remainder. Clocking an 8:04 and an 8:03 for her first and second miles, Ella manged to up it to a 7:34 for her third mile, finishing pretty strongly.

That put her run time at 26:22 which was 35th best in the race and 3rd fastest female. Considering she’d done the swim and bike beforehand, that was a tremendous effort from Ella.

With a final finishing time of 1 hour 30 minutes and 15 seconds, Ella had taken 72nd overall and 13th placed female. It wasn’t a bad return for Ella, especially considering she hadn’t done for quite a while.

Ella Preston with sister Abby after completing the Coventry Sprint Triathlon

It was an enjoyable event for Ella and could easily be the springboard for her go on and compete in other triathlons

It was very tight for the top positions with Gerard Henry just edging it in a time of 1:04:38. Craig Walker of Rugby Triathlon Club was 2nd in 1:04:43 and Lance Odendaal was 3rd in 1:04:53.

Sally Boon of Rugby Triathlon Club was 1st female, completing the event in 1:14:16. That put her 12th overall and it was just enough to put her ahead of Katie Mooney by 7 seconds and she came in in 13th place in 1:14:23.

Ella does have sisters who have competed in triathlons before though and one of them, Abby, was also competing in the Coventry Sprint Triathlon. She represents Coventry Triathletes and completed the swim in 8 minutes 54 seconds, the cycle in 47:02 and the run in 28:52. That saw her take 60th place on the overall leader-board and she was 9th placed female.

Since she thoroughly enjoyed the event, Ella would definitely be keen to do another one at some point.