Following on from her heroic display at the Iron Man 70.3 World Championships in Finland where she finished 92nd female and 19th in her age category, Laura Daly was back in a more local setting for the Bournemouth Triathlon. In that event she was taking part in the Standard distance race which consisted of a 1500m swim, a 40km bike and a 10km run.
The Bournemouth Triathlon starts off on the West side of Bournemouth Pier, with the swims started on the beach by the West Cliff Gardens zig zag. After the swim the athletes need to run up the zig zag to get the bike exchange area on the top of the cliff before heading out on their ride to Ringwood and back. When the bike part if finished, they then run down the slope to get to the prom below with the rest of the run being contested over and out and back.
There was also a Sprint distance race which entailed doing a 750m swim, a 20km bike and a 5km run. That one was a World 2024 British Triathlon Age Group Qualifier, so the stakes were high there. That was always likely to encourage an extremely competitive field. Bournemouth AC man and Zoom Tri Club star Paul Consani was featuring in that race.
Completing the swim in 24 minutes 35 seconds, Laura was fastest out of all 111 competitors in the Standard distance race, including all the men. That was quite some achievement. She maintained her lead after the transition from swim to bike, taking just 3 minutes and 48 seconds to get up the zig zag and onto her bike, which made her 3rd fastest.
For the bike, she got round in 1 hour 1 minute and 38 seconds which made her 5th fastest out of anyone in the field and out of the 22 women, she was quickest. She was now in 3rd place overall but still 1st female. Her transition from the bike to the run took 1 minute 19 seconds which was 11th fastest overall and again, the quickest of all the women.
She was now back in 2nd place overall before heading out for her run. it was all going splendidly well for Laura thus far and now she just needed to round it off the good 10k time. With the downhill section to begin with, Laura made a fast start completing her first mile split in 6:18. For the rest of the miles after that she kept the pace pretty consistent at around 6:40 to 6:50 sort of the pace.
That resulted in a run time of 41:34 which was 6th quickest of anyone in the field and of course, first female, as she had been in every section of the race. That put her total time for the triathlon at 2 hours 12 minutes and 56 seconds. That put her in 3rd place overall, which was a remarkable result and meant she’d come in as first female.
It was a tremendous performance from Laura and she was proud of what she had managed, and rightfully so. It was another success to add to her glowing resume and it was no more than she deserved after working so hard in training to polish up her skills in all three disciplines.
One of the only athletes to finish ahead of Laura was also a man very well known amongst the Bournemouth AC fraternity and that was Josh Cole. He picked up his first ever triathlon victory, completing the race in 2 hours 2 minutes and 24 seconds. He rode at just over 25mph for the bike section which was a big improvement on what he produced last when he came 6th despite starting late.
Josh is intending on moving on to half ironmans for next season. Sam Allen took 2nd place in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 8 seconds. He managed the fastest run of anyone in an impressive time of 37:11.
In the Sprint distance race, Paul Consani got through the swim in 16 minutes 22 seconds which put him 211th out of 398. That was 21st best in the 45 to 49 category but it left him with some serious ground to claw back.
Swimming is Paul’s weakest discipline so he usually expects to be quite low down the field by the end of the swim but then invariably works his way up over the course of the cycle and the run. For the cycle he fared much better, coming in 68th quickest in a time of 34:49. That was 14th best in his category. Then it came to the run and that was an opportunity for Paul to move further up the field.
The downhill section for the first mile enabled him to record a 6:06 for his opening mile split before following it up with a 6:28 and a 6:19. That put his time for the run at 19:42 which was 45th best in the field and 5th put of his category.
That put Paul’s total time at 1 hour 15 minutes and 15 seconds which was enough to see him place 79th in the overall standings and 10th in the 45 to 49 category. That was a decent return for Paul in a field containing a very high standard of opposition.
It’s been great having Laura joining the group for the Tuesday night training sessions and she certainly feels like she’s been reaping the benefits from it. The weekend after her Bournemouth Triathlon glory, Laura was setting a brilliant new sub 19-minute PB at Poole parkrun. That set her up nicely for an attempt at breaking her 10k best at Round the Lakes in the next Dorset Road Race League fixture.
Laura’s partner Simon Dearden has also coming along to the Bournemouth AC sessions and he is also a very talented triathlete. He competed at the Ironman 70.3 Weymouth the weekend after Laura did the Bournemouth Triathlon and he finished 21st overall in a time of 3 hours 52 minutes and 48 seconds. That was a really impressive result in a very competitive field of 2,184 participants.
In that race, Simon completed the 56 mile bike ride in 2 hours 22 minutes and the half marathon run in 1:26:50 which was a phenomenal performance. It was also an amazing day for Natalie Green who has also been coming to the Tuesday night sessions at BAC on a regular basis. Her form has been scintillating of late and she’s been running alongside some of the fastest men in the group in training.
Natalie had the race of her life at the Ironman 70.3 Weymouth, finishing in a time of 4 hours 9 minutes and 23 seconds which saw her take the 3rd placed female spot. She also put in an incredible display in the run, coming away with a PB of 1:26:51. Her partner Chris Harris has also been to some of the training sessions as well and he finished 35th overall in a time of 3:56:56.