FIVE athletes from the district have excelled while representing Great Britain at the European Duathlon Championships in Ibiza.

Ivan Newton, Derek and Rosemary Todhunter, and Brendon and Claire Jackson, all impressed in different age categories.

Competing in the standard distance 10k run, a 40k bike ride, and a closing 5km run, Ivan finished fourth in the 50 to 54 age group,

After a respectable run, he impressed on the bike, recording the second fastest split time in his age group.

Rosemary Todhunter was the oldest competitor in her 55 to 59 age group of the standard distance event, and finished fifth.

Her husband, former Haydon Bridge High School PE teacher Derek Todhunter, made his international duathlon debut in the sprint event (5k run, 20km bike ride, and 2.5k run).

And the ex-sprinter and rugby union player finished a respectable 19th in the 60 to 64 age group.

Also competing in the spring event, Claire Jackson secured seventh place out of a strong field of 21 competitors in the 55 to 59 age group, but things didn’t go quite so well for her husband, Brendon.

Competing in the standard distance 50 to 54 age group, he started strongly before suffering a hamstring injury on the first run lap. Despite the setback, Brendon, who had hopes of a top five finish, continued and secured 14th place out of 18 competitors.

The five are all members of Hexham-based One Life Triathlon Club, and the Allen Valley Striders Running Club.

Claire, Derek, Brendon and Rosemary have qualified and will compete in the World Championships in Spain next April.

Derek said the athletes were proud to represent Great Britain.

He added: “After a hot dry week, it was a surprise to compete in the rain which made the course slippery and resulted in several crashes on the bike leg.

“Claire was close to elite level as a runner, but a serious leg injury has restricted her running in recent years.

“Brendon would have achieved a top 10, and possibly even top five finish but for his injury.”