A QUARTET of athletes from the district have returned home after representing Great Britain at the World Duathlon Championships.

Derek and Rosemary Todhunter, and Brendon and Claire Jackson, joined around 4,000 athletes in Pontevedra, Spain, where the duathlon competition took place as part of the World Multi Sports Championships.

The four athletes, who train with One Life Triathlon club, Allen Valley Striders, and Allen Valley Velo Cycling Club, represented Great Britain alongside 52 other countries.

Derek and Claire both took on the Sprint duathlon - a 5km run, 20km bike ride, and 2.5km run - and included the largest field of competitors. A fairly flat running course through the northern Spanish city of Pontevedra, was followed by a challenging hilly bike ride with fast descents.

Relatively new to duathlon, Derek was competing in his sixth event and his time of 76:54 saw him finish in 21st place out of 35 in the male 60-64 aged category.

As one of the older competitors, he impressed with an overall position of 327th out of 422 - finishing ahead of many younger athletes.

Not far behind Derek was Claire with a time of 79:41, which earned her sixth place out of 21 in the female 55-59 category. Particularly encouraging was Claire’s performance in the bike section, which saw her overtake several rivals.

Rosemary and Brendon were in the field for the standard distance race, a 10km run, 36km bike ride, and 5km run. The warm weather and fast bike descents didn’t work in Rosemary’s favour, however. A strong final run saw her close the gap on her rivals to finish 12th in the female 60-64 category.

A steady first run was followed by a good bike section for Brendon, who held his position on the final run to finish in 2h 27m 20s, earning him in 23rd place out of 37 in the 50-54 age category.

The quartet, who all earned selection after qualifying via UK trials, have now secured their respective places at the 2020 World Duathlon Championships in Holland.

Before then, they will hope to maintain their impressive performances at regional and national events later this year.

It’s a busy time for Brendon and Claire, who will also appear at the European triathlon championships next month.