Richardson and Smith claim age group wins
After competing in Ironman 70.3 in Puerto Rico last month, Kent Richardson and Karen Smith were back in action last weekend in the ITU Bermuda Age Group Triathlon in Hamilton, again winning their age groups.
Smith was eighteenth overall in 2hr 27min 55sec over the Olympic distance after splits of 25:54 in the swim, 1:13:41 in the cycle and 44:23 in the run to win the 50-59 age group.
Richardson crossed the line 26th overall in a time of 2:32:36 after clocking 27:38 in the water, 1:11:31 on the bike and 48:12 on the run, the first 60-69 age group competitor.
Ashley Couper, finished ninth overall, the second female finisher in 2:20:14 and first female in the 40-49 age group.
“This was an easier race from the 70.3 I did about a month ago,” Richardson said. “What I’ve learnt as I’ve gotten a little bit older is I have to build into everything.
“I built into the swim and I definitely built into the ride and the same thing with the run. In 2002 when I made the Commonwealth Games with a 2:02 I was flogging it, but as you get older you try to pace that power.
“It was a little windy and maybe a little slop [in the water] when you are coming along the wall finishing. The only downside was the gearing that I had on my bike didn’t allow me to have a good strong gear or an easy gear to climb.
“I found something in between and climbed OK on Trimingham Hill and Corkscrew, but it could have gone even better.
“After doing an Ironman, coming to do an Olympic distance was a lot easier. This is the distance that got me to the Commonwealth Games years ago.”
Smith, like Richardson, qualified for the 70.3 World Championships in Nice, France, in September with her performance in Puerto Rico, had another strong all-round performance in Hamilton.
“It was deceivingly tough; the conditions, although they looked really good on paper, there was some chop in the water and quite windy on the bike and the run,” she said. “It was also quite warm, which made it feel like May 24 arrived this week.
“You could feel the breeze on the bike and pushing you back when running on Front Street, so it wasn’t easy. The crowd was awesome, people were calling your name, and while you can’t see who it is, you appreciate the shout-out which helps you to give that little bit more every time you hear it.”
Smith added: “I raced in Puerto Rico in March and this is a lot shorter for me, a different energy system. I don’t really have that high-end speed. I’ve got an ironman in two weeks, so this is a fitness booster for that.”
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