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Happy Estwanik not getting carried away

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Making it count: Estwanik took advantage of the reduced field to win at Clearwater(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Ashley Estwanik and Karen Smith dominated the XL Catlin Triathlon Championships at Southside yesterday.

Estwanik won the Olympic distance race and Smith the individual sprint event by comfortable margins in the absence of some of the island’s top triathletes.

Estwanik completed the 1.5K swim, 40km bike and 10km run in 2hr 20min 39sec, crossing the line more than six minutes ahead of second placed and top male finisher Steven Smith.

Smith’s victory was also emphatic as she covered the 750 metres swim, 20km bike and 5km run in 1:12:27 to finish more than three minutes ahead of nearest rival and top male Sam Boaden.

Estwanik made winning look all too easy, taking the overall lead for good on the first lap of the run in her first appearance in an Olympic distance race.

“This is actually my first Olympic distance and I’m happy to win, but I’m not going to take too much credit because there are some people who are really faster who aren’t here,” Estwanik said.

“My swim wasn’t great so I had a lot of work to do. I worked hard on the bike and gained a little bit of time and once I started the run I had to let it go.”

Estwanik’s compatriot Smith marked her first appearance in a triathlon in nearly two years with a resounding victory of her own in the individual sprint race.

“I normally would do the national championships but I’ve been injured for almost two years with a foot issue so today was the first race I have done in 18 to 20 months,” she said.

“The objective was to be able to run it without pain and it was mission accomplished.

“I didn’t run it hard but just to test the foot because I hadn’t put it under any kind of pressure and I’m just really happy I could run it without pain today.”

Steven Smith was extremely delighted to claim the men’s title and second overall behind winner Estwanik in the Olympic distance race in 2:26:47.

“I only really took up triathlon three years ago and this is the first race I have won and it feels great,” he said.

“There was a bit of a breeze in the swim and I came out behind so I knew I’d have to make an effort on the bike to try and close the gap.

“I was third going into the run and managed to catch Ian [Henderson] and Alec [Shepherd] on the second lap and Ashley blew past me as expected.”

Martina Olcheski-Bell rounded off the podium in the Olympic distance field in 2:28:29.

Boaden, making his debut after only moving to the island last month, claimed the men’s honours and second overall behind Smith in the individual sprint race after finishing in 1:15:34.

However, the Englishman’s triumph did not come without a cost as he suffered a nasty case of road rash after wiping out on the bike.

“I went over the lip of the curb and went flying over the handle bars and scratched all down the side of my body,” Boaden said. “I don’t feel it now, but it will probably hurt tomorrow.

“It was definitely fun, and I will try to be back for another one and be a bit more careful next time.”

Yannick Hillier was third overall in the individual sprint field in 1:16:10.

Caleb Ingham and Amber Simons were the junior winners.

Ingham, whose father Otis finished eleventh in the individual sprint race, crossed the line in 30:17 and Simons fourth overall in 34:36.

Good first impression: Boaden won on his debut in Bermuda (Photogragh by Blaire Simmons)