Sofia beckons as Paul claims title

British Junior Champion and COLT athlete Paul Hodgson.

British Junior Champion and COLT athlete Paul Hodgson.

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THE British Biathle Championships were held in Salford Quay again this year and also formed the trials for the World Biathle Championships to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, later in the year.

With the first five finishers in each age group guaranteed selection for the British team competition was fierce throughout the day.

Five City of Lancaster Triathletes took part in the event which involved a run followed by a non-wetsuit swim in the quay, followed by a second run.

First COLT to race was nine-year-old Grace Nolan-Barnes, who in her first biathle event ran 500m then swam 50m before running a further 500m.

Whilst a little hesitant in the first run, Grace made excellent ground in the swim before finishing in an overall seventh.

As a result Grace has been selected as a reserve for the British team.

U13 athlete Remi McVey, also in his first biathle, coped well the event and laid down a solid foundation for the future.

In the U15 race, 24 girls toed the line. Mary Hodgson set off with the leaders from the gun and quickly settled into sixth place in the first 500m run.

After a strong 100m swim she held her position well moving up to take fifth place in an exciting sprint finish and thereby booking her place in the British team travelling to Sofia. In the U17 age group 15-year-old Sarah Hodgson ran 1,000m followed by a 200m swim and a second 1,000m run.

She quickly settled into fifth position in the first run before moving up into fourth in the swim, the position she held to the tape.

She joins her sister in the British team travelling to Bulgaria.

COLT’s best results came towards the end of the day. In the Junior Men’s section Paul Hodgson sat in the second group during the first 1,500m run, confident that the leaders had misjudged the pace and gone out too quickly.

Although normally his weaker discipline, having conserved his energy he moved into the lead in the 200m swim, then extended his lead in the second 1,500m run to finish as the British Junior Men’s Biathle Champion.

See The Visitor (24-08-11) for full story.