Ambassador Helen Russell wins gold in first-ever SUP Triathlon

Scimitar Ambassador Helen Russell was back on the top spot of the podium after taking gold at her first-ever SUP Triathlon (Stand Up Paddleboarding/Bike/Run).

Helen is no stranger to multisport events, having won a number of international titles in Triathlon, Duathlon and Quadrathlon in the past, but she only took up Stand Up Paddleboarding in 2020.

The race, at Llangorse Lake in Mid Wales, was the first in this year’s SUPBIKERUN series of races and saw athletes tackle a 3km stand up paddle, 21km bike leg through the Brecon Beacons National Park and finally a 5km trail run alongside the lake.

Helen had a great start, posting the fastest SUP time in her race despite being new to the discipline, finishing in 28.12. Katie Black was second fastest off the water in 32.09 followed by Kerrie Gilling in 33.54.

There was a fairly long run to the first transition, before heading out onto the tough bike course, which had numerous climbs including the Allt Filo. Starting at 119m above sea level, the summit climb had 176 metres of ascent over 4km, with the whole route packing in 314 metres of ascent over the 21km. Helen posted the second fastest bike time and had a swift second transition.

Although struggling in the final run, Helen managed to do just enough to secure first place in a total time of 1.52.10. In fact, her time was so good that not only did she finish first female but also came 2nd overall, just 6 seconds behind the first male. With excellent bike and run splits, Kerrie Gilling was the second fastest woman in a time of 1.54.08 and Claire Sadwell took third in 2.04.32.

Helen said: “I am over the moon to take the win in my first ever SUP Triathlon and was surprised that the SUP leg was actually my best discipline in the race! I learnt a lot about this format of racing and hope to do more in the future.”

Next up for Helen is the second SUP race in the GB SUP Series, where after taking silver in the first race, she hopes to get some more points to try and secure an end-of-season national series ranking.

You can follow Helen on Twitter by clicking here.

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