Duathlon: Titles to Fleming, Rollinson

Wanaka athletes Hamish Fleming and Ailsa Rollinson claimed the major titles at the annual Southern Lakes duathlon on Saturday.

The Earnscleugh circuit included a 3km run, a 20km bike ride and another 3km run to the finish.

First back from the opening run was junior competitor Lana Deaker (Cromwell), who was doing the shorter option.

Deaker was followed by open men's leader Fleming, who covered the first 3km in 9min 38sec, 1min faster than second-placed Chris Booth (Wanaka). Third after the run was leading open women's athlete Rollinson.

Fleming extended his lead over the four-lap bike course, and maintained control through the final run to finish 4min ahead of Booth, who in turn had a 3min advantage over third-placed Ricky Barbara (Wanaka).

In the women's race, Rollinson held on to her lead, finishing 7min ahead of second-placed Gabbie Ernst (Queenstown).

Jacqueline Mason (Alexandra) was 1min back in third. Rollinson showed her class by finishing third overall.

Deaker showed she will be a competitive athlete when she moves up to senior level by posting impressive run times while winning the junior section.

The next races for the club are multisport and duathlon events, to be held in Cromwell on October 5.

Many of the athletes took part in the annual Clyde to Alexandra kayak race earlier in the day.

A low river flow ensured times were slow, possibly handing the advantage to the fastest paddlers starting 10min and 12min behind the earlier starters.

However, the time gap proved too big and the middle markers took handicapped honours.

Booth, starting off an 8min handicap, powered through to win the title, 3min ahead of Mason and Andrew Calder.

Fleming was quickest male paddler, and Rollinson was quickest female paddler.

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