Guernsey Triathlon Club and Island Games squad member James Travers won the Deva triathlon in Chester last weekend (Sunday 8 June, 2014).
Travers, who only took up the sport last year, took the overall honours finishing in an extremely credible time of 1 hour 59 minutes and 34 seconds beating a field of 485 athletes, a time on par with professional triathletes over the same Olympic length distance.
Travers joined the first wave of 100 competitors in his age group (25-29 years) to swim the 1.5km discipline in the River Dee at 7.30am. With a balmy water temperature of 16.5C Travers noted it was a pleasant warm swim compared to Guernsey sea swims.
Travers said: “The start of the swim was fast and rough with everyone fighting to get the outside line in the slower water as we headed up the river for the first 850m, before returning back with the flow for the final 650m to the swim exit. I exited the water around 2min down on the stronger swimmers in 10th position in a time of 22 minutes and 15 seconds.
“T1 was smooth as I then took to the road on my bike with a view to reeling in the fast swimmers as soon as possible. I managed to hit the front just after the 15km mark but I didn’t realise I was leading until I reached transition. The bike course was over undulating terrain, taking us south from Chester towards Wrexham before heading East and then North back to transition. The outwards leg was a slog into a strong head wind, which on the return leg became a beneficial tail wind. The bike leg was hard but I was still able to produce the fastest split of the day with a 58:24 for 40km.
“I then headed out of T2 for the 10km run, which was made up of three 3.3km laps along the river Dee. By this point I realised I was leading my wave and hoped I had built enough of a time buffer to keep the strong runners at bay. The first lap was tough and lonely with nobody else on the run course yet. The second and third laps were even tougher as I tried to use the faster runners (who were a lap down), to up my run pace. I crossed the finish in first 93 seconds ahead of second place in my wave; to win this and the age group.”
It was then a waiting game to see what the athletes in the following waves would produce (Wave two – Age 30-34 and Wave three – Age 35-39). Travers knew the second and third waves would have some very quick athletes and he had to wait until 1pm to hear his final position. It was first overall with a finish just 3 seconds ahead of second place.
As a result of his win, Travers automatically qualifies for the world championships taking place in Edmonton, Canada later this year where he will pull on a GB vest.
His attention now turns to the Triathlon Inter Insular in Jersey on 29 June, sponsored by the Ana Leaf Foundation, which also doubles as a Guernsey Island Games qualification race. Travers splits were Swim 22:15, Bike 58:24, Run 37:17 & Total Time: 1:59:34.