For some, Sunday mornings are for lie ins, for others, relaxing on the sofa, but for members of Aycliffe Tri Club, Sunday 13th March was the kick start of the 2016 season in the Dale Care Off Road Duathlon.
The weather was perfect for the 5.5 km run/13km bike/4.5 run event, held for the second year running in the fantastic surroundings in Hamsterley Forest, and you couldn’t pick a more suitable location.
The course is both technical and fast paced, with a variety of ascents and descents to challenge both the beginner and the experienced.
Club members Graham Atkins, Gareth Elkin and Mark Wade, together with new member Nicola Darragh, checked in their running shoes and mountain bikes into transition, before starting the race.
The field of athletes was varied from first timers to veterans, and it was Mark Wade who crossed the line in 1:26:15, 7th place overall/5th Senior male. Next to finish was Graham Atkins in a time of 1:31:33, 16th overall/10th Vet male.
Gareth Elkin crossed the line in 1:42:43, finishing 32nd overall/ 16th Vet Male, and club newcomer Nicola Darragh finished in a respectful 2:03:11, 51st overall/ 6th Senior female.

The start of the Dale Care Off Road Duathlon with Graham Atkins centre in red