European Duathlon champion Catriona Morrison led a British gold-silver sweep in the elite women’s field at today’s Richmond ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships. The Scot hit the line with a time of 3 hours, 34 minutes and 56 seconds, a comfortable five minutes ahead of teammate Michelle Lee who took the silver. Defending champion Yvonne Van Vlerken of the Netherlands came across for the bronze.
Pre-race favourite Morrison did not disappoint and led from virtually start to finish. She held a 20-second lead after the first run leg but during the bike she laid down a punishing pace and built a lead of almost four minutes. With such a big lead in hand, Morrison could have let up and coasted to the finish line but instead she hammered out the fastest final run leg of the day amongst the elite women.
"I knew I had a large gap in the last lap of the bike and so I was able to relax," said Morrison. "I was pleasantly surprised that the course was so technical. I really enjoyed it. And Richmond is very, very pretty, especially this time of year.”
Morrison adds the Long Distance Duathlon world title to a stellar career that already includes the 2006 short course Duathlon world championship, this year’s European Duathlon title and a bronze at this year’s Long Distance Triathlon world championships in Lorient, France.
2007 Richmond ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships – Unofficial Elite Women’s Results: Gold – CATRIONA MORRISON (GBR) 3:34:56 Silver – MICHELLE LEE (GBR) 3:40:05 Bronze – YVONNE VAN VLERKEN (NED) 3:43:43 4th – LUCY SMITH (CAN) 3:45:11 5th – ULRIKE SCHWALBE (GER) 3:45:25 6th – JOAN BLAAFOSS (DEN) 3:47:36 7th – ISABELLE FERRER (FRA) 3:47:42 8th – KATHRYN KASISCHKE (USA) 3:50:19 9th – GABRIEL HNILKOVA-JENKS (USA) 3:50:43 10th – MICHELLE PARSONS (GBR) 3:53:43
This was the first time the Long Distance Duathlon World Championships have ever been staged in the United States and the first world championship of any kind hosted by Richmond.