Mary Welsh of Cheltenham Triathlon Club competed in the Dextrose Energy World Triathlon Championships, held in Budapest, Hungary from 8-13th September. Thousands of top-class athletes congregated in this famous World Heritage Site city for the final of the ITU 2010 Championship Series where the races took place on the banks the great Danube river.
The swim section was located in an inlet of the river which formed a small, sheltered lake. Following on from transition the cycle course followed the Buda side of the river, a flat route with tight turns at each end. The run was a point-to-point along river's edge of the Buda side of the river, crossing the famous Chain Bridge which was the original crossing between Buda and Pest and which had to be reconstructed after its destruction in WW2, to finish in Roosevelt Square. A fleet of local ferries transported the athletes back to the start area.
The weather was unseasonably wet with a heavy downpour all night and day making conditions on Friday extremely difficult for racking the bikes and the transition area became completely waterlogged.
Mary competed in the Sprint event which took place on Saturday morning and fortunately the rain halted for this particular time slot. She was fourth in her age group (65-69) in a time of 1hour 40 minutes. Photos and videos can be seen on www.marathon-photos.com.
Thanks to everyone in Cheltenham Triathlon Club for all their support, encouragement and training in the run-up to the Championships. Special thanks go to Jane Wild who helped with travel arrangements, who endured the continual downpour to cheer everyone on and who was there with the champagne at the end!
One of the Clubs most recent new members, Mary Sietsma competed in the standard distance in an overall time of 2hr 23min 22sec (1500 swim, 40km bike 10 km run) and finished in 27th place out of 51 competitors in the 45 to 49 age group.
Mary who moved this year to work in Cheltenham from Canberra, Australia, was representing her home country.