Jessica sinks teeth into competition as Piranhas attack silverware

ORANGE Piranhas’ Jessica Richards claimed her first central west inter-club triathlon win in Mudgee on Sunday at the same time her club collected its fifth straight crown.

In less than an hour Richards was able to complete the grand prix style course, which included a two-kilometre run, 250-metre swim, 9km bike, 150m swim, 9km bike and 2km run.

Richards (59 minutes and 46 seconds) and fellow Orange competitor Janet Martin (1.00.26) were the first two women to cross the line after the gruelling format.

“I’ve done this for a few years and have had plenty of seconds but this is my first win,” she said.

“I didn’t think I’d win. I caught Janet on the last bike leg and knew she was a pretty good runner so I had to put in a decent run to stay in front.

“I was aiming for her during the first bike leg.”

She said the inter-club was a special event on the local calender due its fun and competitive nature.

Richards is also set to compete at the Port Macquarie Ironman.

Smashing the men’s race was Bathurst’s Nick North.

Finishing in a time of 54.39 and more than two-and-a-half minutes ahead of his nearest competitor, North had control by the end of the first run.

“I’ve had a couple of good and hard months training since January and I wanted to take out the inter-club series for my age group,” he said.

“I thought I might have someone to run with and then one bloke took off and I pegged him back at the end of the run and then had a lead by the end of the swim. I maximised the lead on the bike and had a great race.

“I enjoy coming to Mudgee for a good atmosphere and it is a good course.

“I have a big Bathurst race coming in a couple of weeks and I’ll look at a half-ironman later this year.”

Despite a wet weekend there was strong representation from the home club, yet not enough to eclipse Orange’s dominant force.

The first Mudgee man home in the senior event was Ben Pirie, finishing sixth overall in a time of 58.58. 

Pirie was fresh from competing at the Huskisson Triathlon Festival and said he enjoyed the Mudgee grand prix format.

“I think this is my second Inter-club race for the season so I haven’t probably earned too many points but I enjoy it. My wife’s here today racing as well and she hasn’t done an inter-club for years,” he said. 

The first Mudgee woman home was Jessica Stanford in a time of 1.10.15.

The final standings for each age division and the club championship will be finalised this week.

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