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Gib triathletes take on Seville and come home with trophies

by Nicky Bennett

Sunday April 16 saw the 10th addition of the Seville half triathlon, (1900m swim, 86k bike ride, 21k run) 10 Gibraltarians made their way to Seville to compete
The conditions were tough, battling some very strong winds on the bike section and 29 degree heat on the run so keeping hydrated was a challenge within its self.
353 men and 30 women took part with a very strong field. All competitors (including an additional 200 aquathlon participants) starting at the same time which made it very busy at transitions and on the course.
Both Walkers (snr and Jnr) had an incredible swim and were in the top 10 out of the water with Robert Matto and Matthew Borg very close. Portia Walton being the 4th women out.
All competitors headed out on the bike with a very technical start navigating through a park with narrow paths before heading onto the high way for 2 laps with 725m elevation and a very strong headwind.
Next was the run which was 2 laps running along the river which luckily areas gave some shade with the last k through the park to the best sight the finish line.
There were outstanding performances from Gibraltar
Robert Matto coming 21st and the first Gibraltarian to cross the line with an amazing time of 4:13:13
Philp Macedo was next to cross the line and considering it was his first ever attempt at this distance an incredible time of 4:39:27
There was a great battle throughout the race between father and son due Chris and Charlie Walker with them being neck and neck nearly the whole race…
Chris Walker just tipped “the win” with a time off 4:41:44 and Charlie coming in at 4:47:01, this amazing performance saw Charlie winning the under 23 age group beating his competition by over an hour and getting a PB beating his last attempt at the distance by 1hour 55min
A big shout out to Tom Lippiett who had a race ending mechanical at 60k on the bike course and was within seconds of calling it a day but determination, will power and some one legged peddling saw him make it to the end of the bike, then metal and physically after all of that he still managed to complete the run and finish the race in just over 6 hours.
Matthew Borg had a strong swim and cycle but due to an ankle injury decided not to complete the run.
3 women for Gibraltar competed with it being Nicky and Ky’s first attempt at this distance
Nicky Bennett crossed the line in 5th place and achieved 2nd in ABF age group with a time of 4:59:11
Portia Walton was next who has been battling a knee injury crossed at 5:20:05
Ky Barnett was told to go the wrong way so managed to run an extra 2k which is not what you need after running 21k came in at a time of 6:12:16
All in all was a great day out for Gibraltar triathlon. Most have a few local races in spain and the UK but the next big event on the calendar being the Island Games in July.

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