The team won 53 medals in total, including 17 golds, an increase of three over last year’s 14. Not only did those 17 win their age groups, but Phil Holland (35-39) in the men’s long distance race and Peter Ellis (30-34) and Gill Fullen (50-54) in the men’s and women’s sprints were the fastest age groupers in their races overall.
Gill’s achievement was especially noteworthy, coming against many much younger athletes, but perhaps it was not such a surprise from a multiple duathlon and triathlon age-group world champion who was named the 2013 BTF Age Group Triathlete of the Year. The only disappointment was that there is no official award for the overall age-group race winners.
Gill Fullen commented: “It was great to come in as first lady but it was a bit disappointing not to get official recognition for it. But it was good to be out there with the team and lots of people from my club.”
British success came across the age groups and included notable performances from athletes defending titles they won in 2013. In the sprint race Alan Murchison (40-44) and Jacqui Phillips (45-49) repeated their 2013 gold medals, while in the long-distance race Wendy Gooding (50-54) and Elspeth Knott (60-64) both defended their titles. Fran Bungay (40-44) impressed with silver in the longer event having won sprint gold last year.
Wendy Gooding said: “It’s a great town and there was the usual fantastic support for the Brits. I was delighted to finish about four and a half minutes faster than last year and to win my age group again.”
Alan Murchison commented: “It was a good race and I was very happy with it. It was good to see so many British athletes out there. It made for a really good atmosphere with it all centered around the town centre in Horst.”
Joan Lennon, Great Britain Age-Group Team Manager for the event, said: “Phil Holland and Gill Fullen in particular were phenomenal, they both deserve almost to race at elite level. For Gill, racing in the 50-54 age group, to post the fastest time of all the age group women in the sprint race was just extraordinary. It’s a pity they don’t do an overall 1-2-3 across the age groups as she wasn’t lauded as the overall winner, which would have been nice.
“In the sprint race the Great Britain Age-Group Team was enormous compared to the others but the long distance race was much more balanced in terms of nationalities but we still did exceptionally well.
“It was a fantastic weekend and so many of the team are overjoyed with how they performed. The fell in love with Horst as it’s a lovely venue. The whole town embraces the race, the kids go out on their bikes and people watch from the cafes. it’s a great place for new age groupers to cut their teeth on international racing and the support for GB was phenomenal.”
The Great Britain Elite Team took a small squad to Horst of which Gillian Palmer was the most successful, coming sixth in the women’s sprint. In the elite men’s long distance race two Elite Multisport Squad athletes competed, Matt Moorehouse finished ninth and Joe Skipper 14th, while Vicky Gill was 11th in the women’s race.
Joe Skipper said: “The first leg of the run went really well but I found the bike leg hard after such a tough run leg but the second run went well. It was great seeing everyone race and being with such a big group of people in the Great Britain Elite and Age-Group Teams.”
Great Britain Age-Group Team Medalists
ETU POWERMAN EUROPEAN LONG DISTANCE DUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS
F25-29 Samme Brough
M35-39 Phil Holland
F50-54 Wendy Gooding
F35-39 Lucie Custance
M25-29 Laurence Plant
M45-49 Carl Ferri
ETU POWERMAN EUROPEAN SPRINT DUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIP