Helen Russell

World Champion Duathlete and Triathlete

 

 
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Helen Russell - News 2012

2012
Autumn
Living Well Continues Support
Following Helenís successful 2012 season, Living Well Bromsgrove have just agreed to continue to sponsor her and will be providing her with free membership, enabling her to train regularly.

Richard Portman, Bromsgrove Living Well Manager, commented, ďAs part of our corporate social responsibility we are delighted to be working alongside Helen, to help her further her athletic career as well as using her achievements to inspire our members to stay active".

ďThe events that she competes in require a fitness programme that involves utilising various sports equipment Ė all of which we have available for her within our sports facilities.Ē

Being able to train at Living Well Bromsgrove is a very important part of Helenís triathlon training programme. Helen uses the weights machines and free weights to gain strength and also regularly uses the 18 meter swimming pool. The health club also benefits from having a steam room, sauna and jacuzzi, which Helen uses to aid her recovery after those tough sessions.
Top Blogger
Over the summer Helen was a guest blogger for the Metro website writing about the Olympics and Paralympics. Helenís musings proved to be very popular with one of her blogs receiving the most hits during the Games. Due to the success of her guest blog she is now a permanent blogger for the Metro. Check out what she has to say on http://blogs.metro.co.uk/author/helenrussell/
September
Helen ends season on a high
Helen ended her season in style with a victory at the Llanrwst Triathlon.

In acknowledgement of her Welsh sponsors, the supplements company Elagen Sport, Helen chose to end her season in North Wales. The race was a sprint distance covering a 400m swim, 25km bike and 5k run leg. The athletes started at Llanrwst swimming pool then cycled over the rolling roads towards Conwy before crossing the Conwy River and returning to Gwydir Park for the final hilly off road 5k run.

Helen was the second fastest woman over the swim but fastest in the bike and run legs, which meant that she was the first woman in a time of 1.12.29, finishing 1minute and 11seconds ahead of second placed Gina Riley from Chester Triathlon Club. Yet again Helen also beat the majority of the male competitors finishing 9th overall out of 167 competitors.

Once again Helen has had a great season, which included taking the European Sprint Duathlon and British Aquathlon titles. She will now have a month of rest before starting her winter training programme under the guidance of her Evesham based coach, Eddie Fletcher from Fletcher Sports Science.
August
Helen secures trip to Turkey
Helen is celebrating after qualifying for the 2013 European Triathlon Championships after getting on the podium of the Worthing Sea Sprint Triathlon. Being a qualification race the event saw a top class field all hoping to secure their place on the Great Britain team.

The competitors lined up along the sea front at the crack of dawn and plunged into the water to complete the 750m swim. Helen had a very disappointing swim after being taken slightly off course by the strong tide, which meant that she exited the water in 8th place overall leaving her with a lot of work to do. She had a smooth transition and powered her way through the field on the bike course, which took the athletes into hills of the South Downs. She had a quick second transition and entered the final 5k run along the promenade in 2nd place. Unfortunately Helen was passed in the first half of the run but managed to hold onto third place and take the overall bronze.

Helen needed to finish in the top four in her age category (35-39) to qualify but the third place overall means that she easily qualified for the European race in Turkey.
Relay delight for BRATS
Helen took part in the British Relay Championships at the National Water-sports Centre and was proud to be part of the silver medal winning BRATS womenís team. This was Helenís first time in a triathlon relay and she was delighted to be picked to race for the Birmingham Running and Triathlon Club team.

The race covered 500m open water swim, 15k bike and 5k run. Each team had four members that covered a single discipline before handing over a wristband to the next team member. Helen was joined by team member Vic Dixon, Rachel Hares and elite racer Kate Robson. Helenís best leg was the bike where she posted one of the fastest womenís splits of the day.

The BRATS team were only beaten by Loughborough University who also won the mixed team event.
July
Convincing victory at Peopleís Triathlon
Helen sped to victory at the Peopleís Triathlon sprint race at Dearnford Lake in Whitchurch, Shropshire. The event attracted a decent field with professional triathlete Jo Carritt (pictured with Helen) competing in the Olympic distance event. Helenís swimming has improved this season as shown by the fact that she excited the lake as first female and third overall. She increased her lead over the 20k flat bike course but a male Great Britain age-group athlete overtook her which meant that she was in fourth position overall. She went into the final 5k run with a large lead over the second placed woman, former world sprint triathlon age group silver medallist Emily Dove. She pushed hard and extended her lead on the off-road run around the perimeter of the lake to finish in 1.12.04 -2mins44secs ahead of second placed Emily Dove. Helen posted the fastest womenís time in all three disciplines. This was an excellent result especially as she finished fourth overall, beating the majority of the male athletes.
June
Llandudno Sea Triathlon
Helen battled the elements to get a good result at the Llandudno Triathlon in North Wales. The event was a sea sprint triathlon based around the beautiful setting of the Great Orme and along Llandudno promenade. Helen had an excellent swim exiting the water first woman and third overall. She then headed off for two laps of the coastal rode around the hilly Great Orme, which in the wind was as much a test of bike skills as speed. Unfortunately the wind was so strong that it blew Helen off her bike. She was able to quickly remount but decided to take the decent at a sensible pace. Helen entered the second transition still in first place but had lost some precious time. She held onto the lead in the run until about 2km away from the finish when she was passed by fellow Tri-UK member and GB Age Grouper Dominique Searle who took the victory. Helen held onto second place meaning that Team Tri-UK had claimed the too top podium places. A good day for the team!
Countdown to the Games
In the run up to London 2012 Helen has been supporting local community and school sports events. She opened the Catshill Community Sports Day and presented the school sports awards at Catshill Middle School, where she was a former pupil. She also gave a presentation on triathlon and achieving in sport to pupils at Walkwood Middle School in Redditch. Helen is also an official Olympic blogger for the Metro http://blogs.metro.co.uk/author/helenrussell/

Helen is more than happy to support local community and schools sports events upon request.
May
British Champion!
Helen was crowned British Aquathlon Champion in her age category at the British Championship race at the West Midlands Water Ski Centre just outside Birmingham. The race comprised a 750m lake swim followed by a 5k off-road run.

Helen struggled with the cold lake temperature of just over 13 Celsius so posted a slightly disappointing swim time of 13.25 which put her in second place, 36 seconds behind Clare Halina from Darlington Tri/Team Triology. She had a decent transition time of 1.30 but was being closely pursued by the third placed woman Michaela Furlong from Team Bodyworks XTC, who was only 12 seconds behind. Helen pushed hard in the run and finally caught the leading woman in the final 2k of the run. She then extended her lead and finished the run in 19.58 to post a final time of 34.52, 18 seconds ahead of Clare Halina and 61 seconds ahead of 3rd placed Michaela Furlong.

This is the second time Helen has won the British Aquathlon Championships, last taking the title in 2010 in Salford.

Unfortunately she couldnít repeat her good form the following weekend at the British Sprint Triathlon Championships at Emberton Park near Newport Pagnell. Helen exited the water in a swim time of 12.06 which put her in third place. She maintained this position through most of the bike leg but was overtaken in the final few miles and entered transition in fifth. She overtook the fourth and third placed athlete on the run but was then overtaken in final 2.5k and so had to settle for fourth place. It was a tough field with the former Long Distance Triathlon World Champion and former Sprint Triathlon World Champion taking gold and silver but Helen was disappointed not to take the bronze.
Metro Olympic Blogger
Helen is an official 2012 Olympic blogger for the Metro website. She will be blogging in the run up to the Games and will be giving her opinion on the events as they unfold. Follow her blogs on http://blogs.metro.co.uk/olympics.
April
European Duathlon Champion!
Helen powered her way to victory in the European Sprint Duathlon Championships, not only winning the 35-39 age group title but finishing first female overall, taking the European title outright.

Europeís best amateur duathletes assembled in Horst aan de Mass in the Limburg area of Holland to battle over the 5k run, 20k bike and 2.8k run.

Helen took the lead early in the run but was challenged throughout the race by Anke Lakies, from Germany who entered the first transition just one second behind Helen, who covered the 5k in 19.29. Anke had a quick transition and led out onto the flat but highly technical bike course through the outskirts of Horst. Helen pushed hard and overtook Anke after about 5k. Unfortunately she wasnít able to create a large lead and finished the bike leg in 35.45 just one second in front. This meant that the win would come down to the final 2.8k run around the town centre. Helen had an excellent second transition getting out onto the second run 12 seconds ahead. Determined to take the victory she gave everything and built up a larger lead eventually crossing the finish line in 1.08.56, 29 seconds ahead of Anke. Third place overall went to Anna Jordens from Spain who finished in 1.10.35. The second placed athlete in Russellís age category was Ann De Clerk from Belgium, who finished way down the overall field.

This result means that Helen is both the current World and European Champion in the 35-39 age category and also the overall European Champion.

This was Helenís final duathlon race of the season and will now turn her attention to the triathlon season which starts in May.
Win at Welsh Championships
Helen was victorious at the Welsh National Duathlon Championships in Glamorgan.

The championship race, which started at Llandow race circuit near Bridgend, brought together the best Welsh duathletes as well as challengers from other nations. The athletes battled over a 5.6k run around the race circuit then covered a 26k undulating bike route through the villages of the Vale of Glamorgan and along the picturesque coastline along the Bristol Channel before heading back to the race circuit for the final 2.5k run.

Helen had a solid first run covering the 5.6k in 21.49 entering transition in joint first place with Carys Griffiths and one second ahead of Victoria Rawes both from Pencoed Triathlon Club. Helen had a good transition and powered away from both of the Pencoed Tri members on the bike, covering the 26k in 48.56, entering the second transition with a 4min33sec lead over Carys. With such a big lead Helen was able to relax on the final run covering the final 2.5k in a steady 11.14 crossing the line in first place, 4min40secs ahead of second placed Carys Griffiths. Third place went to Hillary Hillhouse from Kingfisher Triathletes.

Although Helen won the Welsh National Championship race she cannot claim the title of Welsh Champion as she is part of Triathlon England.
Battle of Bosworth
Helen had her first duathlon victory of the season at the 1485 Duathlon in Market Bosworth.

The race, which started at Bosworth Water Park, was a sprint distance race consisting of a 5k run, a 20k bike and finishing with a second 5k run.

Helen had a solid first run finishing in 20.19 which saw her enter transition in 2nd place, 24 seconds behind race leader Helen Talbot from Nuneaton. Unfortunately Helen had a clumsy bike mount which cost her a few seconds but she quickly caught Talbot within a few hundred meters of the bike leg. Helen then used her bike strength, gained from training on the Wattbike under the guidance of Evesham based coach Eddie Fletcher to pull away from Talbot and get a healthy lead of 3ď minutes going into the run. Helen covered the final 5k run in 21.01 to take the victory in a time of 1.21.07, 3.37minutes ahead of second placed Talbot.
March
Helen runner up in 220 Triathlon award
Helen is delighted to have been named runner up in the 220 Triathlon magazine award for Female Duathlete of the Year. Three women were shortlisted for the award following a nationwide vote run by 220 Triathlon magazine, the UKís leading triathlon magazine.

Helenís achievements were recognised at the awards night at Sandown Park, which was compared by Ned Boulting, ITV4 Tour de France commentator and attended by some of Britainís top triathletes, including Ian Stannard, triple time Elite World Aquathlon Champion. The award was won by professional athlete and current Elite World Duathlon Champion, Katie Hewison (pictured with Helen).

The result recognises Russellís successful 2011 season, which culminated in her taking gold in her age category at the World Duathlon Championships in Spain.
Early season successes
Helen has had a number of early season successes. She comfortably won her first two aquathlons of the year at Halesowen and Tipton, which bodes well for the British Aquathlon Championships in May. She has also started off her duathlon season well, coming 3rd at the Peopleton Duathlon against a top field.
Team TRI-UK
Helen has been selected again to compete for Team TRI-UK. This year there are a number of new team sponsors including Cervelo who have provided the team bikes, Mavic who have supplied wheels and shoes and Dirty Dog who have supplied the sunglasses. Helen has also been supplied with a tri-suit and goggles from TYR and a seasonís supply of Gatorade. The team is also sponsored by FOOR wetsuits, Fizik, Easton, Pearl Izumi and internet partner www.tri247.com.

TRI UK was established 20 years ago and is the largest Triathlon retailer in the world offering a full store, internet and mail order service from their retail outlet in Yeovil. TRI UK continues to be a staunch supporter of the UK triathlon scene sponsoring races and the TRI-UK Team.

For more information log onto www.triuk.com or call the store on 01935 414142.
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