Howard is out in front

From a pre-entry of 41 competitors, illness saw the field decimated for the popular annual New Year’s Eve Duathlon in Milford.

Fortunately, the miserable weather of the previous day subsided as the competitors were greeted by ideal cool and breeze-free conditions for their 2.4 mile run, followed by a tough, hilly 11.3 mile bike ride and then rounded off with a second run.

At the end of the opening stage, Stephen Price of Derby held a two-second lead but only five seconds covered the leading three competitors.

A little further back, Matlock’s Christine Howard had a 32-second lead over Darmstadt’s Nicole Best, a race walking German record holder who has an impressive sub ten-hour Ironman Triathlon time to her credit.

However, the hills on the bike loop saw the leading man and woman pull well away from their rivals to record easy victories in 64.03 and 73.10 respectively.

Some of the competitors had recovered sufficiently from their exertions to then take part in the 21st annual New Year’s Day Hangover Five-Mile Road Race.

121 hardy runners were involved on a course that involved a hilly loop part, taking in Alderwasley and Whatstandwell, before the two-mile climb back to Wirksworth Moor.

Derby Tri Club’s Thomas Peoples set a tremendous pace over the first downhill mile and in pouring rain but he faded as the more experienced road runners eased into their running more circumspectly.

By the two-mile mark, Holme Pierrepont’s Stewart Gregory had taken over in front but, by the end of the third mile, he looked vulnerable to the approaches of Rod Harris of Long Eaton, whose wife, Sarah was destroying the women’s field.

However, in the final mile, Gregory opened up a gap as Harris faded and won comfortably in 29.27, almost half a minute ahead of Harris. Sarah held on to win the women’s race by 1m 20s in 31.53.