Triathlon success for athlete Diane

Diane Lee, local triathlete
Diane Lee, local triathlete

talented local triathlete Diane Lee once again showed she was a force to be reckoned with at the recent Alpe D’Huez Long Distance Triathlon in France.

Diane put in an awesome performance to finish top overall age group femal, out of all categories and got onto the Pro athlete winning podium.

The triathlon, billed as the toughest tri in the world outside Kona Ironman, had Diane leading the amateur athletes from the start and she never looked like being caught throughout the whole 90-mile race.

The swim started in Lac Verney where a very cold 2.2km swim course proved no problem for Dian, getting out among the lead Pro men and women.

Then came the tortuous 74 miles on the bike leg covering three mountain passes that have been used in the Tour de France. The weather was atrocious with fog, mist and hailstones on the top of the mountains and torrential rain making fast riding and descending particularly difficult.

The end of the ride culminates in the Iconic 13.8km climb up the Alpe d’Huez where a 21km off road run awaited the athletes. Lee showed her climbing strength up this last climb by continuously overtaking the male competitors in front of her and emerging into the run transition the clear leader. The long hard run went to plan and she came over the finish line to take the glory and finish off a fantastic years racing.

Diane Lee’s coach Gary McCaffery stated that she had targeted two races this year: this one and the Mallorca Ironman earlier in the summer, and was victorious in both.

Being an amateur athlete and holding down three jobs to fund her sport is very different when it comes to competing against sponsored and funded professional athletes, and shows how well Diane has done to to get in the mix and take prize money.

Travelling along to the Alpe D’Huez tri, were Diane’s training partner, Matlock’s very own Christine Howard (current World Duathlon Champion) and her partner Karl Webster.

Christine, despite suffering a nagging achilles injury and infected arm, still refused to give in and put in a great performance to finish fifth in her age category. Karl had a trouble-free race and managed to secure a personal best time from when he competed in this race two years ago.

In addition to the adults competing, John and Elizabeth Webster both competed in the children’s triathlon, held on the top of the ski resort and came first and second respectively.

All five are members of Matlock Swimming Club, Matlock Cycling Club and Matlock Athletic Club and their efforts have served the town well.