The World Triathlon Grand Finals bought together the very best triathletes from around the world once again last month – including two members of Whitchurch Triathlon Club.

Nick Holmes, who was racing in the 60-64 age group category, and Paul Brown, racing in the 45-49 age group category, had both qualified for the ITU Standard Distance Triathlon World Championships in Rotterdam at the fiercely-competitive Deva Triathlon in Chester earlier in the year.

The morning of race day dawned still and misty and as the rain that lashed down during the Elite race the previous day began to slowly evaporate, conditions were set to be perfect.

Nick was starting in wave 19 with Paul later in the final wave. Each athlete was announced to the crowd as, one by one, they proceeded down the pontoon to the starting line of a 1.5km swim, 40km bike and 10km run.

Nick emerged from an embattled swim, having been twice hauled back by the shoulder, into a slippery T1. Despite losing his feet in transition when a bike wheel caught in the mud, he soon powered away, flirting closely with the race barriers on a tight and technical course.

Finishing off with a strong run leg, he quickly moved up through the field to complete the race in 2:25:34, placed 15th out of 76 athletes in his age group.

Paul’s race was equally not without mishap. After an uneventful swim, the bike leg was quickly disrupted when his water bottle decided to jettison in protest at the Dutch speed bumps.

A short delay in transition two, owing to his trainers being hidden by a carrier bag, was quickly recovered as a strong run saw Paul gain ground to finish his race in 2:15:01 and placed 50th out of 145 in his age group.

The club is proud of the achievements and both athletes praised the club, coaches and members for the training and support that made the results possible.