The sound of the air horn broke the silence of the morning and over 120 runners-cum-cyclists from around Brunei and neighbouring countries took off to win the top prize of this year’s Dash Duathlon recently.
Organised by the Dash Team, the race’s third iteration saw participants running a 5km track around Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s (UBD) compound from the Institute for Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA) parking lot and back, and then cycling 30km on the highway before coming back to finish the race with another 5km run.
Four categories were contested – Veteran (for participants over 48 years), Team, Male Individual Open and Female Individual Open categories.
Joanna Hudson crossed the finish line to win for her team Victorysquadron for the Mixed category with a total time of 1:26:41 with Mohd Nor Risman Ismail almost 80 seconds later winning the Male Open category.
Winning the Male Veteran Category was Andrew Stockwell with a time of 1:42:17 while Kathryn Deuerlein won the Female Open with a time of 1:43:11.
Victorysquadron duo Pengiran Jaysen bin Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Asmali and team partner Joanna Hudson were first time Dash Duathlon participants.
He said, “I only learnt about the 2018 race after it was completed and I committed to participating in the next one; you could say I waited a year to participate this year.
“I’m super happy with the result and I’ve put in a lot of preparation in the past few weeks since I’ve never participated in this kind of event before.”
Male Open category winner Md Nor Risman, another first-time participant, was the first to complete the first leg of the race – the 5km circuit around the UBD campus.
“I am happy and thankful to Allah the Almighty for winning the first place today,” he said while also praising the organisers for the well-executed race and is looking forward to joining again next year.
Andrew Stockwell, 50, from England was pleased to win the Male Veteran category.
“It was a great event. I’ve been training on the bike on the same road for the last six weeks and I’m glad it paid off,” he said. “We need more of these events in Brunei and I’m definitely taking part again next year.” Canadian Kathryn Deuerlein, meanwhile, is not a first timer of the Dash Duathlon. She was one of the participants in the inaugural Dash Duathlon.
“Winning the race feels great and I really enjoyed the race. My energy levels are good and I think (fellow competitors) Ame, Marnie and I really motivated each other,” she said. “I missed last year’s race; I learned about it the day off,” added the 41-year-old, who was glad to make it this year. The Dash Duathlon started in 2017 by the Dash Team, a group of friends who knew each other for over 23 years, which began with only 60 or so participants and have grown steadily since.
“We want people to say, when they compare our event to those held outside, that ours is as good as or even better,” said the Joint Race Director for the Dash Duathlon 2019 Amin.
“Alhamdulillah, this year it went very well and as planned with 40 per cent more people joining this year. It shows the event is slowly gaining popularity and there is a growing demand for multi-sport events such as these.”
He added, “On behalf of the organising committee, I would like to thank the Dash crew for their support in keeping everyone safe, their commitment towards ensuring the event runs smoothly and the athletes are well taken care of.”