By Chasca Cathline-Gott
Birchfield Harriers’ Ian Dempsey, did the club proud earlier this month when finishing third in the Men’s Open Race, Olympic Distance category, at the ITU World Triathlon in London’s Hyde Park. Against 3,000 other competitors, Ian came home in a fighting time of 1:56.44.
The ITU World Triathlon Series features world-class events (involving swimming, cycling and running) all around the globe in which elite triathletes compete annually to become the ITU World Champion.
The Series finishes with a Grand Final each year where World Championship titles are awarded to Elite, juniors, U23’s, Paratriathletes and Age Groupers.
Following the Grand Final last year, the ITU World Triathlon London has now established itself as one of the world’s most respected triathlon competitions.
The 32-year old from Aldridge, gave himself a genuine chance of success early on with a great start to the race, completing the swimming section in sixth, in a time of 19:47.
Dempsey continued to excel through to the cycling stage where he over took fellow competitors David Orders, and Mark Billyard, to earn third place after the first lap. Ian after briefly moving into second, finally dropping back into third place where he remained throughout the course.
The battle for first place was fiercely contested between leaders Tom Wade and the eventual winner Andrew Greenleaf. Andrew had to dig deep to get past Wade on the second lap of the running section, before going on to clinch the victory with 1:52.14.
Demspey said: “Being up against 3,000-plus people I’d set myself a target of trying to finish within the top fifty so to come out in third I’m extremely pleased with my performance.
“I’m having a good season so far and this adds to my success and makes the 8 months of training leading up to this race all the more worthwhile.”
Dempsey added “It’s so tough because as a triathlete you have to train hard in all three areas.
“I would say running is my strongest attribute but I trained really hard on my cycling during the winter so I knew I would have a good chance of doing well in that stage of the race.”
With his confidence sky high after finishing so well in London, Birchfield Harriers can be sure to look forward to some fine performances from Dempsey in the season ahead.