THERE was heartbreak for Fay Cripps over the weekend when she travelled to Highlands Farm near Chelmsford in Essex for the National Off-Road Duathlon Championships.
Competing over a testing course, made all the more difficult by the adverse weather conditions, Cripps left the rest of the field in her wake in the women’s race with strong performances over a 4km run, a 14km mountain bike stage and a final 3km run.
Having specifically trained for the event with a strict training regime over the last number of weeks, Cripps had her delight of being national champion cut short when the organisers, Triathlon England, discovered that some of the competitors had missed a marker and taken a shorter route so declared the result void.
This was especially galling for the Chichester athlete as she had finished in front of this group as well, in spite of taking the correct, longer route.
It was a double blow for Chichester Runners as there was another local athlete in action, who ironically suffered the same fate.
Harry Pink crossed the line first in the youth race, also having taken the correct course.
The pair left without national medals but they can be proud of the fact that they beat their rivals when it mattered.