Last weekend, Geography teacher and Dale Housemaster, Ben Price, finished 4th in the Elite European Duathlon Championships in Denmark, having once again been selected for the team by British Triathlon. Ben achieved 8th place in last year’s race and was unsure whether he could improve this year with a start list awash with top duathletes from across Europe.
From the start of the race, Ben went out hard and entered transition in 3rd position setting himself up well for his relatively weaker bike leg. He ‘buried himself’ on the bike to stay in touch with the main contenders and entered T2 in 8th place. Having already been pushing hard for just over two hours, and with the final 10km ahead of him, Ben dug deep to run the hilly run route as fast as he could. He was soon into his stride, shaking out the legs and managing to keep the hints of cramp at bay, and moved up into 7th. Information from his coach and other supporters out on the course told him that he was gaining on several others ahead of him who were finding the going tough. This gave him a lift, he dug a little deeper, upped his pace a fraction and gradually reeled them in to cross the line in an incredible 4th place.
Afterwards, the 37 year old father of two who juggles a very busy work life with his training said: “That was incredible. I hoped to equal or perhaps beat my position from last year but to run past some of those guys – that I have so much respect for – to take 4th is mind blowing! You’re always worried about cramping up and being reduced to a standstill on that final run – it’s a brutal event! – but when I realised I had a good gap over 5th place and could see the finish line I could start soaking it up. I still can’t believe it. Not bad for the oldest guy in the elite race!!”