Last week’s race was never easy, as it took place in windy conditions with 600 triathletes battling against each other over the Olympic distance of 1,500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.In Fishguard with fellow NatWest Island Games competitor, Paul Clements, she said of the mass start: ‘It was not as bad as the Rennes Triathlon in May – the European athletes are a lot more aggressive’.She enjoyed a good time for the swim – under 25 min – which saw the triathletes swim along a half mile breakwater, similar to St.
Catherine’s, around the end and back down the opposite side.However, she was still behind a leading group of women which included Kara Shepherd, who finished fourth in Guernsey in the Island Games triathlon.By comparison Clements started well and soon found clear water and his rhythm, exiting the water in 15th place.
Out onto the 40km bike section and both competitors found the hilly and windy course hard work.
Clements managed to push hard on the bike but a poor choice of race wheels made the long climbs hard work.
After the race he said: ‘The wind was relentless today and that, combined with the Welsh hills, made it very hard work.
There weren’t any flat sections on this course, it was either up or down’.Roberts also had a good bike leg and managed to catch and pass Shepherd, leaving her in a good position for her best event, the run.Clements started the 10km run in 11th place but soon caught and passed fellow age grouper John Rawlings and then ran down the ninth-placed élite athlete Oliver Simon.
The two ran side by side, battling for position, but in a sprint finish it was Simon who came off the better and took ninth place leaving Clements to finish tenth overall, to claim a silver medal in his age group.By now Roberts, on her strongest discipline, was running well through the field and making up many places as other athletes paid the price for going too hard on the bike.
At the end of the race it was her turn to have a sprint finish, this time with fellow age grouper Katie Jackson, and whereas Clements was beaten to the line, Roberts won her own personal battle to finish fifth in her age group.She is now waiting to hear whether she has earned a place in the Great Britain team for the World Championships.After the race she said: ‘I was really hurting at the end of the run but I just kept thinking this is my ticket to New Zealand and I gave it everything I had’.
She finished over two minutes ahead of Shepherd, which shows that she was a definite Island Games medal contender before she endured mechanical problems in Guernsey.