In the final Powerman World Series event of the 2013 year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Michelle Parsons from Evesham and racing for Team Tri UK produced yet another superb performance to finish yet another successful season following up her recent Iron distanced triathlon victory in Italy. The Powerman events are long distance duathlon races (run/bike/run) and the series now boasts worldwide appeal as could be seen from the nationalities of the athletes taking part in the race. A strong elite field was assembled enticed by the 5,000 US$ first prize the event offers but also to test themselves in some of the most difficult racing conditions of the year with 35 degrees of heat and 80% humidity.
Not surprisingly reigning champion Radka Vodickova was keen to continue her excellent run of form in this event and the international ITU athlete from the Czech Republic started as she meant to go on covering the first 11km run in 41 minutes and 54 seconds almost a minute ahead of the chasing pack of predominantly European athletes. Michelle was a little further back in the second chase pack and completed her first run in 44 minutes and 27 seconds.
A swift transition saw all of the athletes onto the testing bike course and it was no surprise to see Michelle recording the fastest times out of the course. Her strength on the bike soon brought her up to the chasing pack and would have taken her well past them if the bike leg had been a few kilometres longer than the 64km scheduled. However her bike time of 1.45.15 was the fastest female time of the day and left her well in the chase for a podium finish as she battled it out Simone Helfenschneider from Austria and Ilse Geldhof from Belgium. Monica Torres from the Philippines although slower on the bike would battle her way back into the race for a podium finish only to tire badly at the end and finish 5th.
The heat on the second run was a time trial for Vodickova with a good lead and as it transpired running quicker than her chasers she completed the 11km run to finish in an overall time of 3 hours 17 minutes and 19 seconds. The chasing trio including Michelle battled had on the first lap of the second run and eventually both Helfenschneider and Geldhof put some time into the Worcester Tri club athlete leaving her ensure the chasing Torres did not make up the deficit created by Michelle’s strong bike performance. Geldhof eventually snapped as Helfenschneider powered away for second and Geldof held on for 3rd. Michelle finished a very creditable 4th in an overall time of 3.26.29.
In the Mens Elite race it was a shock result with the World Number One Rob Woestenborghs from Belgium dropping out of the race leaving the way open for Andy Sutz from Switzerland to take the victory in 2.52.06.
Michelle now takes a rest from racing looking to build her run training for the London marathon in April 2014 where she has once again gained a place in the championship start.