Will Draper finished an excellent runner-up in the standard class of the British Duathlon Championships at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Sunday.

In what was his first ever duathlon event, he admitted it was a tough as he returns to racing from a leg injury that hampered the latter part of his 2023 season, and lingered on into January and February of this year.

‘It was a bit of a shock to the system and I dropped off the back of the leading trio towards the end of the initial 8.6km run as they went out hard.’

He completed that in 27 minutes precisely and managed to link up with two others on the bike, in what was a draft-legal event, to bridge the gap in the 37km cycle (23 miles).

‘I was more-or-less level with the leaders going into the final 4.3km run, third overall, but the lead two went off fast again. I ended up second, so I was pleased with that.’

The gap at the close between winner Matthew Nelson and Draper was 24 seconds.

A total of 186 completed the event and Draper won the 20-24 age group in a combined time of 1hr 34min 47sec.

Seven days earlier he won the Stafford Half-Marathon in a time of 1hr 08min 46sec, some four minutes in front of runner-up Jim Hickinbottom.

‘All I need now is some sponsorship to help me continue,’ he said.

Will can be contacted on Facebook or via email: [email protected]