MAC members beam with pride after one of their own wins Commonwealth gold

Maidenhead Athletic Club (MAC) members were proudly watching on as one of their own, Katie Crowhurst, became para-triathlon Commonwealth Games champion on Sunday.

Katie has been a member of the club since the age of 10 and has trained and competed in various events for the club despite her visual impairment.

On Sunday, she and guide Jessica Fullagar reeled in Canada’s Jessica Tuomela to take gold in convincing fashion in Birmingham, with Katie having only taken up the sport seriously 12 months ago having previously been a promising para-swimmer.

One of her former coaches, MAC’s Craig West said: “It’s an amazing achievement for her to line up in the water at the start considering Katie switched to triathlon a little over a year ago. She showed no sign of nerves and was clearly enjoying the experience of representing her country on the global stage. As soon as the race started you could see Katie's competitive determination kick in – it was clear she wasn't just there to make up the numbers.

“The 5km run was a test for all the athletes; however, it wasn't the hills that had us on edge – it was the stitch that Katie got about halfway round.

“Thankfully, she remained calm and relaxed and got through. Katie and Jess grabbed a flag each and crossed the finishing line in first place, winning the race by a massive 4.07, in a time of 1.10.32.

“I can safely say that everyone at MAC is proud of what you have achieved, and we look forward to seeing you continue your very exciting journey. We look forward to running alongside a Commonwealth Games Champion and having the chance to see your gold medal.”

Her split times were: Swim 750m 11m19s; T1 1m10s; Bike 20km 30m21; T2 0m32s; Run 5k 23m51s.

Katie's mum, Lucy Crowhurst, also thanked MAC for the part it has played in her development as an athlete.

“I’d like to thank MAC for all their wonderful support not just leading up to the Commonwealths but over the eight years or so that Katie has been a member,” she said. “MAC is a fantastic club that's been open armed and inclusive right from the start and, as Super Sunday confirmed, that's how Para Champions are made.”

The last Alder Valley girls meet of the season took place at the Spectrum Track in Guildford on Saturday last week (July 23). Numerous personal bests were set, and two new club records for Sophie M, in the 800m with a time of 2.27 and the 4x100m team of Aimee, Ruby, Sophie M and Annabelle who lowered the record to 53.8 seconds.

Members also completed the Round Reading Ultra, a 50k loop of Reading

Six MAC members completed the course, with Lee Bodell the fastest in 4.58.04. Linda Szulc's time of 6.30.52 saw her finish third out of 10 in the FV60+ category. The club's other finishers were David Laidler 5:12:07; Derek Philip-Xu 6:51:26; Steve Overbury 7:54:30 and Marika Karavan 7:54:32.

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