Hatfield policeman Dave is ranked third in the world after Thailand race

PUBLISHED: 14:35 12 April 2009 | UPDATED: 22:03 26 October 2009

The start of the race

The start of the race

HATFIELD policeman Dave Mitchinson said it was an amazing feeling to finish third in the first ITU World Series duathlon race of 2009. Dave s position in the Thailand event – a 10km run, 40km cycle rider followed by another 5km run – ranks him third in

Dave Mitchinson, on the left, collects his third place trophy

HATFIELD policeman Dave Mitchinson said it was "an amazing feeling" to finish third in the first ITU World Series duathlon race of 2009.

Dave's position in the Thailand event - a 10km run, 40km cycle rider followed by another 5km run - ranks him third in the world at the discipline.

The Great Britain international said: "Crossing the line was an amazing feeling.

"It is a result I was over the moon with.

Policeman Dave Mitchinson on his race bike

"As it was the first ITU World Series of 2009, I'm currently ranked third in the world!

"It will be interesting to see if I can maintain it."

Racing in hot, humid conditions with temperatures approaching 35 degrees, Dave had more than his fellow competitors to battle against in the Mekong River race.

During the competition he had to wear a sun visor and continually dowsed his face in water as he tried to stay cool.

After the initial 10km run, Dave was in the leading group of four athletes.

Of this point during proceedings he said: "I felt in control, but was conscious I was already feeling the conditions.

"Apparently the temperature had reached 37 degrees.

"As we reached the end of the first 10km all four of us were a stride apart."

The next section of the three-part duathlon was the 40km bike race.

As a seasoned distance runner, the cycling part of the discipline is still relatively new to Dave.

However, the Herts athlete kept with the leading pack and was fifth going into the final 5km run.

"The heat at this point was brutal and everyone was suffering," he said.

""I was feeling dehydrated, despite taking on over a litre of fluid on the bike and extra water on the first run."

At the 2.5km turn it appeared the leading trio had pulled away and it looked like the Times Territory man was fighting for fourth place with a Croatian ahead of him.

However, after another kilometre he could see a runner moving nearer in the distance and realised Australian Raf Baugh from the leading bunch was flagging.

"With renewed energy I chased down the Croatian and swept past Baugh into the final kilometre, not quiet believing I was on for a podium finish in my first finish at an ITU World Series race," said Mitchinson.

"The last 400 metres was a struggle as I realised I was going to get third and the heat was taking its toll.

"Crossing the line was an amazing feeling, although I felt so overheated it was untrue."

A delighted Mitchinson collected his third place trophy.

However, he was unable to rush off to celebrate, as he had to produce a specimen for a drugs test.

This proved to be a rather time consuming task.

"This is hard at the best of times, let alone when dehydrated after two hours of competition in these conditions," he said.

"It took me three hours to produce a sufficient urine sample, and luckily Tom [Lowe, GB team manager] kept me company in the hot and humid drug testing room - what a manager!"

Dave is now hoping he will be able to maintain his ranking at the next leg of the ITU World Series at the European Championships in Hungary next month.

Prior to that, however, he has to qualify for the GB team by competing well at the British Elite Championships and show selectors he is capable of fighting for an individual medal.

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