STRENGTH and determination were the hallmarks of Sam Boswell’s win in the 40 to 44 group at the National Standard Distance Champions.

The Dambusters Triathlon saw 1,000 entrants tackle the 1.5 kilometre swim, 42km bike ride and 10km run in Leicestershire.

Boswell, from Bromsgrove, had made a strong start with a comfortable swim to exit into transition with the first athletes and started the bike section.

Unfortunately, she experienced drastic mechanical problems with her bike, which meant the back wheel locked into the frame when maximum force was applied through the pedals.

While fine on the flat and descents, it completely locked on any climbs, making it impossible to continue on the hilly course.

Despite the setback, she dismounted and ran, pushing the bike up the three steep main hills.

The 10km run, normally her favourite element, was extra hard after Boswell’s punishing test of stamina and her run split was far slower than she would normally perform.

But with support from her son and husband, she showed true grit to complete the event and find she was the fastest in her age group, with a time of two hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds.

Success at the Rutland Water venue has also ensured Boswell’s place at the World and European Triathlon Championships.

Despite her elation at the success, she was disappointed with the time and is aware she would have been quicker if not for the mechanical problems on her bike.

But Boswell, who is also a qualified sport and deep tissue massage therapist, will be hoping there will be no repeat of those concerns at the National Sprint Championships this month.