Report by Race Director Paul Durbin
24 brave competitors took part in the inaugural Active Training World Junior Open Water triathlon at Stanborough Lake in Welwyn Garden City on the 19th June, run in association with Tri-Force Juniors. Competitors mainly from Tri-Force Juniors and Hoddesdon Juniors, ranged from Tristar 1 up to junior (age 17), but we did have a few competitors from much further away as well.
The swim was in the lake which was around 18 degrees so wetsuits were optional. The bike course was a tough loop of the park near the railway line and the run an out and back nearer the lake.
After a slightly delayed start (the course took quite some setting up as Stanborough Park is significantly bigger than our normal Sandridge location!!!), and all the bikes in transition, I was ready to give the race briefing
before the race got under way with a combined Junior/Youth/Tristar 3 wave of 8 competitors.
The overall winner was Matthew Haden from Putteridge Swimming Club, followed by 2 Hoddesdon boys, then Christy Durbin in 4th place, winning the T3 girls prize. Naomi Holt was first youth girl.
The second wave saw 16 Tristar 1 and 2 competitors, with several braving the waters without wetsuits.
After 50 metres or so, the green water may have put a few off who then proceeded to swim on their backs! Thankfully, as of March this year, back-stroke has been permitted in open-water swimming…
Tri-force competitors made a good impression, with Tom Pruett coming in 4th in the Tristar 1 boys followed by Megan Gray winning the Tristar 1 girls race. Francesca Paganuzzi came second in the Tristar 2 girls race.
Well done also to the other Tri-Force competitors who finished the race; Jonathon Bint, Samuel George, Mackenzie Holt, Joy and Jordan Walters and Maxwell George.
As race director, it was certainly a learning experience for me – an open water event in a public park is a lot different from running a pool based triathlon within the confines of a school! I am also thankful to some of the Hoddesdon parents who helped with the final set up of the course as well as the Tri-Force parents who helped marshal the event.
Hopefully all competitors and parents enjoyed the experience! The organizers and I certainly learned a lot from this race and will be considering what to do as a follow-up in 2017!