6 experienced and novice Tri-Force Juniors took part in the Bedford Junior Aquathlon, which is run in single school year age bands, held at the Robinson Pool.
First to go of the Tri-Force Juniors were Christy Durbin and Lauren Enever in the Year 9 girls race.
Lauren was the fastest girl in the swim, holding a 14 second lead as she came out onto the run with Christy back in 4th place, 30 seconds behind. Christy has been running really well this year and she powered past all of the competitors in front of her to win by 50 seconds, with Lauren finishing 2nd. What a great start to the day.
Our next competitor was Antonia Jubb in the Year 7 girls race and her dad gave the following synopsis of her race:
“Despite Antonia’s racing in regional races all summer culminating in the IRCs, the Bedford Aquathlon has been a favourite ‘low key’ event due to its simple course and friendly/fun atmosphere. Antonia had a great swim and ran strongly to take the year 7 win by nearly a minute and a half.The only downside to this race is that the prizegiving is always slow….but we’ve got used to that.”
The first boy to go was Mathew Enever in the Year 5 boys race which is always highly competitive. Mathew lead the 10 competitors after the swim by 7 seconds and then had a really good run (only one boy was 3 seconds quicker) to win the event with 22 seconds to spare. Another great performance.
Our final 2 competitors were Florence and Hugo Crowley who were competing in the Year 6 girls and Year 3 boys events respectively and their dad provided the following report:
“The Bedford Aquathlon was recommended to us by another Tri-Force Juniors parent, and having been, we’d happily recommend it to the rest of the club members as a great event to practice your swim-to-run transitions, and generally get some competition practice for those that haven’t done many before. We we’re keen to do it as Hugo (age 7) has been too young to compete in Triathlons this year, but as it’s run in School Year groups he was allowed to enter (Year 3 upwards). Hugo would have a 66m swim and 600m run, while Florence (Year 6) would have a 200m swim and 1.9km run.
We entered the event online through the Bedford Council website. Initial impressions were that it would be a large and very formal event given the number of pages of rules and instructions to read. In reality on the day it had a fairly informal, more friendly feel and the number of entries was not as high as we’d imagined.
The day of the event started fairly early; we had to register Florence before 9am and we’d been warned that parking may be tricky given there was a Adult Triathlon running from the same venue immediately before us. That proved to be true but there were plenty of parking options within 15mins walk of the venue. As we approached the venue the Triathlon was in full flow with competitors leaving the pool, running to transition, then heading off on their bike leg. This gave some early excitement and helped us get into the mood for the aquathlon.
Having arrived and registered Florence (Hugo, being younger, had to register later) we quickly walked the running routes so Florence and Hugo could run with confidence. (In a previous race our failure to check out the run route in advance had led to some uncertainty in the race and ultimately a slower run time). Happily we found the run routes easy to follow as they followed paved paths and were well marked.
Hugo and Florence would have to set up their own transition as parents were not allowed on the poolside. This provided a great opportunity for Florence to share her prior experience with Hugo who’d never done it before, and we ended up with talc all over the floor as we prepared his trainers! When he came to set up transition there was plenty of help available from the organisers and Hugo was well set up in readiness for his race.
The races were run in year groups, with competitors starting at 10 second intervals, fastest first. This should have meant no overtaking was necessary in the pool (snake swim), however there was a little bit of congestion for some swimmers as swim time estimates were obviously not very accurate.
The swim and transition went well for both Hugo and Florence, each overtaking a couple of slower swimmers before exiting the pool, so able to set off on the run feeling confident and happy with the first half. Parents had a good view of the swim from the viewing gallery where there were plenty of seats, and lots of cheering to give a good atmosphere.
Once out of the pool the run course followed part of the same route as the adult triathlon that was still going, so there was good support and more cheering from spectators. For the kids it provided constant motivation as they caught and overtook adults who’d been on the go for much longer than them.
Overall both Florence and Hugo enjoyed the race, with both getting good results. Hugo walked away with the 1st place trophy for his year group. Florence had a bit more competition in her year group and ended up joint 4th and not far behind the first three finishers.
We didn’t manage to spend much time with the other Tri-Force competitors on the day as we were in different year groups and therefore dashing in different directions. However when results were announced at the end it became clear that Tri-Force members had had a very good day with several trophies, and everyone placed 4th or above in their year groups.”