British Schools Biathlon Championships 2016

3 Tri-Force Juniors qualified for the British Schools Biathlon at the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace as a result of their performances in the regional rounds held at Watford and Millfield in October 2015. A biathlon is an individual swim and run with times for each event converted to points and the points added together for the final result. The event is run by Pentathlon GB.

Sadly Christy Durbin had to succumb to a knee problem and did not take part which left Sophie Mabbs in the Under 13 and Lauren Enever in the Under 14 competitions.

More than 1,400 children flocked to the event, which is well organised and very laid back. Despite being given specific times for registration, there were no queues (except for hoodie purchasing!), so there is always the opportunity to watch some of the other events. It’s important to keep an eye on the time you have been given to swim and run as no one comes to collect you. It’s the competitors responsibility to arrive on pool side or at track side at the allocated times.

It was only Lauren’s second biathlon, so she is still finding her feet in the competition. There were 98 under 14s competing (so one of the larger groups). Lauren was in heat 3 of the swim and put in a pretty good performance, winning in 1.14.74.

However the competition really hotted up as the heats progressed, with the winning girl recording a swim of 1.00.72! Lauren came 64th overall scoring 988 points.

Sophie, a season biathlete, had been ranked number 4 of the 108 girls in her competition and after a good swim, just missing her pb, was in 6th place.

It was quite a cold day with the wind getting up in the latter part of the day, making some of the runs a little challenging! The girls were struggling to keep warm!

Like Christy, Sophie was carrying a long standing knee problem which can flare up at any time out of the blue. Sadly, despite all the strapping, about half way through the 1600m run the knee started to really hurt and she was unable to keep up with the rest of the field in her heat. She ended up in 22nd place on the run, but still came 8th overall.

Lauren started out well in the run and tucked in behind the lead girl and tried to stick with her but she soon pulled away. Lauren stayed in 2nd position but mis-counted her laps and still thought she had another lap to go, despite being on her last one! She was suddenly overtaken on the final bend and then, realising she was almost finishing, had to pull out a sprint finish to reclaim 2nd place!

She was a little annoyed with herself as she felt she could have run the last lap much quicker as her training runs had been under 6mins. She finished in 6.12.93 scoring 1086 points and coming in 49th. Her overall position was 60th. She feels she has learnt a lot from competing again and knows the areas she needs to work on to try and improve her placing. She definitely want wants to enter again!