And so, the last event of the East Region 2016 season was upon us and for some, the opportunity to enjoy the final stages of a well fought campaign beside the seaside was reason enough to travel to the pleasant and popular holiday resort of Clacton. For others, this final race remained an important opportunity to gain some vital points to achieve an individuals overall target , and the Clacton Duathlon did not disappoint in both the event itself or the performances that impacted on the overall final standings.
Typically the day started very early with a Youth Triathlon that included a sea swim , bike and run and representing Tri-Force was Hannah Rayden who had a really good race marred by equipment failure. The 400m swim was choppy but she swam strongly. Heading out on the 8km bike she was gaining ground when with 2.5km to go her pedal fell off her mountain bike. She ran into transition with the bike and then ran really well achieving the fastest run of all competitors on the day, which eventually helped her to finish 7th overall. Overall time didn’t matter today but a great attitude to finish the race despite the mishap with the bike.
Great performance Hannah.
This early start was soon followed by the remaining Duathlon categories who arrived in the early afternoon cautiously looking to the skies as heavy rain was forecast to drench the region during the race period.
Fortunately, despite the threat of persistent rainfall, which was always on the horizon, the course and crowd were rarely troubled in this respect and the races were generally trouble free and not adversely effected by the weather.
The run course on a hard promenade surface remained the same although the bike course had received a re-vamp since previous years and now as part of the circuit included a longer section on road rather than grass, which including a steep tarmac incline before re-joining the undulating grass section of the course adding to a more testing ride overall.
The venue itself provided excellent parking facilities close by and the p.a announcer offered clear and informative details throughout the event and whilst limited catering facilities were provided by the local rowing club nearby, this did not appear to adversely impact on the overall enjoyment or expectations of those attending the event.
From a race perspective, the afternoon began with the younger Tristarts category and ended with the Tristar 3 race .
Our first starter was Jonathan Bint and whilst his cycle lost him some places, Jonathan’s running was strong enough to raise his final finishing position and he eventually finished in an excellent 21st place.
I have noted some race comments below from Nerys,
There was a large turnout of 36 boys for the Tristar 1 race but the only Triforce representative in this category was Jonathan Bint. The boys set out on the first run in waves
with a short interval between each one. While the promenade was flat, there was some incline towards transition. Jonathan put his all into the run and managed the 13th fastest time. Transition was really busy as a number of the boys had caught up with the girls racing in the Tristar 1. The cycle course was split into two sections; the first section on a flat grass section and the second on tarmac. There were a lot of T1s struggling with the hill and Jonathan found this hard going, managing 30th position. After a solid second transition, Jonathan started the second run but he was quite tired by this point. Overall he finished 21st and said that he would love to come back to Clacton next year.
Great effort Jonathan.
The remaining Tri-Force competitors were Christina Durbin and Jessica Thorn, who were competing in the Tri Star 3 category, and their final finishing positions in this race, along with some other competitors, would have an impact on the final East Region results.
Due to the numbers of Tri Star 3 competitors, these were set off in staggered stages (every 2 minutes)
and therefore the overall finishing times could not be established until the final competitors had crossed the line.
A nervous wait for the final results, highlighted that Christie had managed a great effort in her final run to finish an excellent 3rd in the event
with Jessica just 8 seconds behind in 4th.
The 2015/2016 season has proved that Christie and Jess have been both close friends and competitors in this campaign and just seconds have separated them in a number of events and we hope this friendly rivalry will continue in 2017.
Clacton is a great finale to the season, and personally would encourage all Tri Force members to enter for the future.