Despite a cloud free sky and pleasant sunshine, a constant buffeting wind whistled around the buildings and grounds of Duston Secondary School, and chilled the 200 plus competitors and their supporters who came from far and wide to visit Northampton for this year’s competition.
Although this particular Triathlon had no points or East Region league significance attached to it, the event was well supported by a good number of different age groups representing various clubs from around the region, although Tri-Force had only the one competitor on this occasion, Jessica Thorn representing her club in the Tristar 2.
Presumably in view of its ‘fun’ status, the three triathlon stages were slightly shorter than the normal official lengths for the various age groups, with Jessica needing to complete a 150 metre swim, 2400 metre cycle and finally a 1200 metre run for her age group.
The race set up was very similar to Tri-Force’s own Sandringham School, with competitors swimming in a 25 metre pool before running along carpet protected tarmac to reach the sports field where the transition area effectively divided the cycle circuit to the left and running circuit to the right.
Ankle timing chips were only provided to competitors just prior to entering the pool area and the competitors were loudly encouraged by the events enthusiastic M.C (albeit via a distorted P.A system).
In general the Duston Triathlon was considered a very well organised and well marshalled event, although it was a shame that supporters were restricted to viewing the run section of the race from a distance close to the transition area, losing sight of the competitors for the final 200 metres of the circuit and frustratingly, the final approach to the finish line.
As far as the actual competition in the Tristar 2 category was concerned, despite the previously mentioned dominant wind, the day belonged to the dominance of Pac Trac’s Katie Tasker, who, after managing to beat the bottle neck of slower swimmers at the exit of the pool, had an impressive cycle followed by a very strong run that appeared to crush any chance of her rivals including Jessica to close the gap, eventually going through the finishing line with a time that was superior to all the boys and girls of her age group.
As for Jessica, despite issues exiting the pool, she had a very good transition and made up a lot of ground during an even stronger cycle, however, she admitting that she lost focus in the final stages of the run, costing her vital seconds as she ran past the finish line for an extra lap before shouts from her supporters sent her spinning back to the line to complete the race.
However, despite this small error, Jessica continues to improve in her Triathlon performances and came a very creditable 7th out of the 46 girls in her age group, and hopefully her confidence will continue to grow as the season gets fully underway.