On arrival at the Gurnell Leisure Centre, the heavens opened and a number of the more experienced competitors were forced to change from slick to cyclo cross tyres. Thankfully the rain had stopped by the time the race briefing commenced.
Tri-Force Juniors were represented in the Tristar 2 category by 2 athletes of vastly different experience, Sophie Mabbs who is in her 5th season of triathlons and Aidan McLean who was doing his third ever race.
The swim was a snake format and Sophie was really surprised to find a girl ahead of her in the line up. Each swimmer started with a 15 second gap and it was immediately clear that it was not going to be long before Sophie was going to overtake her – in fact as Sophie tumble turned after the first length she came under the lane rope and “torpedoed” her from underneath and physically shifted a far bigger girl out of the way. Sophie was the fastest swimmer of all the boys and girls in her category and held a 25 second lead over her nearest challenger. Cycling has not been the strongest discipline and she had not touched a bike since the previous September. Despite that and being on a new bike she was the quickest cyclist and managed to extend her lead by a further 10 seconds. On to the run, and for the third race in the last 4 she had issues with her shoes and again ended up finishing the course without both shoes on her feet – this time just one!!!! Although it cost her 10 seconds of her lead over her rival she still won the event with 25 seconds to spare.
Unfortunately for Aidan the final results did not for some reason have a swim and bike split, however at the end of the bike section Aidan was in 5th place only 8 seconds off 4th place. An excellent 4th place on the run meant he had closed to within 6 seconds of the boy in front of him and he remained in 5th place. Afterwards he said how much he had enjoyed the race but needs to do a lot more transition practice as that was where he had lost a lot of time over his rivals.