28 Tri-Force Junior Tristar Start – Tristar 3 competitors made the journey to Basildon for the first event of the East Region League which is the most the club have ever had entered.
The weather was absolutely hideous with torrential rain and really strong winds and apart from the spectators in the grandstand everyone got absolutely soaked. The rain also meant that just about everyone’s transition kit was soaked by the time they came out the pool to put it on. As a result of the weather nobody ventured out to walk the course beforehand, which in at least one instance proved to be a very wrong decision.
On to the racing which started with the Tristar 3 snake swim.
The girls made up the largest contingent of Triforce-Junior competitors in all the age groups with 8 taking part and what a great start to the days racing.
Jessica Laitner was in 2nd place coming out of the swim only 5 seconds behind a club swimmer. A good transition and then a battling 2nd place on the run resulted in her winning the race with 12 seconds to spare.
Claire Burrell making her debut in the East Region League is an excellent and very stylish swimmer and came out in 5th place. Pacing the run is much more tricky for her with her lack of experience, but a 12th place meant she had only lost a couple of places overall to come an excellent 7th. A quicker transition which will come with more practice and she would have moved up another place.
Emily Rayden having just moved up to the longer distance was in 13th place after the swim but then excelled in the atrocious running conditions with a 8th place to finish only 3 seconds behind Claire in 8th place.
Alannah Mabbs is not as fit as she would like to be at this stage of the season and it showed with an 18th place swim and 17th place run. Thanks to an excellent 4th place transition she managed to come 15th overall.
Lauren Enever was another younger age band competitor, and was in 21st place after the swim and looked very strong on the run where she came 15th to move up 4 places to come 17th overall only 4 seconds behind Alannah.
Naomi Holt does not enjoy aquathlons as much as triathlons as her favourite bike discipline is missing. A 16th place swim and a 6th place transition set Naomi up in a good position when starting the run. Unfortunately coming 27th in the run pushed her down to 20th overall.
Our last 2 under age band competitors were Sarah Crooks and Hannah Newman who had a very close race between themselves. Hannah was in 28th place after the swim and nearly a minute ahead of Sarah who was in 34th place. Sarah immediately made up 14 seconds in transition and continued to close with an 18th place run compared with Hannah’s 25th place. In the end Hannah came 25th and Sarah 27th with 8 seconds separating them.
In the Tristar 3 boys race the club were represented by James Mabbs and Tom Hughes both moving up to this age band this year.
James was in 13th place after the swim but thanks to a very good 9th place in the run moved up 3 places to finish in 10th place.
Tom was in 15th place in both the swim and run to finish in 16th place.
On to the Tristar 2 girls race where 3 of our older age band members were joined by 3 members moving up to this age band.
Sophie Mabbs favours aquathlons and has competed at this event many times in the past and so knows the course really well – or so it was thought. Coming out of the swimming pool in 2nd place under a second behind the leader, she then was the quickest through transition to lead out on to the run course. Unfortunately on the return leg of the run, a combination of following other athletes and an inattentive marshall meant that she went the wrong side of a cordoned off area and ended up running through an enormous deep and muddy puddle and came out the other side minus her trainers. Realising that she needed to finish with all her kit (although it turned out no other kids got penalised for finishing without a shoe) she then spent an eternity hunting for them before finishing with both shoes in her hands. The 4th place run meant that she dropped one place to finish in 2nd position, only 13 seconds behind the winner.
Jessica Thorn has improved her swimming over the close season having joined a swimming club and this showed with 12th place in that discipline. A 4th place in the transition moved her up another 4 places and then a 3rd place run moved her up 1 more place to finish 7th overall only 2 seconds off 5th place.
Christy Durbin our final older age band competitor was in 14th place after the swim, only 2 seconds behind Jess, but unfortunately lost a load of time in transition due to being unable to get her new trainers on. A 7th place on the run moved her back up the field to finish in 10th place.
Grace Dommett, the first of the younger age band competitors, was in 25th place after the swim and lost a little more time in transition before a 16th place run moved her up to 21st overall, only 2 seconds off a top 20 place.
Emily Hughes was 34th after the swim and then struggled in transition before a 34th place in the run meant she finished 36th overall.
Katie McAree was our final competitor in this age band and unfortunately her chip did not record her swim time, however she came out of transition only 2 seconds behind Grace Dommett. Unfortunately running is her least favourite discipline in a triathlon and a 41st place pushed her down to 39th overall.
The 3 boys in the Tristar 2 event had all moved up to this age band this year and so were going to find the extra distance and strength of competition a real challenge.
Ben Crooks was 13th in the swim but rapidly moved up the field with a 5th place in transition and a 3rd place run to come an excellent 5th overall which bodes well for the season ahead.
Sam Newman is often very close to Ben, but not today. A 20th place in the swim and an 18th place in transition left him too much to do coming on to the run. A great 6th place run brought Sam home in 11th place.
Tom Rayden has hardly ever competed in this level of competition and was 19th in both the swim and run and even though he had a fast 8th place transition it did not improve his 19th place finish.
The club are very fortunate to have 2 very fast Tristar 1 Girls who normally have a ding dong battle between each other. Antonia Jubb was leading after the swim by 5 seconds from Sara Laitner. After transition the gap was down to 0.29 of a second. Sara then went in front with a 4th place run to Antonia’s 8th place. Antonia losing time by being unsure where to go at one point on the run until a helpful yell from a Tri-Force Junior cameraman!!!! In the end Sara won the race by 7 seconds from Antonia who held on to 2nd place by 0.09 of a second.
Our other 2 girls in this category were Amelia Weaire and Molly Sherafat-Scott.
Amelia was in 18th place after the swim and after a 24th place through transition and a 23rd place run came 20th overall.
Molly, who has only moved up to this age group this year, found the extra swim distance a real struggle and was in 26th place, but then improved with an 18th place in transition and a 16th place run to move up to 25th overall.
Unfortunately the club only had 1 representative in the Tristar 1 Boys event and that was Reece Dickson. Reece had an excellent 4th place in the swim and a 5th place through transition meant he was in 3rd place coming on to the run. Unfortunately a 15th place run dropped him 2 places to come a very good 5th place overall.
The club for the first time that I can remember had 4 representatives in the Tristar Start races.
The girl’s representatives were Mackenzie Holt and Lucy Crooks.
Mackenzie was in 6th place after the swim, however she was quickest through transition to be in 3rd place coming on to the run. A 6th place on the run meant she lost a couple of places to come an excellent 5th overall.
Lucy based on the previous week’s practice race was probably favourite to be quicker of the two girls, but was in 8th place after the swim. A 3rd place through transition meant she was closer to the leaders but a 10th place run meant she finished in 8th place.
The boys representatives were Mathew Enever and Benjamin Taggart.
Mathew had done his first ever aquathlon last year at Bedford and that experienced helped him with a 1st place swim and run and a 3rd placed run to win the event with 17 seconds to spare. The only thing that did surprise him was having to be given a band at the turn around point.
Benjamin was 2nd after the swim but his inexperience at doing transitions told where he lost 3 places in transition. An unfortunate fall when coming back on to the athletics track was partially responsible for his 7th place on the run to eventually come 5th overall.
Every child should be congratulated on completing the race in absolutely atrocious weather conditions.
A big thank you also to Tim Newman who was willing to get absolutely soaked taking photos for the website.
After the trophy presentations, the Youths and Adults set up their transitions for their race and the wind got up and blew a load of the transitions across the track during their race brief. Unfortunately they were rather camera shy!!!
In the Youth’s event were the Boys Captain Matt Honeyman and Adam Hughes and what a close race the two of them had.
Matt was quite a way ahead after the swim, however Adam then gradually closed on the 5km run to end up only 23 seconds behind Matt at the end. Matt finished 5th and Adam in 6th place.
In the Adult Female race was Frankie Durbin, one of the Tri-Force Junior coaches. Frankie was 2nd in both the swim and run to win the event with 1minute 38 seconds to spare – a fantastic result.
In the Adult Male race was the ex Boys Captain Matt Papa. Matt was in 3rd place after the swim and maintained that position on the run finishing nearly a minute and a half in front of the 4th place competitor.
In the Veteran male race were coach Andy Holt, Head Coach Sean McAree and parent Paul Durbin.
Andy’s strength is his swimming as shown by a great 2nd place. Although he was 18th in the run he still managed an excellent 9th place finish.
Paul was in 14th place after the swim and then a good run pushed him up one more place to 13th overall.
Sean was in 37th place after the swim but like every coach should be was rapid through transition and then a 31st place run meant he finished 33rd overall.