7 Tri-Force Juniors and 4 parents made their way for an early start to contest the Freedom Tri Duck n’ Dash Aquathlon held at the open air lido in Letchworth.
The weather was nice and dry and quite sunny but thankfully did not have the heat of the previous day at Whittlesey which unfortunately had caused Christy Durbin to pull out of the Letchworth event.
After registration everyone went off to set up their transition on the far side of the 50m swimming pool, with one of the Tri-Force Junior coaches being told off and shown by his Tristart daughter how to properly set up transition!!!! In his defence he coaches swimming and not transition!!!!
First off were the Tristar Starts and the club were represented by Mackenzie Holt and newcomer Lucas Hartley.
What a great start they gave the club with Lucas being the fastest boy after the swim and transition and then increased his lead with the fastest run of all competitors, which included a very impressive sprint at the end to win with over 30 seconds to spare.
Mackenzie was in 2nd place after the swim and transition but was unable to make any dent into the gap between her and the leader. A 4th place on the run still meant that she came home in a fantastic 2nd place overall. Unfortunately they only present prizes for the winners.
In the Tristar 1 race the club were represented by 2 girls, Antonia Jubb a renowned East Region triathlete and Robyn Hartley who has only just started out on her triathlon career.
Antonia continued the podium trend with the fastest swim and transition of all the Tristar 1 boy and girl competitors and then increased her lead further over all the girls with the fastest run to win by over half a minute. Antonia in fact also beat all the boys over the finish line to cap a very impressive performance.
Robyn had a very good swim and transition to be in 8th place coming on to the run. Being unsure how to pace the run over a course she had never seen before meant that she lost some time on the competitors near her but still finished in an excellent 11th place overall. I am sure that she learnt a lot from the experience and certainly seemed to enjoy the race given her big smile at the finish.
Again 2 girls represented the club in the Tristar 2 race – the vastly experienced Sophie Mabbs and another novice triathlete in Caitlin Hartley.
Unusually for Sophie she was not leading after the swim and transition, in fact she was in 3rd place. The cross country style course was never going to help Sophie with her knee issues, however she was 2nd quickest in the run to come 2nd overall. Immediately after finishing she sought out the St John Ambulance for ice packs and was then treated to a sports massage which seemed to really help the pain.
Caitlin had a near identical race to her younger sister. She was in 2nd place after a fantastic swim and transition, 1 second behind the leader and 2 seconds ahead of Sophie. Again the run was her undoing, but Caitlin still finished in an excellent 6th place overall and with more experience will get to know how to pace the race better.
The final Tri-Force Junior to compete was Naomi Holt in the Tristar 3 category. Aquathlons are never her favourite type of race as they don’t include her best discipline, the bike. No matter, Naomi was in 3rd place after the swim and transition and combined with a 4th place on the run maintained her 3rd place overall.
On to the adults and in the Duck race was Antonia’s mum Gill. Gill will be the first to admit that swimming is not her strength but despite that she was the 3rd quickest woman coming on to the run course and first in her age category. A younger competitor was in the lead by nearly 3 minutes. Gill then set off on the run in a very determined fashion and immediately started eating into the deficit. By the end she had not only run the quickest time of all the women competitors (only 3 men were quicker) she had overtaken the 2 ladies in front of her to not only win her age category by over 5 minutes but to be the fastest women by nearly half a minute.
The strain told at the end and whereas the kids showed off their medals and tucked into flapjacks Gill looked like she was a shattered wreck with a headache!!!!!!
In the Drake race were coaches Mike Jubb and Andy Holt and race Director Paul Durbin. The snake swim always seems to be done in the wrong order as they start with the slowest and progress to the quickest which means that the fastest swimmers like Andy are always at a disadvantage of having to overtake other competitors.
Unlike the kids who do absolutely no stretching beforehand, am sure they are coached otherwise, the adults did spend a while limbering up before it was their turn to enter the water.
I understand that before the race there had been a lot of banter beforehand about who was going to be the first over the line and what a great race the three of them had. Paul worked out he was at a disadvantage having just up to the older age category than the other 2.
Andy was over 2 minutes ahead of Paul after the swim and transition with Mike a further 40 seconds behind. It all changed however on the run, with Mike keeping up the family tradition of being excellent runners and surging past Paul and Andy to win the battle of Tri-Force Junior dads. Andy obviously didn’t take the run seriously enough as witnessed by his high 5s
and in the end it cost him as Paul went and beat him by 1 second.
In the end Mike was 2nd and Andy 3rd in the veterans category with Paul 2nd in the super vets. Great races guys.
What is so nice about this event is that all members of the family can take part and it is also a way for the parents to get to know each other and pass on training tips.
Well done to everyone connected with Tri-Force Juniors on a great set of results with 9 of the team getting in the top 3.