Who says TriForce Junior kids and parents aren’t hardy souls as 6 gathered outside the Olympic Park Velodrome to take part in the East London Triathletes Duathlon. A number of emails had been sent from the various parents the previous day as to whether the race would still be on as a dusting of snow lay on the ground outside.
After a comprehensive race briefing
it was time to get the races going before the kids froze to death.
First off were the Tristar 1 with Callum Powell the sole club representative and what a fantastic start to the 2017 season.
Callum’s dad wrote “Callum started his first ever duathlon as the youngest in his age group (Tristar 1) but showed no fear as he took on the older boys and girls from the gun. Leading after the first 600m run, he worked hard on what was an undulating 2 mile loop of the velopark cycle circuit. Despite it being very, very cold the surface was not icy which made for safe racing. On lap two of the bike, Connor MacArthur from Team MK passed Callum and hit T2 with about a 10 second lead. However, before they’d even made the first hill on the second run Callum had made the pass and ran on strongly to win overall by nearly 30 seconds. The splits showed a consistently strong effort with the two fastest run splits and the third fastest bike leg. After thawing out Callum was presented with a lovely medal and drinks bottle with the all-important bag of Haribos inside!”
Next to go were 3 TriForce Juniors in the Tristar 2 race – Jamie Powell, Pedro Gomez-Jones and Florence Crowley.
Jamie’s dad wrote “A good sized field of nearly 40 athletes braved the conditions. Jamie went out hard from the gun, having raced the Chiltern League x country the day before, he felt confident in his running legs. Tucking in behind Ryan Howe from Cambridge Tri Club Jamie made T1 a couple of seconds adrift in second place. A slightly ‘dodgy’ transition saw Jamie slip to third but a strong first lap of three on the bike pushed him back up to second. Josh Mayer and Olivia Corner made good ground on the remaining sections of the bike and overtook Jamie whilst Ryan Howe pulled away. Jamie entered T2 in fourth overall but then showed great strength on the second run recording the quickest split to finish third overall. A really solid all round effort saw Jamie record the second and first quickest run splits whilst his bike leg was fifth fastest.
All in all a very good day and despite the freezing conditions we thoroughly enjoyed a well organised race at an iconic venue.”
Pedro’s mum wrote ” On a cold and blustery February morning, Pedro competed in the Tristar 2 duathlon event at the wonderful Velopark in Queen Elizabeth Park. It was hard not to feel inspired in such fantastic surroundings. This was Pedro’s first event in Tristar 2, only coming into triathlons 6 months earlier. All a learning curve, perhaps the biggest lesson being NOT to use CLEATS at these events, or at least learn how to clip them onto his bike! That said Pedro finished a commendable joint 6th place in the boys event.
The course consisted of a 1200m run, 4.8k bike and 600m run to finish. Pedro had a solid run coming in 7th to transition and this is where valuable time was lost as he changed from his running shoes to his cleats and then struggled to clip them in! However Pedro loves his cycling and worked really hard to produce 2 good lap times and overtake those who had passed him in transition 1. On the final bike lap another good time was produced, but a change of shoes again meant he had to work really hard on the final 600m run. Pedro really pushed himself and finished with the 5th fastest timed run to come in joint 6th.
A wonderful experience with lots to take away. It was great to see such a good showing by the Tri-Force Juniors.”
Florence’s dad wrote “If we’d thought a bit harder we’d have realised that February would likely be cold and wet and decided not to enter this event, but the opportunity to go to the Olympic park and race around the purpose built track seemed too good to miss. We therefore enthusiastically filled in the entry form as soon as we heard about it. Hugo would do his first TriStar Starts race, and Florence would get her first taste of Tristars 2. Both were excited about racing at the Olympic park.
The day of the race was cold and wet, reminding us that it was still the middle of winter. So with plenty of layers, hats and gloves we set off with the bikes on the roof and made our way to London – both kids still keen to race at the Olympic Park.
The rain cleared before the races started so we only had to fight the cold while waiting to race. Fortunately there was plenty of shelter round the base of the velodrome and a warm room we could use that was very popular!
Florence went first in Tristars 2. Boys and girls raced together so maybe 30 kids set off together. Two half laps running, followed by three full laps of the track on the bike and finished off with 1 half lap run. The track made a great cycling venue and as it was on tarmac it was a fast race; some kids were obviously more comfortable at high speeds than others so the field spread out a bit. For running, Florence found the hard surface a bit more uncomfortable than she liked, and stated a preference for the softer conditions she get’s in cross country races. Florence ran and cycled well finishing somewhere in the middle of field, which turned out to be 4th in the girl’s category, only a few seconds behind third place.”
Next race was the Tristar 3 category and Eva McCabe represented Tri-Force Juniors in a very strong field with the girls race having a number of IRC competitors.
Eva’s dad wrote “‘Everybody looks really good’ was Eva’s first observation looking around before the start. It certainly turned out to be a strong field.
TriStart 3 started along with the Youths, so the first run (1.6k) was pacey. ‘They were sprinting!’, Eva said afterwards. She completed the run at an average pace of 4.30min/km, which is about right for her, but she was well down on the Tristar 3 leaders.
Eva decided not to wear her gloves for the cycle, which I was concerned about since the temperature was a foot stamping 2 Degrees. I played it safe with the tyre choice considering the conditions, with plenty of tread and only 5 bar in the tyres. A shame considering the smooth surface, but better safe than sorry. She completed the 8k cycle in 18mins, an average speed of 26km/h. This is quicker than she does with me on the road, but this is a fast course. She appeared to be placed roughly in the middle of the TriStart 3 female category.
Eva found the second run (600m) tough with heavy legs off the bike. Her pace of 5min/km is slower than her 5k pace, but that shows the impact of running off the bike. Some more brick sessions required.
Eva finished 9th out of 16 in the TriStart3 Female category. Not bad for an early season starter in what looked like a strong field. It was a very cold day and she ended up with a tight calf, but she definitely enjoyed the race.”
Finally was the Tristar Start race with Hugo Crowley taking part.
Hugo’s dad wrote “It seemed quite a long wait in the cold for Hugo’s Tristar Starts race – they were left to the end after the Youth’s race. Which probably helped the organisation (sharing timing chips between races etc), but meant families with young racers may have one child racing at the beginning (Tristars 1) and one right at the end (Tristars Starts). Having said that, the race was well organised and Hugo loved every minute of it. He started enthusiastically, sprinting away from the start and coming back from the first run in 3rd place. He then dropped a couple of places to more confident bikers on the cycle, but with a quick final transition and a good push at the end he pulled back a place to finish 4th overall and 3rd in the boys race.
Overall a well organized race at a great venue – if only it had been a little warmer!!!!!”
So the day ended with the 6 Tri-Force Juniors getting 3 podium finishes and the other 3 in the top 9 which is a huge achievement. Well done to everyone.