With clouds scudding across the skies due to a cool wind for the second year in a row we were blessed with a dry club championships. A number of parents and coaches turned up early and set out the course which was an identical layout to the open race earlier in the year including a chicane at one end of the bike course. The transition area for the first time also had racking for all the competitors
with lots of marshalls on hand to help the younger ones get their bikes off the racks – when they weren’t posing for the camera!!!!!
A total of 45 kids signed up for the race but with a number of no-shows, and injuries and illness putting paid to both captains taking part the field was reduced to 39 excited competitors.
The biggest disappointment was the number of Tristar 1 girl members who had prior commitments and did not sign up.
After a comprehensive race briefing given by the Race Director, Paul Durbin
the kids headed off to the swimming pool to await their turn to enter the pool.
It is quite interesting to see the different behaviour between the boys and girls – with the boys focusing on their race ahead (or being anti-social!!!!) and the girls chatting away 10 to a dozen!!!
On to the racing and one of the big stories of the day was of the 39 competitors that started only 33 were finally classified. The first casualty of the day was Hannah Newman in the Tristar 3 girls race who just after turning at the end of the first bike lap appeared to black out and ended up in a crumpled heap with her bike on top of her. A number of marshals dashed over to her and gave her medical assistance before carrying her off the course. While all this was going on the 2 boys in the Tristar 3 race continued racing. James Mabbs, who had been on crutches 48 hours before the race due to an accident with a football, had overtaken Louis Paganuzzi quite early on the bike ride and was then very confused to find Louis in front of him on the run. James assumed he had done one too many laps and pushed really hard on the run to catch up again, only to twist his already damaged ankle and crumple in a heap at the furthest part of the run course – yet again the medical staff was required and James was carried off the course. Only afterwards did he find out that Louis had in fact miscounted and done one lap short on the bike and got disqualified. With all this going on nobody spotted that Adam Hughes had finished his race in the Youth Boys and collected his bike and shot off to Wembley for the rugby world cup.
The Tristar 3 girls race was a close affair with the top 3 separated by under a minute with the favourite Tori Weston appearing to struggle to get used to her new bike coming 3rd with Claire Burrell and the eventual winner Naomi Holt in front of her.
I can only assume that Tristar 2 decided that anything Tristar 3 can do then we can do as well as they also managed 3 non classifications.
In the boys race the much anticipated battle between 6 closely matched triathletes failed to materialise with Tom and William not starting and Ben Crooks becoming the 3rd competitor to require medical attention. He put in so much effort to keep up with the other boys that his legs gave in on the run through exhaustion – mainly as he had already played a football match that morning. Sam Newman, Edward Jex and Aidan McLean were left to battle out the podium positions, with Sam ending up victorious from Edward and Aidan but only a minute separating all 3. Special mention must be made to Zac Mohammedbhai who had only just joined the club and completed his first ever triathlon.
In the girls race Christy Durbin was determined to beat Jessica Thorn as they had had so many close races throughout the season in the East Region League with Jess just coming out on top. The girls were battling it out on the bike course when for some inexplicable reason Jess got her counting wrong and came in 1 lap too early. It would have been so easy for Christy to have followed her in to transition and also get disqualified, but she stuck to her own counting and went on to win the race with Jordan Walters and Tara Cairns taking the other podium positions. Our final medical injury of the day also occurred in this race but in less dramatic fashion with Katie McAree getting off her bike with a back injury.
Finally we got some racing without incident with the Tristar 1 and Starts and the course and transition area started to get very busy.
With loads of kids on the course at the same time this put a load of pressure on the marshalls for lap counting and especially the time keepers when kids were coming through the finish line from different waves only a few seconds apart.
Many congratulations to Oliver Jex and Antonia Jubb who won the Tristar 1 races and Megan Gray and Mathew Enever who were the winners of the Tristar Start races. We also had 3 brand new members taking part in these races who had never competed in a triathlon before with Florence Crowley and Zara Mohammedbhai coming 2nd and 3rd in the Tristar 1 race and Daniel Mohammedbhai coming 2nd in the Tristar Start race.
After the race the kids headed off to the well stocked cake stand manned by the Chair of the club Hannah with her husband Robin manning the barbeque for the free hot dogs.
The big thing that came out of all the races was that all the kids gave 100% effort and used all the training that they have received throughout the season to the full. They all competed with a smile on their faces, even when the going got tough, and they maintained the Tri-Force ethic of supporting their fellow competitors and other members of the club as they raced.
From a race organization point of view, it also highlighted that our procedures for dealing with medical issues during a race (especially numerous ones at the same time) could do with some improvement and that will be addressed by the Committee over the coming months.
The Committee would like to thank all the helpers for manning registration, marshalling the swimming pool, lap counting and timekeeping, photography for the website and finally the race director for ensuring the event ran smoothly. Without all your help, events like this would be impossible to stage. A special thank you to Barry Thorn for supplying all the sound equipment and providing commentary on the race and Hannah Rayden, the girls captain, for marshaling in the pool and immediately after the final wave coming out on to the course to give her vocal encouragement.
The trophies were handed out by Frankie Durbin, one of the Tri-Force Junior coaches, who had only flown in that morning from Chicago, having competed for Great Britain in the age group aquathlon and triathlon world championships. The kids will hopefully have been inspired seeing the medals hanging round her neck.
And so to the full set of results:
|TriStar 3 Boys|
|TriStar 3 Girls|
|TriStar 2 Boys|
|TriStar 2 Girls|
|TriStar 1 Boys|
|TriStar 1 Girls|
|TriStar Start Boys|
|TriStar Start Girls|