The fourth running of the very popular relay initially attracted 51 competitors, our largest ever field with 3 late entrants willing to do an individual race and act as reserves for any drop outs of the relay teams.
The construction of the teams this year was probably the hardest that there has ever been as we had a number of kids who had been to some training sessions but never raced in a competitive environment so the Head Coach had to use his gut instinct on their abilities. With 12 teams constructed everything was looking fine until 2 days before the race when Amy Ireland and Benjamin Taggart sadly had to pull out due to illness which resulted in Toby Trewin and Sara Laitner taking their places but a reshuffle of a few teams. The bigger bombshell that hit us was on the Friday night being informed by Sandringham School that due to a problem with the pool we were not going to be able to use it. Frantic communications between the race director and other member of the Committee resulted in the race being changed to a duathlon and a quick review of the teams resulted in one or two further changes being made.
The day itself was at least dry although there was a chilly wind. The course was set up with a slightly shortened but much more technical bike course, the cake stall was in place run expertly by Hannah Avis and the speaker system was in place for great commentary by Barry Thorn.
For the organizers, the most stressful part is waiting at registration to see if all the team members would appear on the day. Of the 48 competitors expected, 47 turned up with the final one unfortunately not being able to make it due to a rugby tournament lasting much longer than expected. Up stepped Charlotte Laitner who has never done any para-multi sports events in the past but was keen to give it a go. Having registered, the kids then placed their bikes and helmets in transition on the racks with the help of the coaches.
Whereas in previous events all the teams have been published in advance, it had just not been possible to do it this year with all the last minute changes so all the kids congregated waiting for the announcements over the loud speakers as to which team named after a famous British triathlete they were in and who was their team captain. Having collected their race numbers and had their team photo it was over to the race director to provide an excellent race briefing ably assisted by Fiona demonstrating the various elements of a duathlon much to the amusement of many parents and the embarrassment of a certain young lady.
With race briefing complete, there was a lot of team bonding with the captains assisting their younger and less experienced team mates to answer any questions and calm any nerves. Interestingly the captain of team Jenkins took a very different approach and conducted a full stretching warm up he had learnt from school – would that be the differentiating factor????
On to the run start line came the 12 youngest competitors eagerly awaiting the starters whistle.
They set off for the first 400m run as if they were doing a 100m sprint and for the spectators and officials it was a great sight.
Having completed their first lap of the run they entered transition and put on their helmet and with the assistance of the coaches got their bikes off the rack to complete one lap of the bike course
before returning to transition replacing their bike and helmet for another lap of the run course before tagging their team mate.
The second leg competitors had to do an extra run and bike lap before handing over to the mainly Tristar 2, 3 and Youth competitors for the final 2 legs who had to run 5 laps in total and also complete 3 laps of the bike course.
There was tremendous support for the racers from all their team mates, probably the best there has ever been which in part was down to the fact those that had raced were not wet from a swim which was really great to see.
Like all relays the lead changed hands on multiple occasions which is part of the fun of the race. Coming into the final leg handover, there was very little to choose between teams Cave, Jenkins, Steadman and Stanford and there was always the threat of team Simpson who had the Boys Captain Matt Honeyman on the final leg who on paper was the quickest of all the team captains but had a lot of ground to make up. By the end of the race team Jenkins had taken the lead to win by 24 seconds from team Stanford and team Cave a further 39 seconds back. Disappointingly for the organizers who had put the teams together, the teams were not closer together as in previous years with over 8 minutes separating first and last, although the top 6 had less than a 3 minute gap between them. A lot of this has to be attributed to the last minute change from a triathlon to a duathlon which definitely suited the winners.
On to the prizes and as well as trophies for the top 3 teams, team Wellington were also given a consolation medal for competing so well despite coming last and Charlotte Laitner from team Holland was also given a medal for completing her first ever para-duathlon.
Many observers noted that the top 2 teams were probably the smallest and youngest of all the teams competing.
The committee would like to thank everybody who help out in the week leading up to the race and also on the day with the setup of the course, marshaling, commentary and selling goodies from the cake stall. Finally special mention for the race director who had finished a very successful first season in that position running 4 races.
Full results and links to team photos can be found below:
|1st||TEAM JENKINS||View Images|
|Emily Manson||Tom Pruett|
|Ben Crooks||James Mabbs||51.38|
|2nd||TEAM STANFORD||View Images|
|Robbie Laird||Oliver Jex|
|Christy Durbin||Jessica Thorn||52.02|
|3rd||TEAM CAVE||View Images|
|Lucy Crooks||Tommy Groth|
|Daniel Ireland||Lauren Enever||52.41|
|4th||TEAM SIMPSON||View Images|
|Noah Brown||Maisy Manson|
|Maggi Visagie||Matthew Honeyman||53.24|
|5th||TEAM STEADMAN||View Images|
|Mathew Enever||Florence Crowley|
|Grace Dommett||Alannah Mabbs||53.54|
|6th||TEAM HOLLAND||View Images|
|Charlotte Laitner||Barnaby Williams|
|Antonia Jubb||Hannah Trotman||54.35|
|7th||TEAM JOHNNY B||View Images|
|Toby Trewin||Sara Laitner|
|Wolfie Millard||Emily Rayden||56.22|
|8th||TEAM DON||View Images|
|Ciro Sadikot||Tom Rayden|
|Jordan Walters||Naomi Holt||56.46|
|9th||TEAM JOYCE||View Images|
|Megan Gray||Cara Visagie|
|Tara Cairns||Jessica Laitner||57.06|
|10th||TEAM ALISTAIR B||View Images|
|Sammy Groth||Francesca Paganuzzi|
|Edward Jex||Izzy West||57.52|
|11th||TEAM HALL||View Images|
|Katy Manson||Will Tweedie|
|Katie McAree||Hannah Rayden||59.21|
|12th||TEAM WELLINGTON||View Images|
|Mackenzie Holt||Joy Walters|
|Joe Tweedie||Sarah Crooks||59.52|