The weather was thankfully dry and warmer than had been forecast for the 48 parents, kids and coaches who took part in the practice aquathlon.
The course was set up to mirror as close as possible the course at Upminster which a number of the Tri-Force Juniors were going to be competing in a couple of weeks later so that they would hopefully know exactly what to do. This meant that each run lap covered 600m with 2 turn around points and the entrance into transition had a number of tight turns.
First off were the 6 parents / relatives of Tri-Force Juniors with the standard ranging from complete novice to accomplished triathletes. The winners were Dan and Dani Pruett who even had time to greet each other on the run course!!!!!!!
The first wave of kids contained a mixed bag of ages and abilities – 2 youth boys, a Tristar 3 boy and a para tri girl. The Youth boys was a very tight affair with Oliver Davis and Adam Hughes the boys captain coming out of the pool in an identical time and for a lot of the time Adam sat on Oliver’s shoulder on the run
until gradually Oliver pulled away to win by just over 30 seconds.
James Mabbs the boys vice captain unfortunately had no one to race against but the used the race as practice for the first East Region event of the season.
Charlotte Laitner had never down an aquathlon before but as she had enjoyed the relay event last year was keen to give it a go and showed just like her sisters what a good swimmer she is. With a huge smile on her face, everyone cheered her on to the finish.
The Youth girls had two very different sets of standards varying between the ultra keen Jessica Laitner who stormed round the course in her 2 favourite events (she was so glad there was not a bike!!!!) to win by nearly 3 minutes from the girls vice captain Naomi Holt, and the girls captain Alannah Mabbs who waited and then walked
and ran with her friend Ellie Wood to ensure she finished the course. Unfortunately due to a swim length miscount Ellie ended up doing 2 extra lengths.
Special mention must be made to Roslyn Chase who had never done an aquathlon before and came out of the pool in 3rd place only to be overtaken by Hannah Trotman in the run. Roslyn obviously enjoyed the experience enough to have joined the club – welcome and hope you enjoy your time with Tri-Force Juniors.
Unfortunately Christy Durbin had to pull out prior to the event due to injury which left 5 Tristar 3 girls, 4 of whom were moving up to the longer distances. As expected Jess Thorn who competes on the East Region circuit led throughout, but there was a very close battle between Jordan Walters, Izzy West and Tara Cairns who finished within a minute of each other. Tara gave it her all trying to catch Izzy for 3rd place.
Sadly Katie McAree did not finish due to a shoulder injury which was hampering her on the run.
Unfortunately most of the Tristar 2 boys who were to compete at Upminster in a fortnight’s time were unable to compete in the race which meant that only 3 boys took part – 2 of whom had never competed in an aquathlon before. A close race was eventually decided by an excellent run from Zac Mohammedbhai, followed by a hard fought battle for 2nd place which was won by Oliver Jex over Luke Muller.
The Tristar 2 girls race was the closest of all the races with 4 of the 6 girls finishing within a minute and a quarter of each other and giving it absolutely everything.
Sara Laitner, who was the most experienced racer taking part, was under some pressure to emulate her 2 sisters who had already won and was really pleased when she also won – so there could be no family arguments.
Not far behind were 2 complete novices in Hannah Barker and Iorwen Ellis with Maisy Manson coming in just behind them in 4th place. Hopefully Hannah and Iorwen enjoyed the experience and we will see them at more events in the future as they obviously have a lot of talent. To put the performance of the other girls into perspective Sara subsequently won both the East Region Aquathlons.
On to the Tristar 1s with 11 competitors in all. In the swimming pool yet again the boys were a study of concentration while the girls just could not stop talking!!!!!!!!
The 6 Tristar 1 boys had a vast array of experience ranging from Jonathan Bint and Tom Pruett who had been competing fairly regularly for over a year to 2 new members Josh Langstone and Logan Cottenden and Harley Jack who turned up on the day to give an aquathlon a go.
Transition became very busy with 4 of them all out at the same time
however experience told in the end with Jonathan beating Tom by 45 seconds and he even had time to greet Ciro Sadikot en-route.
It was really great seeing the smiles on so many of the boy’s faces who were obviously enjoying the race.
The battle for 3rd place was eventually settled with Josh beating Logan and then not far behind Harley put in a big finish to pip Ciro by just 2 seconds.
It was now the 5 girls turn to take to the water as at last they had finished chatting. The novice of the quintet was Louisa Muller who had never raced before.
The Manson twins Katy and Emily had a real head to head battle against each other – obviously after family bragging rights!!!! Katy eventually beat her sister by 18 seconds. Megan Gray and Mackenzie Holt had had a number of battles in the younger age band the previous year, and today was no exception with Megan managing to get the better of Mackenzie this time for 3rd place. Louisa quite naturally was very unsure how to pace the race and with the help of her sibling cheering her on
crossed the line with a big grin having thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The final kids race had Rebecca Bint and Dylan Jack as the two Tristar Starts. Rebecca obviously has learnt a few things while watching her older brother compete and was definitely not camera shy with a huge grin across her face. The two of them had a very close race with Rebecca’s superior swimming beating Dylan’s superior running by 10 seconds. Hopefully that was the first of many races they will compete in.
The coaches race completed the day’s events with a lot of banter between the 5 of them. Unfortunately a shoulder injury meant Grant could not take part and Ian just wimped out complaining of cold weather – ok it was not as warm as his native South Africa!!!!!
As expected Andy Holt the ex water polo international was always going to be the top swimmer and so came out of the pool with a big lead. Mike Walters and Mike Jubb were the next 2 to enter transition and while Mike Jubb set off in pursuit of Andy, Mike Walters had already decided he wasn’t going to do much running before pulling out of the event. Mike Jubb gradually ate into Andy’s lead and overtook him with a couple of laps to go to win the race (some competitors reckoning he was trying far too hard!!!!!) with arms raised
while Andy crossed the line is a rather different vein.
Sean, the Head Coach, found himself last out of the pool and has vowed he needs to do a lot more swim training rather than coaching the seniors. This meant that Paul Durbin was well ahead on the run, and Paul had the advantage of Sean having just exited transition as he completed his first lap of the run to act as a target. Paul stalked Sean for a number of laps gradually getting closer before overtaking him on the last lap.
The Committee would like to thank all the parents who volunteered to help set up the course, register the competitors and marshal the event. Without you help it would not be possible to stage such events. Also a big thanks to the coaches who manned transition to make sure all of the kids, especially the newbies, felt comfortable and knew what to do.
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