After the previous weeks IRC event it was back to the East Region League and a brand new event hosted by West Suffolk Wheelers and Triathlon Club at the impressive grounds of Culford School in Bury St Edmunds.
13 Tri-Force Juniors made the journey and were really looking forward to a nice dry triathlon for once. Alas just as we arrived the heavens opened and it absolutely tipped it down which made setting up transition a really unpleasant job. In the end the kids sought shelter under the bright orange gazebo provided by Mike Weston.
Thankfully by the time the racing started the rain had stopped and stayed off until the end of the event.
First to go was Amelia Weaire in the Tristar 1 Girls race. Amelia had a 9th place swim and despite a slightly slow transition which cost her a place came out on to the very flat and not too technical bike course in 10th place. As she hadn’t seen any of the other Tri-Force competitors beforehand, she got a real surprise on the bike to be greeted by a vociferous set of club members and parents cheering her on. An excellent 6th place on the bike but yet again a slow transition meant she had not changed her overall position coming on to the run. She tried really hard on the run and her 13th place in that discipline meant she came in an excellent 11th place overall.
Also in the Tristar 1 girls race was the ever smiling Antonia Jubb. Immediately in front of Antonia in the snake swim was one of her main competitors from PACTRAC which meant for once she was doing the chasing rather than being chased. Antonia is well known for her swimming and yet again she was the quickest of all the girls and came out on the bike in 1st place with a 23 second lead. Like a lot of Tri-Force competitors her comparatively weakest discipline is the bike and a 3rd place in that discipline meant she had lost her overall lead and unbeknown to her with the staggered start times was now 2 seconds behind another one of her big rivals from Tri Anglia. With the girl from PACTRAC being just in front of her on the run course acting as a target, although behind on time, Antonia ran superbly and a huge burst of speed on the final lap of the run course meant she had the fastest run time and won the event with 5 seconds to spare.
The Tristar 2 Girls club representatives were Sophie Mabbs and Christy Durbin.
Sophie was in a very positive and determined frame of mind after the previous week’s race where she had competed pain free for the first time this season. The normal pattern of events continued with Sophie being the fastest swimmer and out on to the bike course with an 18 second lead on her arch rival from PACTRAC. Sophie cycled the best she has done all season probably helped by the fact the course was less technical and the grass very smooth which required less physical power than other events. Although she was 3rd on the bike, she had in fact maintained her overall lead and was 6 seconds ahead at the start of the run. A second place on the run actually meant she had extended her overall lead to win the race with 15 seconds in hand.
Christy was in 7th place after her swim and for once did not lose ground on her rivals in transition – in fact quite the opposite as she picked up 2 places to be in 5th place at the start of the cycle. Christy does a lot of cycling and probably would have favoured a more challenging course, but an excellent 5th place meant she had maintained her overall position coming on to the run where she found Sophie hot on her heels. As Sophie passed her she managed to stay very close to her and used her as a target which resulted in a superb 3rd place run, her best of the season.
Sadly all the girls in front of her also had good runs and although she closed the gap she was still in 5th place overall but just 11 seconds off the podium.
The Tristar 2 Boys were represented by 2 old adversaries Sam Newman and William Hughes who hadn’t competed very much this season.
Sam wrote the following about his race – yet another calamity!!!!!:
“It was frustrating to have yet another downpour just before the race again – when will we have a race with good weather? The swim was OK, but I had to make up time after coming 15th out of 28 boys. The cycle course was quite open, without too many tricky bits, so you could get round quite quickly and I made up time. Unfortunately, my brakes failed just as I was about to enter transition, so to avoid careering into transition and hurting someone, I had to leap off the bike and crash land further round the course. I then had to retrace my steps, pushing the bike, and lost loads of time – I only came 12th on the bike as a result (my brakes were fine at the end of the race, thank goodness). (For some reason my Dad has a different view of what happened, based on what the club’s webmaster saw. They claim I miscounted my cycle laps and shot past transition, only to be called back and I crashed in my panic. Really? I think my version of events is much more plausible!) The run was better as I finished 7th. I came 10th out of 28, but felt it could have been much better without my cycling mishaps.”
William was just ahead of Sam in the swim in 13th place, but probably through a lack of practice lost another place in transition to find himself 4 seconds behind Sam at the commencement of the cycle. William pushed really hard on the bike and had an excellent 10th place and moved up 5 places to start the run in 9th place and absolutely level on time with Sam. William is normally very strong on the run but probably due to his lack of practice pacing races suffered with a really bad stitch on the run and was a disappointing 16th= on the run which dropped him back to 12th overall but more disappointingly for him meant Sam had beaten him by 25 seconds.
Will the roles be reversed at our event the following week?
The largest contingent of Tri-Force Junior competitors was in the Tristar 3 Girls race with Tori Weston, Emily Rayden, Alannah Mabbs and Hannah Newman.
Despite Tori being a younger age band competitor she has had a very strong season and so it was to prove in this race. Tori is a very strong swimmer and was in 2nd place when she jumped on her bike 18 seconds behind the home favourite and with a very strong Discovery Tri cyclist right on her tail. Tori then had an excellent 2nd place on the bike and although had been overtaken by the girl from Discovery she had overtaken the West Suffolk Wheelers competitor. Unfortunately a slow transition as she had to put her trainers on meant she was in 3rd place on the exit of the second transition. A 3rd place run maintained her overall 3rd place and a podium position.
Friendly hostilities were renewed between Emily & Alannah, with the latter desperate to reverse the result from 2 weeks previously in Chelmsford. Emily made the much better start with an excellent 3rd place swim and a 35 second lead over Alannah who was in 6th place. Alannah cut the deficit by 9 seconds with the second fastest transition and set off in pursuit on her bike with the added advantage of her brother acting as a target in front of her – nothing like sibling rivalry to make the pedals go quicker, and so it proved with Alannah’s best bike ride of the season – a 3rd place. Emily meanwhile struggled more on the bike with a 9th place and found herself 25 seconds and 1 place behind Alannah in 5th place overall. Thanks to Emily’s 6th= place on the run she maintained her 5th place overall but had also managed to overhaul Alannah with 7 seconds to spare. Alannah had expended so much energy on the bike that she struggled on the run but still finished in 6th place.
Hannah wrote the following about her race – and tried to get in on the Newman calamity stakes before the race even started!!!!!!
“Despite nearly missing my start time (due to gossiping with the other girls in the changing room) the swim went well. I like snake swims and I came in 7th out of 18. I then proceeded to lose any time gained with a slow transition of 55 seconds (My Dad asked if I had a cup of tea whilst I was changing over! The cheek!). The cycle was good and I am learning all the time – my Dad had encouraged me to stand on my pedals, to get some speed up in the faster parts of the course – I did this for about a second but perhaps I should have done it for longer……! Anyway, something to work on I suppose, along with my use of gears. The run went really well and I made up time finishing 10th. I came 12th out of 18 girls, which I think is my best result as a newbie in Tri3. If only my cycling was better / quicker. Grrrrr!”
Yet again James Mabbs was the only Tri-Force Junior in the Tristar 3 Boys race and for some reason needed quite a lot of persuasion beforehand to take part – he eventually got his kit into transition with 5 minutes to spare. James was in 12th place after the swim and a good first transition moved him up to 10th place as he entered the bike course. A good 7th= place on the bike meant that he had moved another 2 places up the leaderboard when he started the run. Ironically as he came round for his second lap of the run who should appear in front of him out of transition but his elder sister Alannah. Now was his time to get revenge on her overtaking him on the bike and he set off in hot pursuit and caught up and passed her quite quickly – honours even thank heavens!!!!! James was 7th on the run and 7th overall and second of the younger age band competitors.
Finally it was the Youth categories turn to compete and the club were represented by the girl’s captain Hannah Rayden and boy’s vice captain Adam Hughes and they had near identical races. Hannah and Adam would both admit that swimming is their weakest of the 3 disciplines and so it proved with both of them having to chase hard after an 8th and 11th place respectively.
Hannah was not as strong as normal on the bike and her 8th place meant she was not able to make up any places overall but did manage to close on a few of her closest challengers thanks to the quickest transition of all the girls in her race. Hannah then came on to her favourite run section and the fastest run of all meant she surged through the field to come an excellent 4th overall.
As if Adam’s race wasn’t hard enough, he then had issues with his bike chain coming off which meant he last valuable time fixing it but still managed an 8th place on the bike which had moved him up 1 place overall. Just like Hannah he had a really quick run – 3rd place, despite thinking he was on his final lap when he had one to go, and moved up another 2 places to come 8th overall which given all his problems during the race was a very good result.