No gala or time trials on a Saturday … what do hungry piranhas do? Go to a triathlon instead!
Bea Pauley, Ava Lessing-Caller and Havanah Miller competed in the Kimbolton Tri in July and today followed this up with the sister race in Roade, Northampton. They were joined by first time triathletes, but Piranhas stalwarts Emma Leslie and Livvy Pearce.
This junior tri is part of the regional championship series so the regions best were there competing for points – the quality of the field was very high and as always the event was very well organised.
9-10 year olds
Seeding was by swim times only, and at around 4:23 Bea was off followed shortly after by Ava – their race was a 100m swim, 1600m bike and 800m run.
Bea kindly lent Ava her spare bike (as Ava’s mountain bike weighed almost as much as her) and this definitely helped as Ava biked over a minute faster than her previous best time.
Bea has another year left in this age group so I am sure she will figure high in the rankings next year.
11-12 year olds
Havanah was up next and with a really decent swim and bike leg behind her came the run … and believe me this girl can run!! She floated across the ground and never looked like she was remotely tired … smiling each lap (her age group distance was 150m swim, 2400m bike and 1200m run) and finishing in a very respectable time.
A short way behind Havanah in the start list (with a faster swim time) was triathlon newbie Emma Leslie (also on 150m swim, 2400m bike and 1200m run). After a strong swim, as expected, she got into transition for the first time ever and was held up with a technicality for nearly 3 minutes, getting colder and colder while the judges sorted things out. After this slight upset, Emma started out on her unknown discipline, the bike, and showed that great endurance in swimming is great endurance in sport full stop. A decent bike time and a second, but this time uneventful transition, she was out on the run. Her earlier interruption and tough bike leg resulted in stomach cramps and a stitch early into the run element and despite Emma being a very decent runner she was severely hampered by cramps for the whole run. Did she give up? Of course not … Piranhas are made of steel … she kept going and despite her obvious discomfort finished her first tri.
13-14 year olds
Last but by no means least was Livvy Pearce with the longest tri of our team at 200m swim, 3200m bike and 1600m run. We had seen Livvy multisport before at the Hinchingbrooke Aquathon swim and run (which she won) but as with Emma this was her first tri event and the bike was an unknown element.
Her swim was as you would expect from Livvy … gutsy and quick, overtaking 2 swimmers in the 200m swim who had a 40sec start on her!!
Fast through transition and onto her bike Livvy was looking strong, when half way around the first bike leg she started to cough and sneeze? Her original pace on the bike looked fast enough but now she had started to slow? What was up? The ground staff had mowed the field the previous day and half of the course was covered in freshly mowed grass and Livvy suffers from severe hay fever!! She finished her 4 laps despite this and then a super fast transition and onto the run. Livvy is normally a very quick runner over 400 and has a sub 6 minute 1600 time……but she continued to struggle and ground to a halt gaping for breath … so a DNF right? … you have to be kidding! Again despite being in difficulty and finding it tough to breath Livvy tougher it out and ran the 4 laps in obvious discomfort and finished with a flourishing sprint.
Once again Piranhas had a great bunch of kids, friends with each other and supporting each other despite the age ranging from 9-14. They all sat together, all helped each other, all cheered each other and when they saw someone struggling were there to help.
How very proud I was as a parent, a friend and a coach.
As a dad I was extremely proud of my daughter for her time, effort speed and performance. As a coach i was proud of Bea and Havanah their speed and effort on all 3 disciplines and as a coach/team manager/friend i was very very proud of Emma and Livvy who could have very easily given up and not finished … triathlon is new to them … neither of them bike much … no one would have thought less of them … but they both toughed it out and finished their first tri :-)
Well done to all 5 girls!
Where are the boys?
Watch out … Dom Pauley and Max Lessing-Caller are old enough to enter next year and they are both already heavily in training already on all 3 disciplines.