British Triathlon Under 20's Festival
So here we are, the final race of the year and my life as a junior athlete. Yes, that's right I'm going to be racing with the big boys next year as a u23/senior athlete. In some ways is incredible looking back to when I made my national racing debut as a Tristar 2 back in 2009; A tall and somewhat chubby kid racing for the South East Team in Wales. I finished 17th or 18th and the Team second overall. Being part of such a spectacular festival of sport the Under 20s festival is; it brought back a lot of memories, how far I have come, developed as a person, reminding me of all the amazing people I have met along the triathlon journey.
Right bringing it back to this year and this weekend. Jetting all the way up to Scotland was always going to be fun. In the days before the race I had multiple opportunities to recce the course. It was tough. Technical tight corners, rolling short-sharp climbs and fast decent were going to make for super fast racing!
Race day was here, there as a clear sky and no wind, perfect for racing! We dived in to the loch and the race was on. The 8 buoy swim course was technically challenging and a good start was key. I exited the water just off the front pack and with second pack very close behind. I had a very good T1 with the Blueseventy Helix whipping off a treat! My plan no matter what was to hit the first lap of the bike hard, break up the groups. I found myself with a group of 15ish guys. By the end of lap 1 we had dropped to around 10 - just what I wanted a good sizes pack with guys working well at the front. From here on a sat in feeling rather guilty and let people rotate on the front. I knew the hills and Technical sections would create fatigue anyway. So I let the laps tick past and as a pack we made some ground on the lead group. Coming in to T2, I was placed around mid pack not amazing if I'm honest. [now for the past month I have been running off the bike hard and fast, now was time to use it in a race] I set out fast but in control. In the first KM I over took a good 6-7 people and then settled in to a pace chasing those ahead. I knew I had to keep the heat on as I knew there was a small cluster of guys just 5m off the back of me. With 800m to go the three came up on to my shoulder. 400m to go, one kicks, I shift through the gears and I follow on his shoulder, along with the two others. 150m to go the sprint opens up and I'm shifting through gears, clutching at things in my toolbox in a bid to go with them.
I may have lost out on the sprint but to run faster than I ever have before and put myself in a position to do well, I was really happy to pull it all together after my disaster at Liverpool a few weeks ago.
It was nice to finish off my junior career on a high. What's next for me!? Well who knows! At the moment I'll continue to compete on the national series and maybe some European Cups. In the following years maybe I'll transfer over to the long course world but that's yet to be decided.
Finally I Just want to say massive thank you to all the friends and family that have supported me this year. Also a huge thank you to the brands that have helped me in so many different ways: Blueseventy, Blade Printing, Brighton University, Team Bodyworks and The Tristore. You have all been amazing.