National Super Series Grand Final – u20’s Festival 2015
Background on the event – Every year British Triathlon puts on a great weekend of racing for some of the best athletes in the country aged 11-19 years old. The under 20s festival incorporates the Inter-Regional Championships for the Tri-Star 2&3 age categories; allowing them to be selected by their region, to race the best in the country in their respected ages categories. This is key for their progression on to the National Super Series when they turn 15 years old. In addition to this, the National Youth and Junior Super Series joins the party with elite super sprint races for the youths (aged 15-16) and full elite sprint distance racing for the juniors (aged 17-19). It was great to see a lot of fast competitive racing from so many young and developing athletes throughout the whole day.
My Race – Going in to the race I knew that I had to be in the form of my life; never had been swimming, biking and running so fast. I was aiming for the front pack of a National Super Series race and world championship qualifier; something I have never done before, let alone thought about! The swim course we made up of two laps with three turn buoys on each lap. The first buoy was at 100m, very very close to the start! It was vital I had a strong start. So, the klaxon sounded, I dived forward and used all the get out speed I could to get to that first buoy as high up as I could. My start was a success, I made it to the first buoy in the top 10, avoiding most of the fists, kicks and dunkings. At this point it was starting to hurt a little but being able to push on after getting out, fast was something that I had practised many times with my club Team Bodyworks XTC over the summer. Going in to the second lap of the swim, I found some feet to sit on. Coming to the end of the swim a group of around twenty started to get a gap on the rest of the field. I did my best to bridge the gap and caught the tail end of the pack on the exit of the swim.
It was a good 150m run in to T1, I had the transition of my life, up to 4 seconds faster than some of those already exiting with the front pack. I would put this down to practise, a clear mind and the “fast exit legs” on the new Blueseventy Helix. Sadly the time I had made up in transition was soon lost faffing around trying to get my feet in, Typical. Now being a little frustrated and somewhat angry having done so much tradition practise. I attacked the bike with all my might to get on that pack but with attack after attack firing off the front of the front pack, the pace was very high and didn’t let up. People were however being dropped from the pack which gave me some people to work with. On a technical side, I road well; negotiating the chicanes and dead turns with efficiency and attack.
Coming in to T2 I had a good run in and whipped through transition like a bullet – great to see the practise was paying off. After a tough ride it was a painful run. Positives from it was that I managed to get going on the run pretty much from the start, not really having to search for my legs. My running technique is constantly improving too.
Looking back at how far I have come in this season is incredible. Starting the season in April and exiting the water in fourth pack and now finishing the season in the tail end of front pack, I couldn’t be much happier with the launch pad I have created myself going in to the winter and my final year as a junior.
As a mark of my progress I competed in the regional academy trials last weekend and since last year I knocked 20
seconds off my 400m Free time trial time and around 25 seconds off my 3km track time trial run time. Super happy with my progress. Still a way to go, more so in my running but a solid winter should see me up there next season!
I would like to say a massive thank you to my support team; Blueseventy, DNAFit, Blade Printing, Sport Aid, Team Bodyworks XTC and my local go to guys at The Tri Store.