Last Friday saw the worst of the weather for the week. Of course this was the day of our Triathlon training with GB Triathlon Board Member Paul Gardner and Cycling Coach Zoe Allsop.
Even though it rained and poured for the entire time we were there, our children were truly inspired by Paul and Zoe and the fact they gave their time in the pouring rain meant our young competitors had some fantastic transition training to help them get ahead in the race.
As Wednesday morning arrived, the long journey to Hereforshire began (not Hertfordshire as some originally thought). As we left we were basked in sunshine, hopefully a sign of the weather to come. Well we did have sunshine at Lucton School, we also had hail, sleet, wind and rain, but we were not going to let that dampen our spirits.
We always said that this year we were going for the experience and our expectations were to have a great day. There was a mixture of nerves and excitement as we attached numbers to our shirts and bikes. The buzz of participating in a national event was electrifying.
Our first competitors in TriStar 2 had racked their bikes, laid out their clothes for transition and were ready for the start in the pool. This is one of the gruellest races I have seen with our children having to cycle through hail and sleet, and then run in the rain. There was nothing I could see enjoyable about the race, but it did not stop the smiles coming through as the children passed the finishing line. If you ever wanted to see determination and grit in any child, that race was a prime example. Jess C and Lucy L started in a later wave than the boys but showing they could work just as hard, they put everything into the race and the weather couldn’t break the smiles on their faces either as they crossed the line. Congratulations has to go to Cormac N for finishing 4th out of the 104 competitors in the race and 3rd from the boys category.
After the break and racking up our younger competitors bikes, it was time for our year 5 and 4 pupils to get to the pool ready for the start of the TriStar 1 race. The year 4 boys were the first in the pool with George C and Toby G-K both starting well. They set the bar high, but the year 5’s followed their example and started strong. Out of the water and all the boys were strong on the bike with their head down and fighting the wind to get back to transition and start the run. I have to commend the year 4 boys in this race, they worked hard and finished with good positions. Another year in this category will see them pushing the top positions.
The year 5 boys came out fighting, knowing they want good positions they threw everything against the elements to gain some respectable positions. Oakley D had an unfortunate chain malfunction which cost him a few minutes but he showed perseverance when he was back up on the bike and determined to make up the time. Thomas T and Harry N put in a gruelling effort for top 10 positions and congratulations to Thomas T for his second place finish.
The youngest competitors competed in the final race for 8 year olds. What an amazing experience for these youngsters. Pushing themselves as hard as they could has clearly been a lesson learned. They worked so hard for their positions and it paid off. Gateway younglings picked up 1st, 2nd and 3rd position on the podium. An amazing achievement with Beth T picking up bronze, Olivia P picking up silver and Katie A (our very youngest at 6 years old) picking up gold.
To walk away with medals is amazing, but to see the smiles on their faces after they finish and knowing what a fantastic experience they have had is worth more than all the tangible rewards.
Thank you to Zoe Allsop for arranging the transition training with Paul Gardner, and a final huge thank you to all the parents for helping transport children to the event, this could not have happened without your sterling support.