Last Friday saw James McLaughlin compete in the U15 British Triathlon Interregional Championships at The National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham. James had qualified along with Sammy Hart (another Team Kennet and NDSC teammate who unfortunately was unable to make the event) to represent the South Central region (Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire) against the 11 other English Regions, Wales and Scotland. The event was part of the British U20 Triathlon Festival. James who competes for Team Kennet Athletics and Triathlon Club and Newbury District Swimming Club is the first athlete from either of these clubs to compete at the championships. The event which followed the same rules as the elite triathlon events that the Brownlee brothers race in, started with a 350m swim from a dive start followed by a 5km drafting cycle and finally a 2.5km run. James had a good swim coming in towards the back of the main swim pack. The cycle leg was difficult as it was so short and although he managed to overtake a number of competitors he was unable to get into the main cycle pack. Finishing off with a strong run though he was soon picking up places coming through the field to finish in a fantastic 21st place in the UK, in his first year in the age-group.
Team Kennet Success at Wellington Triathlon
Sam Hart represented Team Kennet at the Wellington Triathlon on Sunday 3rd August. After a successful season in Junior Triathlon winning the South Central Series, this was Sam’s first entry in a Senior Triathlon event. With 177 other competitors Sam took on the Super Sprint Distance (200m swim / 16km Bike / 5km Run). Sam gave a fantastic performance finishing in 56:07, a time good enough to put him in 4th position overall and 3rd in the under 40 age group category. A great result for Sam and Team Kennet.
Sam’s dad, Simon, also took part in the triathlon in the sprint distance and finished in a very reasonable 26th place overall – 5th in his category 50-59
Team Kennet Junior Triathlon – Further Success at Eton and Andover
It has been an Action packed two weeks for the Team Kennet Junior Triathletes with races at Eton Dorney and Andover;
Human Race Supertri race at Eton Dorney: This year the event was a sell out with many more junior triathletes present. The race was being used as a key race by many of the UKs regions, and most of the best athletes from Birmingham southwards were present. As we have come to expect, Dorney Lake was bathed in sunshine but thankfully temperatures were cooler than last year. Team Kennet was well represented with Guy Hutchins, Alex McLaughlin and Cameron McCulloch taking part in the 8-10 (TriStart and T1) category; Charlie Hart, Holly Hutchins and Lucy Draper taking part in the T2 category; James McLaughlin and Sammy Hart in the T3 High Performance Drafting Race, and Rory McCulloch in the T3 Fun category; and finally Alex McCulloch in the Youth Fun Category.
Sammy and James were first up in the T3 Draft Legal race, their first experience of full elite level racing, with a really high quality field of 50. Both had reasonable swims and exited the water in middle of the field with Sammy ahead of James, both worked hard on the bikes gaining a few places before hitting the run. Sammy clearly struggling with the effects of a cold managed to hold onto 17th place, James gained another place on the run to come 24th.
In the T1 race, there was a tough battle between Guy Hutchins and Alex McLaughlin, with a great final run Alex came out on top finishing in 7th place with Guy 10th, out of 127 finishers, and outstanding performance from both boys. In the girls race Cameron McCulloch finished in 54th place, improving her position from last year by over 20 places.
The T2 race again saw some more impressive performances with an excellent swim and bike and run from Holly Hutchins to get 8th place and Lucy Draper in her first year in the age-group coming 38th. Charlie Hart also in his first year in the age-group came 47th in the boy’s race.
Rory McCulloch raced in the T3 fun race came putting in a solid display to come 38th. And in the final race of the day Alex McCulloch came 21st in the girl’s youth Fun race.
Finally it was Andover and he last of this years triathlon series
Andover Triathlon: This year’s event was the largest it has ever been with large field in most of the age-groups. The race was the final round in the South Central Series, and the last round of Team Kennet’s race programme. This year it was fantastic to see the largest number of Team Kennet Triathletes competing at one event with 12 present. It was really impressive to see the effort they all put in and how much they have all improved. 2 athletes Phoebe Hoaen and Ruth Wyatt were taking part in their first ever triathlon.
In the T1 race, Cameron McCulloch in the girl’s race finished an excellent in 24th place, managing to keep smiling all the way round. Whilst in the boys Guy Hutchins put in a fantastic swim, which he followed with his usual strong bike to come 6th Boy, Alex McLaughlin despite starting well struggled on the run but kept going, finishing in 28th place.
The T2 Girls race again saw some more impressive performances with excellent swims and bikes and runs from all the girls, Holly Hutchins came 4th, continuing the form she has showed over the last 3 weeks, Phoebe Hoaen in her first ever tri a superb 5th and Lucy Draper in her first year a very promising 11th. In the boy’s race Charlie Hart also in his first year in the age-group rounded off his season with 15th place.
Rory McCulloch, Sammy Hart, James McLaughlin and Ruth Wyatt were in the T3 race. This week Sammy was back to his majestic best, taking the lead on the bike, he disappeared on the run to win by over a minute. James following used his great bike to work his way up the field, before after a hard battle on the run he had to settle for a fantastic 3rd place. Rory was in the second wave, worked hard across all three disciplines to take 23rd place. Ruth had a fantastic swim and run to come 9th Girl in her first triathlon.
Overall we have seen some outstanding performances across the summer, it has been great to have so many children have a go at triathlon either at training or in competition and I hope that many more will be inspired to have a go in the future.
As a final bonus the series results for the south central region were announced with Sammy Hart winning the T3 category for both triathlon and multisport and James McLaughlin coming third again in both triathlon and multisport.
Portsmouth and Bowood Triathlons Race Reports
Last weekend saw a number of our young triathletes taking part In triathlons;
First up on Saturday 28th June was Lucy Draper who was taking part in the Bowood Triathlon, set in the picturesque ground of Bowood house Calne; taking part in the non drafting wave, she initially struggled with the open water swim, finding her wetsuit difficult to swim in, however once on dry land she found her speed and across the cycle and run sections came through the field to take 4th place.
Sunday 29th June was Portsmouth Triathlon: Before the kids would compete it was the dads turn to show the kids how it should be done, with Gavin McLaughlin and Sam Hart taking part in the first (over 40) wave. The swim was a real struggle with a really strong current for the return leg of the swim (so much that a fair few competitors had to rescued before they were swept under the pier), however both dads emerged in competitive positions with Gavin out in 4th and Sam out in 7th. Once out of the water they entered the pancake flat multi lap cycle route which, on closed roads, was a dream to ride and had both men speeding along with the encouragement of the kids (on the last lap) before setting fourth on the run. A swift-ish 5km later they had crossed the line with Gavin getting 3rd in the 45-49 age-group and Sam winning the 50-55 age-group. The winner of our race was world age-group champion in 2012.
Example set, it was the turn of the kids. The first race was T3 age-group with James McLaughlin and Sammy Hart competing, a great swim saw them emerging from the water in 5th and 3rd respectively, before a superb T1 from James meant he was first out onto the cycle, closely followed by Sammy. Unfortunately after the duo had built a good lead on the field a marshal sent them the wrong way, which meant all their good work was undone, they refused to give up and chased back through the cycle pack entering T2 in 2nd and 3rd place. James bad luck hadn’t finished though, as getting off his bike he found he had cut his foot open during T1, refusing to give up he battled round the run to finish in 5th. Sammy had set off with his usual fluid running style and by half way had chased down the lead runner, passing him he quickly built a commanding lead taking the win with style (and matching his Dad).
Next to enter the water was Charlie Hart and Holly Hutchins in the T2 race. It was Holly’s first open water swim but she put in an excellent swim coming out in 4th place, with Charlie slightly further back in 11th. Out onto the bike Charlie started to improve his position, while Holly found it a bit harder and dropped back couple of places. Coming into T2 both were going well and after some great runs Charlie had made it up to 8th place, while Holly had managed to fight back to 4th.
The final race for the Team Kennet athletes was for the T1s, Alex McLaughlin and Guy Hutchins were competing, buy now both were well used to the water having been in and out of the sea for the previous hour. Guy had a good first open water swim getting out of the water in 8th place, Alex with his best swim of the year just in front in 6th place. After the usual struggle to remove the wetsuits, they were off onto the cycle seemingly locking into their own private battle for the who would get back to T2 first, the competition certainly helped and by T2 they had closed on the others in front. Exiting T2 together, Alex pushed on and worked his way up in the run to finish in joint 4th place, Guy ran well to hold onto 7th place.
Guy and Holly are be doing the Portsmouth, Eaton Dorney and the Andover triathlon as a triple triathlon challenge to raising funds for Cancer Research in memory of Guy’s godmother. If you want to support them their website is https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/louisehutchins1
Sammy Hart takes second place and leads the South Central T3 rankings
Last Sunday, 1 June, was the first round of the South Central Triathlon Series with a visit to Eastleigh for the Fleming Park Junior Triathlon. This time we had 5 Junior Triathletes were competing. Alex McLaughlin (T1) went first with a much improved swim but struggled on the bike and had to drop out on the run having not got over an illness. Lucy Draper(T2), fresh from her first triathlon (the Oldbury White Horse Children’s Tri where she had come 3rd) raced hard coming in 4th in her wave and 7th overall in the T2 girls, missing 6th by second. Charlie Hart (T2) had a great swim bike and run to finish in 11th place, again just missing a top 10 result by a second. Sammy Hart and James McLaughlin were in the T3 boys. Sammy was in the first wave and had an excellent swim coming out in the top 2 into transition, from there he quickly pulled away on the bike and by the time he was on the run he had completed two complete laps before the next competitor started, finishing well clear of the rest of the field, he then had to wait for the second wave. James was in the second wave which turned out had the stronger triathletes, leaving the water in third place he struggled on the bike with shortness of breath and sensibly stepped of the course during the run. Sammy’s wait unfortunately ended when the winner of the second wave just beat his time pushing him into second place, however as the other boy was from outside the region he continues to lead the South Central region standings.
The next round is the Portsmouth Triathlon on Sunday 29th June.