Congratulations to John Egner on being selected to represent Great Britain juniors in two events recently. John has kindly written a report on both events – see below……..
European Biathle Championships 2017
Biathle is a continuous run, swim, run event. Each discipline is fairly short, for my age group (13-14) it was 800m run, 100m swim then finished with another 800m run.
On the 30th April 2017 I travelled down to Cheltenham to take part in a qualifying race to represent GB in the European Biathle championships 3 months later. I was in decent shape and raced hard for my spot on the team. It was the top 6 finishers that got in the team. I managed to finish 3rd.
3 months later I would be setting off to Portugal with my family, GB kit proudly in my bag. There were 2 heats the day before the final. The first 3 from each heat had automatic qualification together with the 10 fastest finishers. I felt great in the heat and went on to win it easily. I was prepared for the next day of racing.
So, heat done, now the final. We charged off on our first run along the sea front. I was feeling fit. We came back along the road and I’m in 3rd. Shoes throw off into our designated boxes, then dive into the ocean. I swam strongly and things were looking good for the second run. I stumbled out of the water and as a result was overtaken by a few competitors. Transition was good but what followed wasn’t. I tried to hit the run hard but something wouldn’t let me. Something wasn’t right. I crossed the line 11th , annoyed and disappointed with my performance.
On the positive side it was a great experience and I got an extra week off school.
International Youth Games 2017
I was selected to represent our local area in 4 days of competitive racing against athletes from the following countries, Denmark, Holland and Germany.
The first day I competed in an Aquathlon (400m swim 3k run) held at Lancaster University. The swim went well and I was out the water in 3rd , now the run. I hit the run hard as usual and caught a fellow team mate in the lead. I ran with him for a while but he eventually pulled away to take the win. Great, first and second awarded to the home team.
The next day was a Duathlon (2k run 8k bike 400m run). There was a small group in the lead for the run as the NW inter regional team were racing as well. It was me, my team mate and two boys on the NW team. It was a draft legal bike which meant nobody managed to get away. After about 6.5k the little group I was in stopped working together, partly my fault. Nobody would go to the front, causing a group of Danish riders to catch us up. Panic rose. We managed to stick with the Danish boys but me and my team mate were racing in cleats, the two NW boys in toe clips. We jumped off the bike but me and my mate having to put trainers on lost a few crucial seconds. We tried our hardest to catch the two NW boys but their lead going into the run was just too much.
The third day was more of a training day. We spent the morning at Capenwray open water swimming then the afternoon crit racing. The crit race was going well coming into the final two laps. I was in a decent position and fancied my chances in the sprint finish. Half a lap later I would find myself skidding across the tarmac. Game Over.
The final and most important day was a full triathlon (300m pool swim 8k ride 2.5k run). I swam well and was out of the water in third. Then had a great transition with my team mate. We caught a Dutch competitor in the early stages of the bike. However, we couldn’t catch the Danish athlete in the lead. We jump off our bikes. Me, my mate, then two Danish riders. I felt good running into transition. I started my run like usual, FAST, catching the Danish boy up front within 200m. Now it was just me and my fellow team mate left to battle it out over the 2.5k run. It came down to a sprint finish and I managed to take gold.
It was a great weekend of racing and learning. I shall never forget it.