Thursday, November 24, 2011

Noted triathalete Marcus, with one of his biggest fans

Marcus competed in the Schools Challenge triathalon today. Last year he was the runner in a team of three boys - this year he did it all as an individual competitor. We have all been a bit nervous about his bike - its pretty shabby compared to a lot of the other kids'. But I brushed off the cobwebs and most of the rust spots, and had it looking reasonably respectable.

We went over to Bellerive Beach to watch. The race starts on the beach, with a run into the water, then a swim (or wade) out and around a buoy, then along the beach for 50 metres, wade up onto shore and run into the Transition Zone to get on the bike. Marcus did a bit of practice of quickly towelling the feet dry and getting the shoes and socks on, but in the moment he decided just to pull them on over his wet feet. And it worked out fine.

The ride is 2.5km, on a slightly sloping out/back course. We didn't see any of the bike leg - there is a very large parent pack trying to follow the race, doing transitions of their own, and we were stuck in the middle of that. So we headed for a spot where we could see and encourage Marcus as he headed off for the run.

When he came by he was about 30th of around 50 kids, but looking very fresh. The run leg is only 500 metres, but up and back down a reasonable stiff gradient. He did very well and caught up quite a bit - he thinks he finished about 20th.

The organisers did a sterling job. There were apparently 1100 bikes there today - that is a lot to keep track of, quite apart from the kids themselves. Everything ran on time, and there was general air of relaxed but effective control of the whole thing. We thought the whole thing was terrific.

© PMC Photography

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