Juniors help swell entries to more than 140 in first club triathlon

GRANT SPEIRS - TRIATHLON ROUNDUP
Last updated 13:37 23/01/2013

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OPINION: The first club triathlon for 2013 was at Linton Army Camp two Sundays back with more than 140 competing. The long course involved running 5km, cycling 20km and swimming 400m.

Local athlete Chris Sanson led from start to finish to win in 55min 11sec from Damian Lardner (58min 16sec) and Nick Bailey (1hr 0min 25sec). Kelly Carter was the first woman home in 1hr 12min 12sec.

It was also pleasing to see a large number of under-14-year-olds competing in the smaller courses with Ben Orr the first boy to finish in 21min 18sec and Tori Bendall the first girl home in 21min 49sec.

■ Hamish Hammond raced at the Pegasus Triathlon at Christchurch on January 13 and finished an incredible third overall in the elite men in 1hr 2min 1sec.

Jaimee Leader has had an excellent start to her triathlon season. She spent a week in December in Auckland and Northland training and racing with her coach Samantha Warriner. She won the Panasonic Peoples Triathlon in Auckland, competing in the open age sprint distance in an incredibly fast time of 59min 27sec.

This was followed a few days later by an impressive fifth woman overall in the popular Stroke and Stride race (1000m swim/3km run) at Mission Bay in rough sea conditions. She beat many older athletes, including her coach, in a sprint finish with only seconds separating the top five.

The new year brought another great result at Whangamata with a third in the sprint distance 750m swim/20km cycle/5km run, behind Warriner and Elise Salt.

Last weekend she headed to Christchurch to the Pegasus Contact Triathlon. This was her first chance to race some of our elite women and Jaimee again proved her talent by emerging from the swim with Olympians Andrea Hewitt, Kate Mcilroy and other elite and experienced athletes. She held on strongly on the cycle in very windy conditions and had a fast run to finish seventh in the elite open female age-group, a fantastic result given the competitors she was racing, and her age at only 15.

■ On February 11 the Kids Triathlon Series starts at 5.30pm at Skoglund Park, with three courses:

4-6 years: 300m run/600m cycle/1 length swim.

7-9 years: 750m run/1.5km cycle/50m swim

10-12 years: 1.5km run / 3km cycle/ 100m swim

Pre-enter by Friday, February 8 for all five events and receive a free T-shirt. The club will also award sports vouchers to schools which have the largest number of participants.

We encourage parents to register now and ensure you are at the event well before it starts. We have found it is harder controlling the parents then the children. For information, and if you are available to assist, contact Andy and Lenka Martin (355 2643) or Deb (357 0404).

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■ The swimming pool at Linton Army Camp will be out of action for a while, and the next few triathlons will be based at the Lido Aquatic Centre on Park Rd. Each race will be in the order of swim, bike, run.

On March 5 the club will be introducing a new event called the Higgins Splash & Dash Series 2013. Choose your own course length: either a 3km or 5km run/walk followed by a 100m or 200m swim. Free swim and spa at the Lido afterwards. This will be at the Lido Aquatic Centre over five weeks.

What's on:

January 27: Triathlon at Lido Aquatic Centre 8am

February 11: Kids Triathlon Skoglund Park 5pm

February 17: Women's only Triathlon at Lido Aquatic Centre

- Manawatu Standard

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