The Quadkidz Barnton Training Weekend, has proved to be a great success with so many positive comments coming in. A big thanks to Lance and Hermione for this report!
We were travelling some distance, so arrived late Friday night. Instructions had been provided along with a code to get through the gate. Once through the gate we travelled a mile down a lane to the club house overlooking the lake. The distance away from public roads meant that we would be ensured a peaceful sleep in our tent ready for a busy couple of days ahead.
The following morning Lincsquad coaches Pete, Donna and Jeff arrived and introduced themselves. The club house had all the facilities you could ever want, set high up overlooking the water. Meanwhile other Quadkidz arrived along with their supporting parents.
After the usual safety briefing, the training day commenced with bike maintenance skills. This wasn’t just useful for the kids, but experienced cyclists alike. As I watched, I discovered issues wrong with my own bike and proceeded to spend the next half hour rectifying my own bike whilst the Quadkids got hands on with their own practical bike maintenance scenarios.
After discovering that we can all benefit from such presentations, it was time to set off on bikes and have a view of the route that would be used for the race. The cycle route used the grass / gravel track set up on a bank with a magnificent view overlooking the Humber bridge and estuary. This caused the same issues as the adults have on many of the trophy series races, namely what bike to use. Straight forward if you have a cyclo-cross available. Otherwise do you use a mountain bike or a road bike adapted with wider off road tyres?
Several laps of the route and the occasional nettle sting later from the very long vegetation, they all returned with smiles from a good ride out.
Next on the agenda was kayak skills. We had brought a quick racing kayak, but the conditions were just too rough. So almost everyone took to the water in the supplied stable kayaks and had a go at battling the wind and waves trying not to get blown back into the long grass at the shoreline.
Max took to the water in a racing K1 and showed no signs at all, of having problems in such conditions. Meanwhile Bertram, out in a slalom kayak, was clearly enjoying the conditions and able to show how much fun you can have in these craft when you have developed the skills, including a display of Eskimo rolls.
Transition training was provided during the day, thankfully by someone more competent than myself. Having had times when someone looking after my glasses disappeared to the toilet, getting t-shirts stuck around my torso and spending over 9 minutes on a transition at my last triathlon when I couldn’t get my wetsuit off; I certainly wasn’t the person to give advice on this aspect of the day.
The last practical part of the day was swimming. So, with wetsuits donned, they all took to the water. Following tips for acclimatisation they practiced sighting and swimming around buoys before having a practice on the course that would be used the following day. Despite the very rough conditions, they showed great competence in the water. Hermione has been a good swimmer in a pool, but had previously really struggled in open water. They spent a long time swimming in the lake on this day and the confidence by the end really showed. The photo’s of Hermione smiling throughout the swimming shows how much she now enjoys this aspect and has improved in confidence.
The day ended with nutritional advice back in the clubhouse.
Hermione was up against Holly and Izzy in her age group so this report will be centred around them as I was watching my daughter compete.
Everyone commenced the swim together with an exciting flurry of splashes as everyone put in maximum effort to head out to the line of buoys indicating where to turn back.
Hermione was in third place as she turned back at the half way point. Izzy was clearly very quick, exiting the swim well ahead of Holly with Hermione just a second behind Holly. The swim had been shortened considerably due to the conditions and consideration for everyone. This was a slight shame for Izzy since had it been the original planned distance Izzy would have been able to pull out a very large lead.
All ran into transition, but Hermione clearly having listened to advice the day before and not taking after her father, had the fastest transition and headed out onto the bike course in the lead, followed by Holly and then Izzy who unfortunately had struggled with her wetsuit.
Hermione kept in the lead for the first lap of the bike, but Holly was clearly quicker and despite the overgrowth protruding onto the track making overtaking a little difficult, managed to overtake and pull out a lead over Hermione during the second lap.
After 2 laps Holly approached the transition and dismounted very professionally putting any of my dismounts to complete shame.
A quick transition later and Holly headed out onto the kayak in rather blustery conditions.
Not too long later Hermione went through transition, slinging items practically anywhere in her attempt to catch Holly and headed out for the kayak also.Due to the rough conditions Hermione stuck with the same slow stable kayak that she had trained in the day before, but Holly was in an identical kayak so all was equal. Holly coped with the conditions really well, managing to kayak in a straight line and not look as though she was having to spend that much energy despite the rough conditions. Meanwhile Hermione found the conditions rather challenging as she zig zagged her way along the course using brute force to try and close the gap rather than technique. As a result Holly pulled further and further away as Hermione appeared to be paddling twice as far as she needed to, if only she could go in a straight line!
Shortly afterwards Izzy took to the water, showing good technique but going a little slower than Holly and Hermione.
Holly exited the Kayak a long way in front, so started the run with a win almost ensured.
Hermione exited nearly 2 minutes later, still not giving up the chase, abandoning her equipment anywhere in her attempt to chase after Holly. Shortly followed by Izzy.
Holly had a slight foot injury, but it wasn’t going to slow her down much and she comfortably cruised over the line in first place.
Hermione had a good run and had closed down the gap to 40 seconds. If only there had been a second run lap! Meanwhile Izzy had the fastest run of all, so finished in a close third. If only there had been 3 laps for the run!
Holly, Hermione and Izzy all had a great race and should be proud of how they did in particularly tough conditions on and in the water. Izzy being the fastest swimmer and runner, compared to Holly the quickest bike and kayak, compared to Hermione consistent all round, any of them could have come first had the conditions, distances or equipment decisions been different, but on that course on that day Holly was the deserved winner.
Further finishers to follow included Will who had only ventured into open water swimming for the first time on the Saturday and had a great race against Finley and Isaac.
Max finished first in the 13–15 year old category, closely followed by Holly’s sister Lucy who clearly enjoyed the race from her beaming smile at the finish.
Bertram brought the event to a conclusion after completing by far the longest distances of everyone, in what was a very quick time for the distances and windy conditions.
All are promising Quadrathletes for the future.
Many thanks to all the athletes that took part to make this a fantastic weekend. With special thanks to the Lincsquad coaches and committee who managed to put such a great event on. It’s been great for the development of the Quadkidz and such an enjoyable weekend. Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at Box End soon.
Lance and Hermione.