On Sunday 16th March, forty three incredibly enthusiastic (though somewhat anxious) children from across the Prep School took part in the MetaSport Duathlon. This slightly strange-sounding sport involves a run, a bike ride, followed by a final run. It forms part of the ‘MetaSprint Series’ incorporating an Aquathlon last month and will be followed by a Triathlon next month.
For most of the young competitors, this was their first foray into the world of individual competitive sport. What also often adds to the nerves is getting used to navigating the ‘transition area’. This is where bikes are stored in between running segments and is a sport in itself to master; remembering where you left your bike, running to it, setting the bike up and then leaving the transition area as swiftly and safely as possible. Most elite athletes spend hours and days practising this part of the race as it can dramatically affect where you finish in terms of placing. However, once the children had had the chance to get to know the area and find out where they needed to go, all that was left was for the race to get underway.
The first stretch of running proved to be an all-out sprint for many, who quite literally shot off the starting line much to the amazement of their watching parents. A few managed to maintain the Usain Bolt-like speed, and zoomed into transition before quickly exiting onto the bike leg. Unfortunately the bike leg proved to be somewhat problematic for many. The younger children had to complete three circuits of 2km. However several, in their enthusiasm, kept on going and a couple exited slightly early. Frustrating for those involved, as all were genuine mistakes however something for the organisers to take on board next time. Those doing the Youth event (12-15 years) fortunately didn’t seem to suffer the same issues as their biking section was longer and they only needed to do two laps (much easier to count when you’re in ‘the zone’).
The final run is always a tricky one as you dismount the bike feeling like your legs have been magically replaced with tree trunks and it always takes a while for them to readjust. So for many, the final run certainly proved more of a challenge than perhaps initially thought.
Overall, huge congratulations to all involved. A Duathlon is not an easy thing to accomplish, and regardless of where they were placed, all the children should be commended for their enthusiasm and determination. I have the utmost admiration and respect for them and can only hope they enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed watching them race. Particular congratulations must be extended to Team AK (Albert Tanner and Kit Moore) who came 1st in the Kids Relay Teams, closely followed by Lorcan Mooney and Daniel Erwig in 6th position. Issy Harkins and Kirsty De Haldevang came 4th overall and 1st for the Female Relay Teams. Joshua Cox came 9th in the Male 12-13 category. Oliver Medcraft achieved a fantastic 4th in the Male 8-9 group. Theo Smith achieved 8th in the Male 10-11 age group and Carolyn Chessher came 9th in the Female 8-9 group, closely followed by Marianne Johnson in 11th place.
A huge ‘well done’ to all the competitors!
Year 3 Form Tutor