Thursday 7th August 2012 and Thursday 18th August 2016 provided the 19th and 20th Gold medals for Team GB and, perhaps more importantly, meant that a boy from Horsforth in Leeds fulfilled his childhood dreams of winning an Olympic title. Growing up in Yorkshire had given this boy much of his grit and determination through winter fell races on the Yorkshire Moors. He did not always gain success in his younger years, in the pool, on the bike or on cross-country courses around Leeds. However, attending Bradford Grammar School with his younger brother meant that not only did they establish a fierce sporting rivalry but also grew up appreciating the benefits of a competitive ride to school or that their run round the park at lunch time would aid their training.
Fast forward 5 years and the achievements on those days by the Brownlee brothers has been one of the major driving forces behind the launch of the MCM Triathlon. How ironic that part of the bike route would follow Jalan Elland (Elland Road – home to Leeds United and the Brownlee brothers’ chosen football team). The tag line from the London Olympics was to #inspireageneration and I believe that by offering Triathlon here at MCM fits that mould. Not only one generation – it inspired more than three generations to try a tri!
Sunday 5th March will go down in Marlborough College Malaysia’s history as the day 400 pupils, parents and external competitors were given their first taste of Triathlon, here at MCM. The idea of running a fully-fledged triathlon has become a reality on the back of the successful swim and cross-country programmes. The Prep School has organised many House aquathlons with great success and approximately 40 pupils and staff have also taken the opportunity to represent Team MCM in the 2017 Meta-series in Singapore. The uptake has been particularly popular this year on the back of the 20+ Prep School pupils attending running club on Tuesdays after school.
So, after nearly a year of research, meetings and perseverance, the MCM Triathlon came to fruition. The most complex and challenging part of the three disciplines has been supported by the Friends of MCM, who have purchased 25 mountain bikes, which has helped to establish the Multi-Sports programme. This has run throughout Games in Seasons 2 and 3, as well as during activities. The pupils have gained a wealth of experience through the different disciplines, as well as the integral part for the race, transitioning between the three, and it has been a real pleasure seeing the transformation of confidence of the pupils, especially on the bikes.
I was delighted how the MCM community responded to this opportunity, with over 100 individuals as well as nearly 80 teams competing on the day. It was wonderful to see the youngest participant (2 years and 10 months) race in the first race of the day, the U6 category, all the way through to the oldest participant, at 60, who competed in the Open relay. We were truly blessed with the weather and it meant that the competitors got to fully utilise the fantastic facilities at MCM. It also made the role of the 100 volunteers more enjoyable, who encouraged and guided everyone during the race.
Congratulations to everyone who took part; there were many outstanding performances on the day and the House spirit was fantastic. We witnessed some excellent racing, with both individual and House teams competing against others from U8, U10, U12, U15 and U18. Not only were the races part of the House competition but also part of the first KITS event, which is hosted by six international schools throughout Malaysia. The U18 individual race, in particular, was a fiercely contested category, with the two top teams in Malaysia sending their best triathletes. It was pleasing and a little ironic to witness the Leeds-born Marlborough College pupil, Jay Lilley, making the podium in his debut U18 race… a potential Brownlee in the making? …we shall see!
Very well done too to the inaugural winners of the House competitions:
Prep School – Hunt
Senior School – Steel House
All of the timings can be found at the checkpoint website
There are too many people to mention individually but thank you to everybody who competed, supported, volunteered or helped organise the event, in conjunction with Dave Spence and Elsa Ng from LiveMore, and contributed to the huge success of the inaugural MCM Triathlon. The College’s values, as well as the strong community feel were highlighted by hosting this event and it was delightful to be able to showcase this great sport here at MCM.
This is just the start of the triathlon season and I would encourage those of you who have caught ‘the bug’ to check out the following events:
If you are interested in the Meta-sprints please do register and designate MCM as your school, so points can be added to the team total for the schools’ challenge.
If you are interested in the Desaru event in May the organiser has offered me a discount and also team options. Please contact me directly so I can register the teams and look in to transport.
Please let me know if you are interested in attending, as we could consider taking a team/teams.
Please do contact me with any questions about triathlon competitions, I will be only too happy to help you.