GUEST BLOG BY ANTONIA JUBB, age 12
What a summer season it’s been, with most of my races being athletics and triathlon.
I managed to knock over 20 seconds off my 1500m PB down to 5:02 and I’ve finished the triathlon season unbeaten as both Eastern Region and British Champion. OMG….I still can’t believe it…..I actually won the British Championships today!
I had to qualify for the British championships race, known as the Inter-Regional Championships (IRC), by being selected for the Eastern Team. I managed this by winning both selection races at Saffron Walden and Cambridge. The IRC race was on Bank Holiday Monday at Mallory Park, near Leicester. It’s a motorcycle race circuit, but it also has a lake in the middle, which makes it ideal for racing triathlon.
The 200m swim was quite rough, but I managed to get out the water in around 6th place……not far behind the leaders. I ran really hard from the lake into first transition and managed to exit the transition in 3rd, chasing the leader hard. The 5.6km bike was over two laps, with a short climb on the first lap. I worked really hard on that first climb (coz that’s what the Brownlees do!) and had closed up on the leader by the time we entered the first of the two longer laps. The course included lots of ‘dead turns’ (where you have to double back on yourself) to test your bike skills, and this is something which I’ve been practicing with both my Tri Club, Tri Force, and the Eastern Region squad, so I was feeling really confident on them. I also had a strategy to stand up on the exit from each turn and sprint hard for 8 pedal strokes to get me back up to speed quickly. On the first lap, I tucked in behind the leader (as it was a draft-legal race), but on the second lap I decided to push on and go it alone at the front. It made my legs hurt….but I thought that it must be making the other girl work hard too, as I could hear her breathing really hard behind me.
I entered transition with a small 5 second lead, but the other girl had been cycling in trainers, and I had been in bike shoes, so she left transition about 10 seconds before me. I’m confident in my run, especially after racing some good 1500m races this summer, so I set off to chase her on the 1.3km final run. I caught her quickly, but decided not to ease off and pushed on hard around the lake. It was only one lap and I didn’t want to give anyone else from the chasing group a chance to catch me. I didn’t know how far ahead I was as I entered back into the finish area, but I could hear everyone screaming my name…..what I didn’t realise is that it was because I had gone the wrong way and missed the entrance to the finish chute. Luckily, I was well ahead and doubled back into the finish to win by 43 seconds. I honestly couldn’t believe it, I was actually crying tears of joy as I sat in the finish tent with my head in my hands waiting for the others to finish.
The prize-giving was exciting…standing on the British Triathlon podium and receiving my gold medal. I was so excited I wore the medal all the way home…even at the services where we stopped!
A BIG THANKS!
I want to thank everyone who has helped me to achieve this result today. The coaches at StAlbans AC, Hatfield swim club, Verulam Cycle Club and TriForce Tri Club, as well as the coaches from the Eastern Region who teach us lots of special skills on how to race these bigger races where we can draft on the bike on a road circuit. Also all my club mates and my schoolmates at StAlbans Girls School (STAGS) who make my weekly training fun……you know who you are!
I also want to say a huge thanks to Zone3 for my wetsuit and trisuit and also Dawes Cycles for my bike.
I’m having a bit of break from racing now for a few weeks, coz it’s not long til it gets colder and the cross-country season starts….I actually can’t wait!!