Reports

Daniel Stansfield – Junior European Cup 2014

This year I represented GB at the junior European cup in Lommel, Belgium. This involved three races over three days. The first race was the sprint discipline. I had a late start so after a long wait in quarantine the start process began. This being only my second time representing Great Britain I was more than a little nervous but managed to contain these nerves and begin reasonably smoothly. Following a pretty average first two thirds, with some small time losses I came through the spectator control in a respectable position, on the fringes of a top ten despite my mistakes. However, in my excitement I allowed my technique to go to pot in the latter stages and made a large error, which in such a short race is critical and I plummeted on the results list. Following the race I was a little gutted not to perform especially well could take many positives from the first half!

Following a reasonably early night and a rather huge buffet dinner I felt fit and ready for the long distance the following day. The long distance, however, did not go to plan. I think the pressure of the race (my main target over the course of the weekend) and my lack of any sort of speed control (running faster than I was able to efficiently navigate) caused my race to be a poor one and again the result taken from it not something I was proud of. Both the long and the sprint I feel I can take invaluable experience from, despite the frustrating results. I will approach big races very differently in the future, taking a far more controlled and steady approach.

Finally, there was the relay. I was running first leg and from the start the pace was extremely high. I managed to stay with the front for the first third, pushing with two extremely strong athletes from the upper age class, a brief experience but one I found incredibly exciting and motivational. A mistake of around thirty seconds on the eighth control let me down though, and around 15 people swarmed passed me, crammed into this half minute. Following this two more mistakes left me to come in in the top twenty, not what I could have achieved had I avoided the first error but one I was reasonably pleased with. Looking over the race at the end I was amazed at the number of people racing, who got past me after I made such a small mistake. This showed the quality of the field and is something which is driving me to get a good base in over this winter, hopefully getting some good results in the looming cross country season as well. It has left me keen for the new season.

Thank you very much for the John Taylor Foundation for helping to fund such a rewarding trip!

Florence Haines – Junior European Cup 2014

Junior European Cup 2014

My last race for GB as a junior in the Lommel region of Belgium started with traveling very early on Thursday the 1st with a 3.45am alarm for a 6am flight. The morning was spent relaxing and sleeping and eating in Brussels airport before meeting the rest of the team coming in on different flights. After a long day traveling only a few people went and ran the model but after an early night me and some other W20s headed down to look at the terrain. We jogged around some controls for 25/30minutes and then discussed what we thought of the area etc. Sandy forest with some areas of contour detail and other areas very flat and featureless.
Friday evening was the first race – Sprint. Due to start blocks being decided the day before I had been given the first start (of every competitor!) at 5.30. Straight into the area and the course demanded some quick thinking but was very running dominant. I was trying my hardest but one change of plan and lapse in concentration 3 controls from the end and 1min30 lost! Disappointing to be so close to a decent run. Final result was 40th.
After an early night to try catch up on more sleep it was time for the Long distance. Now this is more my cup of tea and I was really excited! Somehow an early start block had again giving me a very early start – 10.32! So there was in fact 1 W20 ahead of me but considering a start block is 30minutes I was pretty unlucky! I didn’t let it get to me and ran my own race, overtaking the Russian girl who started at 10.30 by number 2 and hitting control after control bang on. Through the spectator I was tiring mentally and physically but pushed on and tried to stay in control. Unfortunately at control 30 (out of 33!!!) I was distracted from my bearing and lost 3 minutes. I was pleased to finish after 75 minutes and then cheered everyone else in, especially Alexander Chepelin who came a fantastic 2nd in M18! My final result was 21st and best W20 British result!
Relay was the final day and I was in a team with Lucy Butt and Tamsin Moran, 2 other final year W20s who I have grown up with so that was good. I was second leg and went out a couple of minutes down but still in contention with a big pack just ahead. It went well until the final loop after spectator and I lost 5 minutes on 2 different controls which I was disappointed about. Team final position was 9th nation.
After a relaxed afternoon we traveled back and reflected on our races and the weekend as a whole. I had such a fun weekend and after having surgery in February involving a lot of time resting and doing rehab I was just pleased to be back racing! In January I move up to senior racing so I’m not sure what’s coming next but I’m excited for a winter training in Edinburgh!
Many thanks have to go to the John Taylor Foundation for helping fund this trip.

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Rosie Lindsay – Age Group World Triathlon Champs

Firstly, I would like to thank the John Taylor foundation for their support; it has been a great help in funding what was ultimately an amazing experience.

This August I was competing at the 2014 Triathlon Age group world championships in Edmonton.  I had never done an event on such a large scale before or competed so far away from home, so there was a lot of a new factors to consider. I began my race well and by the end of the swim, I was 2nd out of the water swimming on the toes of the athlete in front. I came out of the first transition maintaining my position, unfortunately my bike leg did not go as I had hoped and I began to lose places on the bike, so I was a bit disappointed with my performance. Overall I finished 17th and although it was frustrating not to be at my best, I am still confident that this experience has taught me a lot that will hopefully allow me to be a medal contender in future.

I was 3rd GBR athlete, which qualifies me to do the 2015 World Championships in Chicago next year and with two more years in this age category I am excited for the future. The event itself was great fun and I am more motivated than ever to keep going with my triathlon career.

Thank you once again for giving me this opportunity.