Juniors Rise To The Challenge!
The NatWest Junior Triathlon returned to Eastern Beach on Saturday 30th of May which brought 23 youngsters between the ages of 8 and 13 to conquer the multisport event of swim, cycle and run.
Registration opened at 0900 with the youngsters arriving at the north end of Eastern Beach to rack their bikes and prepare their cycling and running equipment in the Transition Zone.
The sun was shining brightly that morning but the recent jellyfish infestation cast doubts over the swim portion. This would have turned the event into a Duathlon which consists of a run, cycle and another run. Fortunately a wind change took away the jellies, and a thorough assessment of the shores confirmed that a full triathlon could go ahead.
The event got under way at 1000 with the 8 to 10 year olds, where in the boys’ race, Luke McCullough had a very healthy lead at the start of the run and ensured he maintained his lead until the finish line. Luca Howard finished in 2nd place and 3 seconds ahead of Jeremy Martinez after out sprinting Jeremy during the final 50m of the race. On the other hand, the girls’ race saw a comfortable win for Maya Breeze who finished with a lead of over a minute ahead of Antonella Paonessa and Arwen Neale.
In the 11 to 13 year olds, Julian Vinales led from the end of the swim and stormed to the finish line in 1st place whilst Zac Olivero and Liam Yates battled it out for 2nd and 3rd place, with only a 5 second margin between the two. The girls’ race witnessed a close contest with Megan Schafer exiting the water before her competitors: Sophie Hernandez and Shannon O’Toole. Sophie was the first to leave the Transition Zone as Shannon struggled to get her trainers on. On the bike course, Megan was eventually overtaken by Shannon who couldn’t quite manage to catch Sophie on the run course. Sophie was therefore triumphant ahead of Shannon and Megan.
This was a great morning for families, as children dared to push themselves to the finish, and parents saw the care taken to make sure the event was safe: “My kids can hardly wait for the next one!’”.
The Gibraltar Triathlon Association (GTA) would like to thank NatWest Bank for sponsoring the event, the Royal Gibraltar Police and St. John’s Ambulance for providing support, and the many volunteers who made the race possible.
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