In what was a day not short of action in Strathclyde Park, a catalogue of strong performances from the South West regional team saw them awarded the sought-after Inter Regional Championship title.
The event represents the pinnacle of the competitive season for 11-14 year olds and respresents the first steps on the elite pathway. 13 regions accross the UK are represented, with the hope of taking away the coveted IRC title.
The Tri Star 2 boys got the action underway in the morning in a sunny Strathclyde Park, with Rhys Ashton (North West) seeing off competition from Kieron Mutch (North East) to clock 20:20 and take the win. Mutch was close behind in 20:36, with South West’s Lawrence Martindale not far off the pace in 20:42.
Ashton said, "The race went well. The swim is sometimes an issue for me but I came out in a good position and was pleased with it. Everything else fell into place after that. The run was definitely the best part of the race for me.”
Last year’s IRC Champions, East Midlands, were represented by Freya Batkin, who took the Tri Star 2 girls title in 21:36. Batkin finished ahead of Alexandra Palotai-Avella (South West) and Bethany Cook (South East), who clocked 21:43 and 21:47 respectively.
Batkin commented, "I think my race went well. I came out on the swim second, held on the bike, where I worked with another athlete and towards the end I pushed clear. I loved the bike course as it was quite hilly and then I had a solid run, where I held my form."
In the Tri Star 3 boys race it was Daniel Dixon who went two better than 2015 to go top of the podium after a convincing win over Scotland’s Hamish Armit. After a phenomenal swim, North East’s Dixon maintained his pace on the bike and run to finish in 25:53, nearly a minute clear of second place (26:40). Jack Stanton-Stock from the Eastern region was third in 26:50.
Following his success, Dixon said, "I have trained hard all summer leading up to the race and it really well - I loved the bike section. It was really technical and the hill was quite hard – a really good course. In the run section I wanted to just hold my lead and I did that, so it went really well for me today.”
Further success on home soil came from Lily-Jane Evans-Haggerty, who took the Tri Star 3 girls title for Scotland (29:04). She was followed home by East Midlands duo Lizzy Edge (29:20) and Hannah Brayer (29:39).
Evans-Haggerty added, "I had a good swim, but struggled on the bike section. It is the weakest part of my race and I struggled with the technical turns. So on the run I just decided to work to each of my opponents, chase them down and keep doing that to the finish line. I felt good on the run and just kept pushing."
A team of up to 12 athletes competed for each of the regions, with the regions’ 10 best results culminating in their overall total to decide the British Triathlon Inter Regional Championship winner. South West’s success saw them take the title, with Scotland finishing second and previous champions East Midlands settling for bronze.
For full results, please vist here.