The Mini Triathlon Event!
Lewis is Little Pro's oldest ambassador, and whilst he is very competent on a bike, this would be something new. He attends the Sports Nut Academy for swimming lessons on a weekly basis so was familiar with the pool and surroundings. Naturally then, when we explained that the Triathlon involved swimming, cycling and running he declared "That's easy". "Hmm. We'll see" said Dad.
The age requirements for the event
The minimum age for the Go-Tri is 8. Lewis is still 7, but some digging and we found the age requirement referred to age on December 31st, so Lewis just qualified. Naturally, Lara was next in the queue, as everyone knows if Lewis can do it, so can she. This took some explaining - yes, you can ride 55 miles in a day, but no, you can't run / ride around a field for 15 minutes. It's sadly another example of age taking priority over ability, but by now we are used to it. Not the organisers fault as they are usually tied by insurance etc, but it still never gets any less frustrating.
On the day we turned up not really knowing what to expect. OK - we got the basics - swim / ride / run, but having never been involved before it was interesting to learn the layout and the various aspects.
Completely new, and totally foreign - the transition area. This is where the competitors change between disciplines. Out of the pool, into cycling kit, then bin the cycling kit and run! Given that Lewis takes longer than the average Triathlon just to get dressed in the morning, this was stacking up to be an interesting spectator sport for Mum & Dad. Not only that, apparently you jump on your bike and start riding without putting on dry shorts. That's just weird, and Lewis was really struggling to work out why he wouldn't stop to get warm and dry. "It's just like cycling in the rain Lewis" seemed to do the trick, and with that he seemed happy.
The organisers walked the course with all the competitors prior to the event, and were brilliant at explaining the various aspects, the routes, transitions etc. By this point Lewis was wired, Mum and Dad were enjoying it and this was shaping up to be a great day out.
The mini Triathlon event begins
The race start was staggered in sets of 4, at 30-second intervals. Naturally, the kids in Lewis' lane managed to mix up their start order, so the timings were out before they even got going, but that didn't matter - the event was just for fun.
Swimming got underway, and is by far Lewis' weakest discipline. He started with the last wave, and by the time he was out of the pool, everyone else had long gone. He had some serious catching up to do (remember, it's not a race...but....).
Next was the cycling, which unsurprisingly is what he is best at. That said, he put in a huge effort, and not only caught the field but passed many of them. This gave him much encouragement, so by the time it got to the running, he went off fast. By the end of the first lap, the look on his face said it all - "Seriously - I have to do that again?!?".
Helped on by the chorus of Gran, Grandad, Mum, Dad, and Lara, he dug deep and kept going, but he was tired. By the end of the second lap he had nothing left, but still managed to squeeze a mini sprint to the finish. I don't think I've ever seen him so puffed out, but the huge smile on his face at the same time spoke volumes.
Overall, this was one of the best and most fun events we have been to. The organisation was awesome, the site was excellently laid out, and the kids were brilliant. Whilst it wasn't a race, it was, of course, a race, but no-one took things too seriously, and everyone appeared to be having a great time. It really was all about turning up and having a go, and if we had to sum up the spirit of the event it would be with this picture:
I'm not sure who the competitor on that bike was, or where they came, but much kudos for the bike. It won the day for us. A huge thanks to the organisers over at Sports Nut for laying on this event. May it be the first of many.
Looks like Little Pro may be expanding into Tri clothing too.....watch this space.