Inaugural Alnwick triathlon is a big hit with junior competitors

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Nearly 100 children from all over the north of England took part in Alnwick Junior Tri Club’s first ever Junior Triathlon held last Sunday at Druridge Bay.

A team of parents had worked for months preparing for the event which involved an open- water swim in Ladyburn lake followed by a bike ride and run through the park.

The event was only possible with the kind permission of Northumberland County Council, who also agreed to a road closure, repaired some potholes and provided cones and staff.

Parents were at the park preparing the course all day Saturday, and then at dawn on Sunday, and were rewarded with beautiful sunshine for the 7.30am start, which saw children aged just nine and 10 (Tristar 1) begin their swim with full safety support, via kayaks on the lake.

Almost every member of Alnwick Junior Tri Club took part, many competing for the first time, and there were some cracking performances.

In Tristar 2 Girls, Maddy Hall got on the podium by coming 2nd with a time of 26:23, with Millie Breese and Sadie Bryson not far behind in 4th and 5th places.

Emma Jackson put on a fantastic sprint finish to come in 10th.

In Tristar 2 Boys, a large number of competitors saw James Carragher first home from the club in a time of 27:44 in 10th place, with Jude Hall in 14th and Sam Doctor, in his first ever triathlon, finishing a very respectable 21st place.

In Tristar 3 in a top class field, again the Alnwick triathletes more than held their own.

In the girls’ event Adele Armitage and Jessica Swan showed how much they’ve improved in the last year by just missing a podium place coming in 4th and 5th with times of 38:25 and 39:45 respectively.

In a highly competitive Tristar 3 Boys’ event, Benji Gillingham was first out of the water after a fantastic swim finishing 6th overall in a time of 31:47, with Ross Charlton less than a minute behind him in 8th place after a great run. Max Breese came in 11th, closely followed by Ben Murray-John.

Jack Hall was really strong in the cycle leg to finish in 14th with Owen Douglas behind him in 15th. Matty Wilkinson put in a really gutsy performance – competing for the first time – to finish in 17th place.

In the Girls Youth section there was success for Jessica Duffy who was 3rd in a time of 50:23 with Catherine Jackson not far behind in 5th place.

In the boys Youth event, which included teenagers from the age group GB team, Lewis Bryson showed he could compete with some of the best in the region by coming in with a time of 47.22 and Jack Carrigan once again performing strongly finishing just 25 seconds later. Robert Stephenson came in 10th and just behind him Daniel Harrison-Frater in 11th.

Many of the competitors and parents commented on what a well organised and friendly event it had been largely thanks to a hard-working team of parents, led by Ian and Lorna Stephenson and with the assistance of more than 50 volunteer marshals.

Thanks are also due to the many local companies who made the event possible by providing valuable sponsorship including Blackshaws, Tustain Motors, Alnwick Accountants, Alnorthumbria Vets, Total Flooring, Sportsworld, Alnwick Town Council, Alnwick & District Sports Council and Adventure Northumberland.