MONTHS of training culminated in a first ever triathlon for 38 novices lining up for the 2022 Ana Leaf Try-a-Tri.
The event attracts people of varying levels of fitness and physical ability – what matters is not where in the field you finish, but the progress you have made on your own journey to fitness. This year’s event was won by Nick Thompson in a cracking time of 40 minutes and 26 seconds, with the first woman home Katrina Williams clocking 43 minutes 19 seconds for second overall.
What makes triathlon interesting is the change in position as participants show their strength in the various disciplines; perfectly illustrated by Ian LeLai, who after exiting the water in 28th position, posted the fasted bike split to move himself up to third overall, before dropping off slightly on the run. The fastest run was posted by Alan Teeling, covering the 2.5km run in 10min 15sec to finish sixth overall after exiting the water in 23rd.
This was the sixth running of the event and, once again, the main aim was achieved with every competitor completing the course within the allocated cut-off time.
A £23,000 grant from the Jersey Community Foundation, which distributed proceeds from the 2020 Channel Islands Lottery, paved the way for athletes to experience a comprehensive training programme this year, with over 200 training sessions, led by qualified coaches, on offer since 10 January. This extra work showed in the overall results, as all 38 participants finished within an hour – at least 15 minutes quicker than in previous years.
Event organiser Truusje Gamlin said: ‘What always makes the try-a-tri special is the large number of family and friends turning up to support the participants as they cross the finish line. For many, signing up, following the training programme and completing the event is a big physical and mental challenge, and the sense of achievement when crossing the line is a lovely moment to share with family and friends.
‘The event is only possible due to the large number of club members who are willing to give their time freely to organise and run the event and to the dozen or so coaches from the triathlon, swimming and cycling community who run the training programme. The Jersey Triathlon Club has big plans to extend the try-a-tri programme to ensure as many participants as possible achieve a lifelong change in lifestyle with outdoor exercise becoming a regular part of daily life, leading to increased health and wellbeing.’
The 2022 edition was run in support of Brighter Futures, which offers a range of programmes aimed at building and improving parent/child relationships, wellbeing and positive mental health, personal development and second chance learning. Total funds raised exceeded £6,500.