Head: Mr Phillip Stapleton
On Sunday 14th of May, North Devon’s first ever Junior Triathlon took place at West Buckland School, in glorious sunshine. The triathlon welcomed participants ranging from 8 to 17 years old, each falling into one of three categories: 8-9 years, 10-12 years, and 13-17 years. Rather than placing sole emphasis on competition, the event aimed to encourage kids to step out of their comfort zones, try something new, and above all, have a great time. The event was open to all kids in North Devon born between 2005 and 2015, with free admission.
With varying distances to suit each age group, the challenges were tailored accordingly. The younger participants, aged 8-9 years, dived into a 50m swim, followed by a 1km bike ride and a 1.1km run. The 10-12-year-olds took on a 100m swim, a 3km bike ride, and a 2.2km run. Meanwhile, the 13-17-year-olds faced a more demanding course, including a 400m swim, a 6km bike ride, and a 3.3km run.
None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of numerous organisations and individuals. We extend our sincerest thanks to North Devon Tri for their invaluable partnership and unwavering support. The AST lifeguards ensured the safety of all participants during the swimming leg, while Aquarius provided well-deserved medals for the winners. Dryrobe generously supplied the prizes and an array of string bags.
We would also like to express our gratitude to Medicare, Ben Byrom from Braunton hire – our fabulous MC, the Bike Shed for being on site ready to fix any bikes, and the Tattoo company, the scaffolding company responsible for expertly setting up the transition area, the kind individuals who donated the bike and prizes for the raffle, as well as the dedicated volunteers and marshals who worked so hard to ensure the event’s success. We also want to thank the school staff, along with Holroyd Howe who provided the bacon butties, brownies, and refreshing drinks, adding to the vibrant atmosphere. We cannot forget to mention the invaluable assistance of the boarding students, who acted as marshals and manned the food stalls for their invaluable contributions. Last but not least we would like to thank Mrs Estevez Martinez for all her hard work bringing this all together.
In conclusion, the inaugural Junior Triathlon in North Devon was an enormous triumph, exceeding all expectations. The overwhelming support from various organisations and individuals made it possible, and the infectious enthusiasm and spirit of the participants created an unforgettable atmosphere. We eagerly look forward to next year’s event, confident that it will be even more exceptional and memorable than before.
Photographer: Will Harper