Olympic triathlon coach Jack Maitland was the star attraction in an action packed weekend for junior triathletes in Jersey. Maitland is Coach to Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee and his younger brother, Olympic bronze medallist and 2012 world champion, Jonny. Thanks to generous support from Jacksons Garage and The Royal Yacht Hotel Maitland was in the island for a weekend of activities organised by the junior section of Jersey Triathlon Club.
Maitland started the weekend by putting the young athletes through their paces on the track at FB Fields on Saturday morning. On Saturday evening Jack fought with Aston Martins and Bentleys for the young athletes’ attention at a social evening held at Jacksons Garage in St Peter. He answered questions covering a wide range of topics, from his own career as an international runner and triathlete to the eating habits of the Brownlee brothers at a Q&A session compered by local triathlon coach and event organiser Dave Holmes.
The junior athletes were the stars on Sunday morning as they wrapped up warm against the cold for the fourth race in the Jacksons junior duathlon series. Jack Maitland led the warm-up routine to help get athletes muscles warmed up for the run/bike/run race around the track at Les Quennevais.
Early pace setter in the under 10s race, Luke Killian, completed his first 1000m run in under four and a half minutes, by far the quickest time in the series so far, leaving second placed Daniel Roderick with almost a minute deficit by the time he reached transition in second place. However, Killian took a tumble when mounting his bike and by the time he had recovered, checked himself over and remounted Roderick found himself leading. Third placed Malo Monpetit Le Brun reached transition a further 45seconds in arrears but dominated the 3km cycle ride, almost catching the fast recovering Killian and pushing Roderick back down to third. Spurred on by his fall Killian deposited his bike in transition and dominated the second run to recover most of the gap to his pursuers and keep up a 100% win rate in the series. Despite a valiant effort on the second run from Malo, Roderick fought back to take second place. Leading girl Lily Scott had a relatively quiet race back in eight place overall with younger sister Eva finishing as second girl.
The 10 and over boys faced an initial 1500m run and with several of the big names on cross country duty in Guernsey this weekend Jack Kennedy capitalised to dominate the first run followed by Peter Holmes with a strong run from Remy Hidrio in third. Whilst Kennedy opted for a quick transition, Holmes chose to practice a full shoe change allowing Hidrio through into second as they began their 4.5km cycle. However the strategy looked like it might pay off for Holmes who quickly began to eat into the deficit to Kennedy with the benefit of specialist cycling shoes and pedals. Meanwhile Hidrio, who has shown a huge improvement since this time last year, set about catching and passing Kennedy to build up a cushion for the return to his weaker discipline, the final 1500m run. Kennedy held a slender lead over Holmes as they returned to the transition but with a second shoe change required for Holmes he was not able to get back on terms with Kennedy who set off in pursuit of Hidrio. Hidrio could do nothing about Kennedy but fought bravely to the line against a fast finishing Holmes. Holmes thought he had snatched second place on the line, only to discover the finish line had been moved back five metres and in fact Hidrio had second place with a couple of seconds to spare. In the girls race the two Aimees fought it out with strong runner, Aimee Hugh, dominating the early stages but with top junior cyclist, Aimee Lutz, catching Hugh and building a large cushion on the bike. The pendulum swung back to Hugh for the final run but Lutz kept going strongly to secure a victory margin of 32 seconds.
With just one race to go in the Jacksons duathlon series Jack Kennedy leads Archie Swain at the top of the standings in the 10 and over age group with Aimee Hugh leading the way for the girls. However with some of the big guns yet to complete three races in the series (which is scored based on the best three results for each athlete) expect to see Sam Maher and Joe Hugh battling back to the top next month for the boys and Adele Maher staking her claim for the series win.
In the younger age group Luke Killian’s record means that he has already secured the series title with a race to spare as second placed Dan Roderick is unable to overtake him now. Lily Scott looks reasonably secure in the girls under 10 series. Second placed Ellie Boustouler will likely be more preoccupied in protecting her slender lead over third placed Eva Scott in the final race next month.
After the race Maitland shared some transition technique tip with Peter Holmes for his next race and the organisers thanked club and event sponsor Jacksons as well as Maitland for a successful weekend of sport.
The series finale gets under way on Sunday 24th March from 9:30 at Les Quennevais. For more details on the club, training and events see www.juniorjerseytri.com