Triathlon: Juniors setting the standard

City of Lancaster Triathlon's Lydia Shenton (left) and Sasha Oldham (right).
City of Lancaster Triathlon's Lydia Shenton (left) and Sasha Oldham (right).

With 13 races complete out of the 19 in the North West Junior Triathlon Series, City of Lancaster Triathlon (COLT) juniors are setting the standard.

Lydia Shenton, 12, and Rhys Ashton, 10, are taking clear leads in the championship within Tristar 2, for 11 and 12 year olds, and Tristar 1, nine and 10-year-olds.

Tristar 1 Series Leader COLT's Rhys Ashton leading the Bike at the Manchester Junior Triathlon.

Tristar 1 Series Leader COLT's Rhys Ashton leading the Bike at the Manchester Junior Triathlon.

Kirsty Maher, nine, and Sasha Oldham, 11, hold second and third respectively.

This is Lydia’s first year in junior triathlon that typically involves a 150 to 200m swim, 5km bike ride and 1.6km run.

Lydia, who is a squad swimmer with Carnforth Otters, has dominated the swim section this season. However, she had never ridden a racing bike until a few months ago and is now putting in some impressive times that have led to wins at the recent Manchester and Wirral events.

Rhys, also a Carnforth Otter, has maintained a solid performance across all disciplines with exceptional run times that have led to eight wins out of nine races.

Both Kirsty and Sasha are both at the younger end of their age groups and keen cyclists and runners with Salt Ayre Cog Set and Lancaster and Morecambe Athletics Club.

Since the series has moved from aquathlons to triathlons both girls have excelled and now threaten the series leaders, as the remaining events are all triathlons and duathlons.

Thomas Dowthwaite is also one to watch at the club.

A keen Otters swimmer, Cog Set cyclist and Lancaster and Morecambe Athletics Club member, he is improving rapidly.

As is 13 year old Ben Winterburn, Emma Holden and William Howard who are ramping up to challenge for the top spot in Tristar 3 next season.

The next event will be COLT’s home Triathlon at Salt Ayre this Sunday, July 13 with more than 200 entries, 21 of whom are COLT juniors.

Elsewhere, following on from being the best supported club at the notoriously gruelling Ironman Lanzarote where 23 COLTs took on the 140.6 mile course, 17 triathletes were on the start line on another tough challenge a bit nearer to home in the Lake District.

The Day in the Lakes Triathlon is a half Ironman distance event over some very tough terrain starting with a 1.9k swim in Ullswater, 56 mile bike including Kirkstone Pass and 12.5 mile run including some of the Lake District’s fells.

The winner of the event was Andy Horn. The 25-year-old is fairly new to triathlon but is having an excellent season at short and long distance events.

COLTs taking on the challenge were: Andy Horn 5.09, Christine Gardener 8.05, Paul Gardener 6.29, Tony Calverley 7.24, Tony Jeffrey 7.39, Howard Hirst 7.20, Phillipe Jumeau 7.09, Ian Catlow 7.08, John Hodkinson 8.00, Danny Rogerson 7.59, Andrew McCracken 6.03, James Harrison 6.37, Matt Harrison 5.56, Andy Ley 6.09, Phil Watson 6.27, Neil Woods 7.57, Ian Sibbert.