By Sarah Linnard
The late Spring Bank Holiday weekend saw Pencoed Triathlon Club welcome over 80 Tristar athletes aged between 8 and 14 to compete in the 5th race in the calendar of the Welsh Tristars Series 2017. The sell-out event took place at Pencoed Swimming Pool and adjoining Pencoed Rugby Club grounds in warm and sunny conditions and provided an ideal racing opportunity for first-timers and seasoned triathletes alike. After a pool swim, the enclosed bike and run courses on grass were perfect for youngsters, yet demanding for the older triathletes too. The children and their supporters had travelled from all corners of Wales and the course was particularly spectator-friendly, allowing family and friends to observe all the action and multiple laps from easy vantage and sunbathing points around the field!
In the Tristart Category (8 yrs), Seren Borland of Tristars Conwy won her third event of the season to date, whilst Steffan Penfold of Bynea CC won the boys race.
Finlay Thapa, current leader in the Tristar 1 Boys Series, took his second win of the season, whilst Anna-Rose Merchant, taking part in her first triathlon, was a worthy winner in the Tristar 1 Girls race (9-10 yrs). Second places went to Lily Roberts of Ruthin TriStars and Alfie Smallman of Celtic Tri. Third places went to Ella Harris of Swansea Trisharks and Elliot Jones of Ruthin TriStars.
Competition heated up for the Tristar 2 (11-12 yrs) races, with Ioan Oldfield of Ruthin TriStars following in family tradition by taking his second win of the Series this season and beating current Series leader, Finlay Catling of Celtic Tri, into second place. Third place went to Luke Wyatt of Aim 2 Tri. In the girls race, Anwen Nesham of Cardiff Junior Triathlon Club came in first, ahead of Abigail Davies of Aim 2 Tri, the current Series leader, and Freya Thapa of Cerist Juniors.
Also in the Tri Stars 2 Ceron-Lee Jones-Davies took part in aid of Velindra Cancer Centre raising over £500 for the charity.
In the final Tristars 3 (13-14 years) races of the day, the results were eagerly anticipated for both the boys and girls events; congratulations to Liam Edwards of Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club who, having stepped up to Tristars 3 just this season, finished in first place, beating Series leader, Alex Layzell of Triathlon Coaching Wales, into second place on the day. Third place went to Huw Jones of Ruthin Tri Stars. In the girls race, Pencoed Tri’s own Fiona Bostock won first place on home soil; she took the lead during the bike leg and maintained this position to the finish. Hannah Bidwell of Cardiff Junior Triathlon Club came second and current Series leader, Tia Froom of Ludlow Junior Triathlon, was third.
Overall, the children had a great day out and enjoyed the opportunity of taking part in a triathlon, some for their first time and others more experienced.
Many thanks to all the competitors, parents, volunteers and officials who participated to make this such a successful event. The Tristars action moves on to the Cardiff Junior Triathlon in two weeks time.