In his very first season competing in triathlons Samuel Pink has been selected to represent the South East Region in the Inter-Regional Championships in Sunderland on 4 September! Samuel’s South East season began on 4 June at Wildern in the Chapel Triathlon where he came 2nd with a total of 9,413 points which was a great effort considering this was his first race in the South East League and only his second ever triathlon! The distances were 200m swim, 4k bike and 2K run. He had an exceptional bike section with the fastest time of his age group overall. Next up was the huge event at the Dorney Open Water at Eton (where the Olympic Rowing will take place next year) on 26th June, when it was a scorching day.
There were 250 boys taking part in his race alone, and they all set off together in the water at the same time. It was heavy going in the lake and Samuel came 47th overall. This was an amazing achievement considering he had to ride the whole 5K bike ride with a puncture in his front tyre, which he didn’t discover until after the swim when it was too late to fix! Despite this no-one managed to overtake him on the bike but unfortunately it meant he couldn’t maximise his strongest discipline and had to work really hard on the 1,800m run to make up some time (which he still did with a smile on his face despite his bad luck!) The next race was 10th July at Trinity but unfortunately Samuel had been aware of this event until it was too late to enter, so had to miss this one. This was a fairly weak event so it was a shame as Samuel could have maximised his strengths and scored maximum points, which meant that his opposition could make the most of his not taking part and maximise their points, making the rest of the season very tight indeed. So at the next South East League event on 17th July, the Hannah Trust, Samuel knew he had to give it his best shot to stand any chance of finishing in the top two places and represent the South East at the IRC. He came a very respectable third overall at this event, scoring 9,120 points. It was especially hard as it was pouring with rain throughout his race, and it was a tricky bike course with the manhole covers being very slippery and a lot of people came off and got punctures but Samuel managed to stay on.
Finally came the Farnham Triathlon on 30 July. At this point he was standing at 4th on the League Table, so didn’t know if he would be able to push up a gear to make it to 2nd place, but gave it his very best shot. He came out of the pool 6th and had a very smooth transition, and began a very technical bike section with numerous sharp corners and inclines, where many competitors had come off, so Samuel had to use all his biking expertise and strengths to maintain his speed but not risk coming off, as he couldn’t afford to lose precious time, and by the end he led his wave on the bike and lapped everybody up to 3rd place. Going into the run he had a steep 200m uphill run to get onto the running track to begin his four laps. He knew he had to beat his main competitor by over 1 minute 30 seconds to stand a chance of qualifying for the South East, and put his all into the race. He lapped the 2nd place runner, his main competitor, and then pulled away from him, beating him by 1 minute 45 seconds, scoring 9,283 points for the race. He then had an anxious wait for a few days to find out whether he had made it, and was delighted to find out that he had scored a grand total of 27,816 points from his best three results of the season, leaving a margin of 135 points between him and 3rd place. It was an amazing end to the season, and well worth all the hard work in training that he had put in. It’s a very demanding League with 5 races in 8 weeks, with little chance to rest in between races. Now he is off to Sunderland for the Championships and we wish him lots of success. A big thank you to the Chichester Westgate Triathlon Club for all their support and advice, and also to Chichester Runners and the Chichester Cormorants Swimming Club. A special thank you to Barreg Cycles of Fishbourne from whom Samuel hired the racing bike for the events, without which he wouldn’t have been so strong on the bike. Samuel says “I have really enjoyed the season, and have made lots of new friends and would recommend the sport to anyone who has lots of energy like me!”