The Super League Triathlon saw Jersey well and truly stamped onto the sporting map. Last weekend saw two days of pure adrenalin charging around our marina and over our cobbles. The large crowd was gripped as the men and women fought nail and tooth for the title of winner and the rather nice cheque that went alongside it. As an aside, it was great to see the men and women being payed equally. Super League Triathlon recognises that it is tough irrespective of gender.
Saturday – The Men’s Race
Saturday was a glorious day. The sun was out and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. You couldn’t have asked for better weather for the triathlon. We got there early and nabbed a good spot right next to what was referred to as “Freedom Corner”. The perfect spot as you were able to watch the athletes take the bend. The crowd were really up for the event and it was good to see the athletes coming out to walk and warm up before the event started. They were also more than happy to chat to the crowd.
This event had drawn people from all over the world and in the crowd we had die-hard triathlon fans as well the expected Jonny Brownlee groupies. One girl informed me that she had spent a lot of money to come to Jersey so that she could support Jonny. Her support of him proved to be unwavering and even when her mum was taken indoors because she felt faint, this girl refused to leave her prime spot in the crowd as she didn’t want to miss out on her Jonny. Her loyalty was admirable but in my book your mum always come first. If I had been offered a one-to-one audience with Ryan Gosling but my mum was poorly, well I would have to say “Sorry Ryan, but no”. *sobs and prays that never happens 😉 *
Who Should We Support?
With the sun beating down on us Mr C too began to complain of feeling a little hot and bothered and he retreated to buy a Super League Triathlon cap to shield his head. A cap that we all later borrowed. The crowd was in fantastic spirits and it was great to see so much support for a great sporting event. Oldest and I discussed who we would support. Would it be Jersey wildcard Dan Halksworth or Yorkshire boy Jonny Brownlee? Oldest declared that as she is a Yorkshire girl by birth she would be supporting Jonny. I have to say Oldest did do a very good job of supporting Jonny as I have never heard someone shout so much. The Jonny groupies would have been proud of her. I felt torn and supported everyone. I have to say that the Jersey crowd was generous in their support and showed no favouritism, choosing to raise a roar for all of the athletes taking part.
Finally, the triathlon kicked off for the men and it was the Triple Mix. No, this was no delightful pick and mix of sweets. This was a hellish and brutal race of three stages, in varying orders. The athletes only have a ten minute break between each stage. What would you do with those ten minutes? What can you do in ten minutes? It’s not quite enough time to make a cuppa. Do you squeeze in a quick wee break? But I imagine trying to get out of all that Lycra could easily take you ten minutes. But then that’s why they are professional athletes and I am clearly not.
Fast, Frantic And Brutal
If I was to describe the Super League Triathlon and how it is different to your “normal” triathlon. I would say that it is the 20:20 cricket of the triathlon world and then some. It is fast, frantic and brutal. Potential leaders only began to emerge in the final part of stage 1 when we suddenly had Blumenfelt, Murray and Brownlee breaking away. The girl with the poorly mum was delighted, her mum less so, as she was laying down in a darkened room somewhere. This was a sign of things to come as it was these three that continued to dominate the men’s triathlon for the rest of the weekend.
It was not clear who was going to win out of these three as it was literally neck and neck. They were constantly on each other’s tail with only a hair’s breadth between them. They all fought for it and Stage 2 became a battle between those three. Then in Stage 3 disaster struck as Brownlee somehow managed to slip as he put his trainers on in transition. We held our breath, Oldest became silent, and the groupie next to us let out a muffled sob. It was no good. It cost him his place and Blumenfelt and Murray broke away and now the race became about these two. They fought for it hard until Blumenfelt suddenly dug dip and powered forward. He claimed victory by 15 seconds.
In the next post I share how the women’s race on Saturday went and how it left Oldest and me feeling inspired!