In 2016 Bischwiller was Elliot's triathlon debut. He took well over 2 minutes for the 50m swim. After multiple stroke changes he exited nearly last out of a field of 60. In 2017 he climbed out of the shallow end in around a minute and in 13th position!
The bike course at Bischwiller is tarmacked and fast yet safe; using pool car park and entry roads. The run is a well-marked zig-zag, through trees in the gardens around the pool. Elliot was super-happy to finish 7th in the 6-9s. Proably his last race in this category.
“Sometimes I think these mixed-terrain, self-contained courses are also the future of adult triathlons.”
Sarrebourg can be a rude introduction to open-water mass starts for the kids. 100 athletes. 50m out, around a buoy and 50m back. I'd have set out a small triangular course. It's one gravel lap around the lake on the bike and a tidily taped run loop around a sports field.
Elliot was in the 9-13 category at Sarrebourg last year. Good practice for his next challenge at Bicester. The swim would be a scary 150m with a TT start. While his cousin kept up a steady rhythm, Elliot found the last fifty in the increasingly wavy pool pretty tough.
As an ex-PE teacher, the bike and run course lay-out at Bicester is a masterclass in the art of conage. In fact, they live in a post-cone world up there. They must stay out all night to drive the hundreds of small wooden stakes into the cricket field!
Tape is then stretched from stake to stake to create a pop-up triathlon theme park. @lukeemuir and I totally wanted to be racing. I think the result would have been close. Anyway, Elliot missed a lap on the bike and his cousin placed strongly mid-pack.
In 2018 we'll be checking out our local German races and making road trips to the UK and back to France. Elliot's brother, Etienne, should also start racing triathlons as well.
The first event of the season is on Saturday 12thMay at Oberschleissheim. Other races on the docket include: Bischwiller, Schongau, Erding, Ammersee and Billingshurst.