2 back to back events were in store for Wight Tri member, Jan Fletcher, when she travelled to Valencia to take part in 2 European Age Group Triathlon Championship events last weekend.

On Saturday (25th September) Jan competed in the sprint triathlon and having racked the bike and prepared her transition area in the dark, she made her way to the start pen where the nerves, emotion and reality really kicked in. It’s been over 2 years since Jan’s first and last Team GB outing.

The race started just after sunrise and the swim was in the thankfully calm waters in the marina, 1 lap of the 750m course. The athletes were set off in 3-second intervals from the pontoon which was about 1 metre above the water, with Jan opting for a dive start resulting in her goggles immediately filling with salty water. A slight adjustment and she was off, passing numerous swimmers from other age groups but coming out in 10th position in a time of 14.43.

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Out into transition and the sheer number of bikes made it difficult to locate her bike and so she lost precious time.

Jan headed out onto the 2 lap 20km bike course with work to do. The course was flat and technical with a number of hairpin turns and some tight corners with some rough road surfaces but Jan had a superb bike leg, moving up from 10th place to 6th, and completing the bike leg with the fastest split in her age group, 33.45.

Into T2, Jan racked her bike and headed out onto the final leg, a 2 lap flat 5km run course, winding around the marina and taking you back past the finish line just to tease you, to start the second lap. It was hot and humid, 28C but Jan pushed hard, not knowing what place she was in due to the staggered starts she and moved from 6th to 3rd place, posting the quickest run split in her age group of 20.29, to take the bronze medal and earn a podium position with an overall time of 1.12.13.

Jan was 26 seconds off 2nd place so slightly disappointed that the swim and poor transitions cost her the silver medal but she was absolutely ecstatic to have achieved her first European AG Championships medal and particularly pleased with her bike and run performances on the day.

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With another triathlon to complete in less than 24 hours, Jan was not able to basque in her glory and quickly set about recovering for the standard triathlon the following morning. Jan was one of only 2 athletes in her age group who took on the challenge of the back to back events so she was competing against fresh triathletes her age group.

On Sunday 26th September, Jan once again racked her bike in preparation for the second event before sunrise. This time she had an excellent transition spot, enabling her bike to be located much more easily which was a relief given there were hundreds of bikes.

This time Jan opted for an alternative swim entry, jumping into the water to ensure her goggles remained intact. The swim was one lap of 1500 metres, again in the marina but this time the longer loop headed into the rising sun, making sighting the buoys more challenging. Once again Jan was passing swimmers from earlier waves and exited the water in 9th place, in a time of 31.20.

She picked up her bike from transition and made her way onto the 3 lap bike 40km course, similar to the sprint route but extended. Again, Jan pulled out a storming bike leg moving her from 9th to 4th place in a time of 1.07.39 and posted the 4th fastest bike leg split in her age group.

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The sun was now out in full and the temperature was hitting 29 degrees as Jan made her way into transition to start the final leg. Feeling the sprint event in her legs from the previous day, Jan knew she had to dig deep.

The 10km run was 3 laps around the marina, an extended route from the previous day and Jan had an awesome run split of 42.50, knocking minutes off her personal best, and posting 2nd fastest run split in her age group.

Jan finished the standard distance course in 2.24.45, 4th in her age group and only 1 minute off of the 3rd placed athlete.

Though Jan has always hoped and dreamed of a podium place, she didn’t have any expectations and is over the moon to have taken a bronze medal. Jan would like to thank Wightlink for their continued support through the Talented athlete scheme.

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2 months ago

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2 months ago

Are Hermes collecting in ryde?


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