It was time for a change of colour for Boston Triathlon Clubs four GB Age-Group athletes as they swapped their distinctive red club triathlon suits for the blue of the Great Britain Age-Group team. The 7th July saw the culmination of a seasons hard training for Ben Marsters, Katie Ball, Liz Cannon and Nick Ward as they took on the Middle Distance Triathlon at the ETU Transylvania 2019 Multisport Triathlon European Championships in Târgu Mureș, Romania.
Billed as the Transylvanian Triathlon, the four earned the right to wear the distinctive blue GB Trisuits at qualifying events throughout last year.
Ben Marsters earned his GB suit at the end of last season at the Sundown event in Yorkshire. This was Ben’s first GB race and event abroad, but Ben comes with a life time of competing at high level in Swimming and Water polo.
Katie Ball, now an experienced GB Age-Group athlete, donned the GB suit for the fourth time, after last year competing in Ibiza in the same distance she was hoping to bring this wealth of experience to the race in Romania.
Liz Cannon was sporting the GB blue for the first time after being awarded a place at this years ETU event in Târgu Mureș by posting a qualifying time at last Julys Outlaw Half Holkham in Norfolk.
Nick Ward who also qualified for the first time as a GB Age-Group athlete at last Julys Outlaw Half Holkham, was hoping to be revelling in the hot conditions as the summer heat seared in Romania.
All four travelled out to the Romanian city of Târgu Mureș earlier in the week in order to acclimatise to the conditions and recce the course routes ahead of the weekends race. Situated in the central north of Romania on the banks of the river Mures. Târgu Mureș dates back to the 1300’s, its name meaning Market on the Mureș and was the athletes base for the weekend with the race start 40km outside of the city on the shore of Bezid Lake near the small town of Sângeorgiu de Pădure.
The ETU Championship weekend consisted of Duathlon (Sprint & Standard distance), Cross Triathlon (Swim, Mountain Bike, Run), Aquathlon (Swim, Run), Cross Duathlon (Run, Mountain Bike,Run), Aquabike (Swim, Bike), and Middle Distance Triathlon (Swim, Bike, Run)
It was in the Middle Distance event that the triathletes from Boston Triathlon Club had earnt their right to compete. The race in the Middle Distance format had course distances of 1.9km swim, 82km bike and 20km run.
The conditions for the weekend were extremely hot, the swim which was held in Bezid Lake, was deemed to be compulsory none wetsuit due to the water temperature, with air temperatures ranging between 24-30°C. A short run from the lakeside to transition one to collect the bike before setting off on four laps of the “there and back” route along the walls of the river valley, each lap seeing over 220m of elevation gain. Once off the bike it was through transition two and out on to the run. The course was flat but mentally draining as it was formed from four laps for the same 5km route through the town of Sângeorgiu de Pădure, by this time the temperature had risen to over 35°C, fortunately the friends and family who had been able to travel over from Boston to support the clubs athletes were there to cheer them along.
All four athletes performed amazingly well and did both Boston and it’s Triathlon Club proud with Katie Ball making it onto the podium, receiving a silver medal for 2nd place in her age group.
Ben Marsters 04:35:45 8th (M30-34), Katie Ball 04:45:15 2nd (F25-29), Liz Cannon 06:00:35 13th (F45-49), Nick Ward 04:38:19 8th (M40-44)