The Kerfoots take on Burnham on Sea!!!
Report by Neil.
Burnham on Sea Super sprint triathlon (250m swim, 10k Bike and 2.5k run) on Sunday 17th April
All 4 of us entered. Michelle , Tom and I into the adult event and Stephen in the TriStar 3 South West series triathlon.
A really well organised triathlon including bright sunshine and little costal wind met us after a 5am wake up call.
Michelle was first to go just before 8 (still 2 degrees C!!) 2 minutes quicker on the bike leg than last year and 4th woman home and the first Vet prize.
Next in was me at 8:20 starting about 2 minutes ahead of Tom. I swam, cycled and ran scared waiting for him to pass me. Luckily this drove me to a better bike leg and run than in previous years and I crossed the line about 30 seconds before Tom.
To the timing van to find Tom had won the event and I was third so I got to share the podium with him rather than take the pictures for once!
120 children took part in the event to in various age groups and Stephen aged 12 competing amongst 40 TriStar 3’s came in 9th which as he was the younger year of the 2 year age band was a very creditable performance. He smashed the bike and ran the run leg at a faster pace than his dad!
The triathlon season is up and running. Big T at Trowbridge next and then Cotswold Sprint, Nottingham, Chatsworth and Eton Dorney amongst the events we will be attending as a family this year. The entry fees are killing us!!
Burnham Super Sprint and KidsTri – 17th April 2016
A view from the Technical Official.
Thought this might make a change, as it’s a view from my side on the event rather than Competitors. It goes on a bit but it was a bit eventful.
This event is always an early start as it uses closed roads and I like to get there early to help out with any problems that may have occurred and be an extra pair of hands so it’s a 4.15am alarm call for me to arrive at Burnham at 5:30am.
Registration opened at 6am so a quick check to ensure everything that needed to be was on display, the insurance and permit was valid then out to transition to check the flow and help with the Competitors that were starting to arrive ready for the 7am start. This event has more than its fair share of novices so the transition team and I spent most of the time helping them set up, soon it was 7am and as it was only a 10 lap swim the Competitors were quickly coming through transition, this usually goes quite well going out but there are the usual crop of competitors unbuckling their helmet straps and shouting “where’s my bike” to contend with together with a bit of bad language to deal with, all sorted out quite amicably with no penalties given, one bloke did come close but I think he got the message when Mark the owner of BOS Pool came along and gave him one of his death stares. Mark is American and although a really nice chap can be a bit abrupt at times.
Once the adults have finished we go into organised chaos as the racks have to be re-numbered and the adult bikes removed this was completed by the skin of our teeth and on time the Tri-Star’s 1 and 2 arrived on the scene, this is where the fun starts as although Martin the Event Director told then where to enter they seem to arrive from everywhere, handing their bikes over the barriers and with the parents generally being a pain, anyway eventually that’s all sorted and off they go, the kids really are quite good and only occasionally need help racking or unracking their bikes but we are always there to help if required, no helmet violations and all was going very well.
I had to stop one enthusiastic parent running into transition while filming his Daughter on his phone and another who jumped over the barrier to help his son remove his bike so apart from that when all was going quite well as that’s nothing out of ordinary on a kid’s tri.
Unfortunately it was bought to my attention that there was a bit of illegal marking of bike location in transition, on investigation three Competitors had marked the location of their bikes using talcum powder, now this was in the Tri-Star 3 area, the older Children and a lot of them were going for SW Series points and due to the cancellation of the Bath Duathlon Burnham had been asked to include the series, this caused another problem as the South West are adopting a fixed gearing rule this year for Children one year ahead of the main British Triathlon events for some reason ? Luckily a SW team were there to check bikes which was good as I would not of had the time to do that as well. In fact I did not know they were using the fixed gear rule and were arriving until the Thursday, such is the communication channels through the SW Region.
Anyway back to the talcum powder and marking transition, the rules are, if I catch them doing it I can ask them to remove the markings, give them a stern look and that is the end of it, if it cannot be removed completely as in this case then a 2 minute penalty is given as long as the marking causes no obstruction to other Competitors, if so then a DQ is given. So as the markings were so blatant off I trot to the timekeeper to publicise the penalty.
I also had a report of a parent using abusive language to a Marshall due to the fact his son had gone the wrong way on the run, this is not tolerated and is an instant DQ which is a bit unfair to the child but abuse of any form is not tolerated, you don’t give up time for free to help out and then get sworn at for doing so.
Eventually I arrive back at the pool and Sarah one of the Organisers is looking for me. I had to deal with an appeal from a Mother of one of the Kids given the 2-minute penalty. Usually I keep my mobile in the car while I’m in transition but I did go back and get it to take a picture of the marking and once I showed her the picture she went away muttering. I was expecting some comments from the other parents who’s children had been penalised and walked right into a “lynch mob” by the timing van, as you might guess a bit of a discussion took place which was bordering on abusive but not quite, but as the marking was blatant and I had received a complaint from another parent I dug my heels in and insisted the penalties stuck. Unfortunately it did affect one of the girls who would of won her race which obviously did not help things as she was alongside her parent sobbing her little heart out which did not make me feel good but my job is to ensure a fair playing field for all and it was a Championship race,
At this stage the Race Organiser Martin got involved in my defence then they turned on him, Sarah another one of the Organisers then jumped to Martin’s defence then the discussion went to the T shirts not being long enough? By now it was all getting on my nerves and a bit out of hand so I managed to diffuse the “discussion” a bit saying it was my decision and they must go through the appeal process, they then gave me their undivided attention and took my name stating they were going to look at the Rule book to lodge an appeal with British Triathlon and report me for ruining their Children’s race… I did say they had to make the appeal to me but they weren’t listening at that stage and the rules are that after one hour of the protest being acknowledged it has to be handed to me in writing with £30, no protest was received so they blew it there straight away.
Strangely they blamed everybody except their selves for the penalty, they all compete in Triathlon so were well aware that no marks were to be made in transition, they accused the Marshalls of letting them do the marks stating they should know the rules but obviously they are not technically trained being a mix of Rugby Referees, Teachers and Lions Club members and if they all were Technical there would be no need for me, now there’s an idea. After a conversation lasting approximately 30 minutes they disappeared muttering I was going to be reported so I gave them my name and position.
This was just a bit of a bad end to a brilliantly run event, to be honest I get abused on a regular basis and after being Chief Official at 100+ events now have developed a good conflict management awareness so it all goes over the top of my head but unfortunately Martin Rogers the Race Organiser who is a lovely man and had been there since 4am was a bit upset at the whole unnecessary incident.
Anyway that’s a bit of an insight of my day, we did have some KIT Members there so I hoped they enjoyed their day as it really is a nice safe beginners type triathlon safely run on closed roads, worth a go next year for a season opener. Not all triathlons are like that but unfortunately there’s always a bit of grief at the kids events, the Children are brilliant but as in any sport the parents cause all the grief.
Just so you all know what I mean by marking your location in transition I’ve attached a photo of one on the markings. I rest my case.