Dearne Valley QuadKidz Hermione’s Race Day!

Congratulations to Hermione Ball, she won the (9-12) girls event at the Dearne Valley quadkidz event … here’s her great race report!

I went to Manvers Lake with my dad, both of us taking part in quadrathlons on the Sunday morning.
We arrived late on Saturday night just before it became dark. Thankfully quadrathlete friends Jean and David were there who helped us to put our new tent up and made us drinks so that we didn’t get to sleep too late.
We were up very early on Sunday morning as my race was due to start at 8:30am so that we were all finished in time for the adults to start at 9:30am. There was a lot to do, registering, putting a bike and kayak out, checking equipment and getting ready in a wetsuit to start the swim.

The Race
There were several races all starting together at the same time with a swim. Some were doing a triathlon whilst others like me were doing a quadrathlon. The distances for each part of the race were also different depending on our ages. I was wearing an orange hat showing that I was competing in the 9 to 12 female age group.

The swim was in the lake, colder than in a swimming pool, but wearing a wetsuit made it warm enough. I have taken part in a few short open water swims before and have never been very good, but this time I had my best swim ever. My dad had got me a swimming wetsuit before the race and I made sure that I had my head in the water before the race started. So instead of being at the back, I was up near the front for the whole swim.

After the swim, I ran up the grass bank into transition. I got my wetsuit off quickly and made sure the first thing after this was to put my cycle helmet on. I really struggled to get my trainers on because my feet were wet. I need to remember to put elastic laces in my shoes next time. So this transition could have been faster. I had a great bike leg. It was off road, but on footpaths that were mostly flat. I wasn’t used to the bike and my trainers weren’t very grippy, so my feet continuously slipped off the pedals, but I kept up a good speed. Into transition from the bike I just needed to rack my bike then take my helmet off, so this transition was quick, but whilst exiting the transition area I fell down the grass bank causing me a large bruise, grazes and cuts.

Next leg for me was the kayak, whilst those doing the triathlon would skip this part.
I had a terrible kayak. I’d had some practice in a Lightening kayak and paddled it o.k. earlier in the week. However, previously I had got into the kayak from a bank. This time I was having to get into the kayak out into the water where it was deep enough for the rudder to be off the floor. With no bank to hold on to, as soon as I got into the kayak, it tipped over and I fell in. With a little help, I emptied the water out and on the second attempt I got in and set off on the kayak leg.

Half way around the kayak course and I fell in again. The problem was that I had my seat set up for having bare feet, but had kept my trainers on for the race, so I hadn’t been comfortable, didn’t feel as confident as I had earlier in the week and my balance did not feel right. I was now in the middle of the lake. There were plenty of helpers out on the lake, so it wasn’t long before a couple of paddle boarders came to me and helped me to empty the water out and get back into the kayak in the middle of the lake.
I was glad to get to the end of the kayak and still be leading my category, but the person in second place was now very close behind.

I had a quick transition, only needing to get my buoyancy aid off and set off for the run.
The run went well, following the same route as the bike. By this time my laces had come undone, so I completed the run in trainers that were untied. Another reason to put elastic laces in next time.
I finished in a time of 31 minutes and 59 seconds, coming first female in my age group.

Junior Quad Girls ( 9-12 )
Hermione Ball – 2:31 – 11:05 – 20:50 – 31:59
Hannah Lancaster – 4:02 – 11:30 – 21:53 – 32:57

Even though I fell out of the kayak twice and fell down a hill, I felt happy for finishing and earning a medal.
I’m now really looking forward to the Quadkidz training weekend next week, where I’ll hopefully improve my kayak skills and learn more to help with my other races in the future.

Hermione Ball.

A superb report and great racing from these boys! Well Done Hermione, and Enjoy the next 2 QuadKidz Races, Lincs-QuadKidz and Box End QuadKidz! (BQA)