It was a warm and blustery day that greeted competitors arriving at the Henley Open Water Triathlon, set in the grounds of the picturesque Shiplake College, with races across the TS to Youth distances. This was the first of the open water event in the Team Cherwell Junior Grand Prix and the 18 degree water temperature meant that it was discretionary whether wetsuits needed to be worn. This caused much discussion, debate and even a few brave souls venturing into the water to test what it felt like. The majority opted to swim with a wetsuit!
The course was set out on playing fields next to the River Thames where the swim took place, but had a split transition due to the distance between bike racking and the water. This required running shoes to be put on once out of the water before running the 300m to the bikes. On the bike and run, the flat surface was well laid out with clearly mown routes among the grass. What the course lacked in climbing it made up for in turns with a number of technical switchbacks both on the bike and the run that tested both gearing and the ability to accelerate out of the turn.
For the spectators there was a good selection of very reasonably priced food and drink which contributed to an overall sense of high quality organisation, with an atmosphere which reflected well on the organisers of the event, TriHenley Junior Triathlon Club.
There were a number of strong performances in terms of both total time and individual legs. The breakdown of results can be found here – http://www.k2sports-uk.com/results/