TRIATHLON: Leah Peploe stars on the national scene
A BOLTON athlete battled the odds to seal a top place in the ETU European Junior Cup.
Leah Peploe, aged 17, travelled down to Eton Dorney last week for the top event which was part of the British Triathlon Under-23 Festival.
It included the Inter-Regional Championships where the nine regions in England and Wales and Scotland send teams of T2 (U13s) and T3 (U15s) girls and boys to compete against each other in the IRC Championships.
She was part of the North West team, but it did not all go to plan.
She said: “My registration was later than that of the IRC teams, so my friends who were competing in my race offered to give me a lift to the hotel.
“On arriving at the hotel it quickly became apparent that, although it was the same hotel chain, it wasn’t the same hotel! No bike, no kit and panic!
“We managed to contact my team manager and it turned out that the hotel was miles away and not only that my bag was missing but my club coach, Mike Myers rang to say he had found my bag and had my bike.
“It was a stroke of luck he was staying in a hotel close to the one I ended up in and would drop my gear off on his way.
“It was far from ideal preparation for the biggest race of the season.”
The Ladybridge High School pupil, put her concerns behind her and was in sixth place after the swim before leading the race in the bike ride.
She said: “Unfortunately the bike leg was very slow which didn't suit me.
“On the run I did my best and finished in 25th place out of 60 athletes, and seventh-placed Brit.
“Although I was hoping to be in the top three British girls my race went okay.
“The points I gained helped me finish in fourth place in the junior section of the British Triathlon Super Series (winning a £100 gift voucher) so I can’t complain in my first of three years as a junior.
“The icing on the cake was the fact that the North West Region won the IRC, which was remarkable as they finished last the previous year.”