Races › Arena Games
31 Mar 2021
4 min read
Paratriathlon became part of Super League for the first time at the SLT Arena Games Powered by Zwift in London and provided much needed racing for some of its biggest stars.
Super League staged the event with the support of British Triathlon, and invited 20 leading athletes from the UK, Netherlands and Spain to the Aquatics Centre to compete.
The races consisted of a 300m swim, 10km bike and 2km run, and went across several paratriathlon categories. The event also had a team element with British Triathlon splitting the competitors into equally weighted teams.
George Peasgood, who took the men’s title in the PTS5 division, told the Inside Tri Show: “It was really fun. It was a slightly different format so half our normal race distance but fun to get the race buzz and pre-race feelings. It’s been a while.
REPORT AND RESULTS
“The last international race was in Valencia in September 2019. British Triathlon have been fantastic over the last year and have put on a couple of race simulation days for us where possible. It’s not quite the same because it’s our own run event but this was pretty fantastic.
“It’s set a bit of a standard and we can improve upon this. I am so thankful to the Super League lot for hosting us and inviting us down. Hopefully we can take this on and have more races in line with the able bodied guys. It shows para sport a lot better and hopefully it can go somewhere from here because it’s been really good.
“Para sports sometimes get put aside a bit so for Super League to say they will hold it and there will be the same amount of athletes as for the AB guys it has been really good. It’s a stepping stone we can progress on and when the events get really cracking live coverage and more media. It’s been really good but it’s been a learning experience for us and the Super League guys to understand the para categories and how they race against each other.
“The extra team element was really good with the 20 athletes in four or five different teams worked out by Jonny Riall with their average times to make the teams as fair as possible and there was only a minute and a half between four teams so it was really close. It just added another element to the racing.”
The SLT Arena Games was something of a homecoming for Claire Cashmore, who was a swimmer at the Paralympics in London 2012 and collected two silver medals in the Aquatics Centre pool. With her switch to triathlon she returned for very different reasons and took out the win in PTS5.
“It’s awesome to be back and talking about the memories from nine years ago,” she said. “It holds a lot of special memories for me and is one of my favourite pools in the world.
“I feel so so lucky and incredibly grateful that we have been given the opportunity to race. It’s the first time we have been invited to Super League and I am hoping that’s going to continue because I think it’s a massive step forward for paratri.
“To be able to actually race is amazing and I just hope that it restarts for everybody and mass participation events start too. It’s important for people like me because I train to race and for these moments and when they haven’t come for a long time it can be quite hard to keep that motivation.”
Dave Ellis picked up the gold medal in the PTVI division with a strong all-round performance and despite very different circumstances to those in which he usually races.
“It was really different. Good fun,” Ellis told the Inside Tri Show. “I’m not used to racing on my own as it’s normally with a guide but it was good fun. I last raced properly in October 2019. I did a few domestic type races last year that were just the British squad but this was the first proper race.
“It’s good to see where you are at and do something a bit different and get a race in rather than just training all the time. It was shorter than I am used to and found it difficult to get as much intensity but riding on the turbo I am used to and the treadmills are quite hard and muscle sapping and not much ground contact so I was trudging away.
“It was quite different without a guide. I am used to having someone to check but I was still getting feedback as to where I was in the race from my guide who was here to help out.”
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