SLT Arena Games Super League Triathlon Jessica Learmonth

“A Perfect Format” – Triathlon Stars Learmonth, Haug And Taylor-Brown on The SLT Arena Games

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After an innovative, fast and frenetic hour of racing in Rotterdam, Britain’s Jess Learmonth emerged victorious at the inaugural SLT Arena Games.

It was captivating viewing, boasting athletic prowess and tactical racing over the Triple Mix’s three swim-bike-run formats.

And the athletes enjoyed the challenge, too, relishing the chance to compete after a 2020 season in which many haven’t had a chance to stick on a race number.

Here’s what Jess Learmonth, reigning Ironman world champion Anne Haug and Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown had to say on a historic day of multisport racing.

JESS LEARMONTH

Jessica Learmonth at the SLT Arena Games for Super League Triathlon

“The Triple Mix format was so hard. It felt absolutely horrendous as I felt smashed after the first stage. I definitely went off too hard and my treadmill initially didn’t start [displaying the data] so I’d no idea how far I’d gone.”

“I had a massive advantage with my swim as it doesn’t take that much out of me and I can recover in the pool. I’ve never done anything this hard before as it’s the thinking of different things, such as picking up your goggles and remembering I had to swim after the treadmill run [in Stage 3]. You always need to be thinking of other things.”

“It’s great being back racing. I was apprehensive as I haven’t raced since the 2019 Tokyo test event and I didn’t know what to expect. It’s amazing that they [Super League] have put this on for us and we really appreciate it because I know it was difficult. It’s different with the virtual racing but I really enjoyed it. Having never raced on before, I now know that Super League is a well-oiled ship.”

ANNE HAUG

Anne Haug at SLT Arena Games for Super League Triathlon

“I didn’t have any expectations on (my performance) today as I knew the other girls were faster than me. I wasn’t as strong as I could have been be to be competitive here, but I’m very happy about bringing myself to the test and having a motivational challenge. I’m very proud that I survived somehow and kudos to all the other girls. I’m also really thankful to Super League for giving us this platform to race… it’s a perfect format.”

“With a pool swim here, having a swimming background was so important with the dive and tumble-turns where the gap can get even bigger. It was short and sharp and has to hurt; I couldn’t have gone any quicker today to finish the race. But I’m happy with my result as it was all about bringing myself to a start line again at a distance I’m not used to anymore.”

“Jess Learmonth is going to be an amazing athlete. She said to me five years ago, “I’m never going to make it as my running is so slow.” And now she’s a superstar as she has the perfect package for triathlon: she’s a super-strong swimmer, a super-strong biker and now she’s a super-fast runner.”

GEORGIA TAYLOR-BROWN

Georgia Taylor-Brown at the SLT Arena Games

“There’s so much to remember when racing the Triple Mix format. When do I put my run shoes on? Where do I leave them? And don’t forget to touch the yellow button on the swim. But it was exciting to race and so well organised, and it looks really cool in the venue. Super League run a tight ship.”

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