Penzance Junior Aquathlon took place in ideal weather conditions on Sunday – this being the ninth time that this event was organised by Mounts Bay Harriers. The children aged between 8 and 16 swam in the pool at Penzance Leisure Centre and then ran around the fields and footpaths surrounding Bolitho School and the Astro Park. Distances varied according to age from the 8-year-olds swimming 50 metres and running 600 metres to the 15-16-year-olds swimming 300 metres and running 3,800 metres.
Members of Mounts Bay Harriers turned up at 5.30am to set up the course, sweep the paths, put out signs, clear any dog mess and cut back vegetation as well as unlock a gate with a lock that had seized up, in order that the children could have a safe and fun race.
Brilliant performances were put in by all who took part with only seconds separating some prize-winning places! In the 8-year-old boys, Jude Hardy (St Ives SLSC) beat Jamie Watkins (Gyllyngvase SLSC) into second place by one second – a real sprint for the line, with Sky Bowden-Inoue (Wadebridge ASC) finishing two seconds ahead of Keira Downing for the 8-year-old girls to come first! Last minute entry Evie Belt (St Ives Bay SC) finished in third place, 19 seconds later, with Oscar Marr (St Mary’s RC) finishing in third place for the boys.
In the 9-10-year-old girls’ age group Abbie Downing was out of the swim first but was overtaken on the run by fellow Gyllyngvase SLSC Robyn Ivall who went on to win. Caitline Keaney (Cornwall AC) was third. For the boys Joseph Railton (TR1) finished well ahead of Johnny Ivall (Truro City SC) who finished just four seconds ahead of George Mitchell (Cornwall AC).
The biggest age group was the 11-12-year-olds. Again it was close finishes for both the boys and girls with Betsy Peters (St Ives Bay SC) just pipping Nisa Bowden-Inoue (Wadebridge ASC) by nine seconds to win. Kezia Elliott (Mounts Bay Harriers) crossed the line in third place. Toby Osborne (Mounts Bay Harriers) beat Archie Coulthard (St Ives Bay SC) by six seconds and Samuel Perkin (St Ives SLSC) came third.
In the 13-14-year-old age group the wins were more emphatic with Sofia Rescorla-Brown (Penzance SC) finishing over a minute ahead of Zara Elliott (Mounts Bay Harriers) who was over two minutes ahead of third placed Faye Ivall (Truro City SC). The boys were just as spread out with Archie Vingoe (Cornwall AC) a minute-and-a-half ahead of second placed Mawgan Osborne (Penzance SC) who, in turn, was nearly 30 seconds ahead of Reef Slack (Mounts Bay Harriers).
There were only three entries in the 15-16-year-old females. They all came out of the swim at roughly the same time but Shannon O’Connell (Mounts Bay Harriers) pulled well ahead on the run to finish first, followed by Rosie Tonkin (Mounts Bay Harriers) and Naomi Rescorla-Brown (Penzance SC).
Thanks must go to all the marshals who gave up their Sunday morning, Penzance Leisure Centre and Bolitho School.