Tyler Smith, left, and Alex Pilgrim *Photos supplied
Tyler Smith, left, and Alex Pilgrim *Photos supplied

The growth of junior triathlon in North America and Central America was clearly evident last weekend at the junior races in Clermont Florida in which Bermuda’s Alex Pilgrim and Tyler Smith participated. 

It wasn’t that long ago that our juniors competing in North America dominated the races they entered but that has changed dramatically in the past 10  years or so.

Nevertheless, the performances of both juniors suggests that if they continue to progress they will be able to compete at this level. 

Pilgrim, at 12, and Smith, at 15, were two of the youngest competitors in their races and their results (Pilgrim was sixth  in the FI Boys 12-16 year old race and Smith was 35th out of 75 starters in the Under 25 race) suggest  they could well have a shot at a podium finish in their age groups in the years ahead.

Smith will be joined by Erica Hawley this weekend for the prestigious Pan American Triathlon Confederation (PATCO) US National Championships in Sarasota, Florida. 

This event will provide a stern test for both youngsters but these races are what they need if they are to progress to junior world championship level in the years ahead.

Meanwhile, congratulations are due to Tats Hoshina and Gary Taylor for completing Ironman New Zealand last weekend in Taupo. Evidently there was a brutal headwind for a good part of the 180km bike course, which must have made their task that much harder. 

Defending champion Bevan Docherty failed to finish as he continues to have problems holding down the nutrition he needs for these longer races. Unless your body gets sufficient fuel it will eventually go into shut down. 

Hopefully he will be able to get the nutrition right but it is a lesson for all long-distance triathletes that no matter how good your preparation for an Ironman or Half Ironman you must get your fluid and energy intake right. n