Super League Triathlon 2021 – That’s A Wrap!
Jonnys thoughts on the back-to-back 4-week race series from Super League, catch up on his favourite format & destinations as well as his next race now revealed!
Jonny finished 3rd overall in Malibu at the final leg of this year’s Super League Championship Series, this weekend just gone. Let’s have a recap of how the series has gone as well, as what it is made up of.
The first leg was in London on the 5th of September at West India Quay, Canary Wharf. The format in play was the Triple Mix. All distances throughout the entire Championship series were set at 300m swim, 4km bike and a 1.6km run. The Triple Mix consists of 3 stages mixing up the sequence of the disciplines. It was a tight and technical course seeing Jonny come away with 3rd in a time of 44.57. Next up was Munich, JB described the course as hard but epic racing in the Olympic stadium. The format changed to the Equalizer, here athletes complete a time trial on the bike in stage 1, then in stage 2 it’s a continuous swim bike run swim bike run with the rule that if you fall more than 90 seconds behind the leader you’re eliminated. Consistent as ever Jonny was 2nd, a mere 2 seconds behind Vincent Luis. Round 3 moved to Jersey for the Enduro. This format consists of swim bike run 3 times through continuously, it’s a real test of the best all round athlete. We are maybe a little bias, but the Brownlee period of domination is yet to cease as Jonny took 2nd just pipped to the post by Tokyo silver medallist Alex Yee. Time to catch a flight to Malibu. The Malibu Triathlon was Maccas favourite race when he was racing so to pay homage, he placed the final leg in the Hollywood hills. Celebrities including Rich Rolls & Chase Crawford would line up and race for charity whilst the pros took on the Eliminator. The Eliminator is as it sounds, 3 stages of swim bike run with the back competitor being eliminated after the bike and a further 2 on each sequential lap of the run, this continues for 3 stages. Jonny finished 7th and collected the oversized cheque for finishing 3rd in the overall series. His team ‘Cheetahs’ finished the series ranked 4th.
Unsurprisingly Jonny is advocating for some hiller tracks next year and would be more a fan of the final leg being the Enduro format rather than a 12-minute race. 2021 SL introduced the teams, whilst at this stage it didn’t affect Jonnys race tactics it may do in the future.
Reflecting on the past month Jonny said “I can be competitive in this format still. I was actually very nervous before the start, not knowing if I’d be good enough to compete at this level in these formats and I’ve proved I can do that, especially in the Enduro format which probably suits me the most.”
Some learnings from Super League racing are acknowledging the margin for error is minimal in this kind of racing, everything needs to be nailed and transition requirements are sharp. Jonny recounts his Malibu performance as having sloppy transitions which put him on the back foot and then out of fighting for top spots.
On a similar note, sea swims highlighted the Aussies strengths. “I can’t swim very well in the sea through the waves, the Australians are amazing at that. In the first race I was near the front & suddenly found myself 10 seconds behind & didn’t know what had happened, so I need to improve these skills. What’s great about SL is it tests all those different skills”.
What was your highlight Jonny?
“Definitely the race in Jersey, I really enjoyed racing in front of the home crowd and it’s probably the best I’ve felt in a race in many years. After getting relegated in Jersey back in 2019, which was tough to take, racing well there was very special.”
“I’m having a few easy days here & enjoying a bit of Malibu. Then heading home to Leeds for a couple of weeks good training for 70.3 Portugal, which I am really looking forward to because it should be a new challenge racing long distance triathlon. It’s great this time of year, if you can’t enjoy this time of year, you probably shouldn’t be a triathlete!”
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