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The Sixth Formers raised £170 for Jess!


On Wednesday the 15th of June, three Sixth Formers from The Harefield Academy took part in a triathlon to raise money for a young girl in the village called Jessica Shepard who needs £120,000 to get treatment in America for her tumour she calls ‘Boris’. Matteo Intrigila, Liam O’Brien and Joe Doyle started training for the event six weeks ago, swimming twice a week through a tough training programme gradually getting harder as the weeks got closer to the event. The Triathlon was a gruelling challenge for these Sixth Formers as they had to swim 750m, cycle 20km and run 5k. However, all three managed to complete the triathlon even though they did face some challenges along the way as Matteo stopped for a period due to the fact that he injured his knee and Joe stopped due to dehydration but the pair of them, despite their problems, soldiered on to the finish.

The event started at Denham water-ski lake at 07:30 am where the three athletes had to swim 750m in the extremely cold water. Matteo finished first out of the three with an impressive 26.14 followed by Liam with a respectable time of 34.36 and then coming in last was Joe with 39.22. Once out of the water the athletes got changed into running and cycling clothing and jumped on the mini bus where they were driven back to school to then swiftly jump off the bus and hop onto the bikes for a harsh 20km cycle around the perimeter of The Academy which was the equivalent to 14.26 laps.      

The three of them started very close, however after a lap Joe started to drop away from the other two who were pushing a hard pace then after a few more laps of hard competition between Liam and Matteo, Liam managed to break away and gain a large lead over the other two who started to struggle with Matteo’s knee injury and Joe began to develop dehydration. Liam managed to finish the ride in 01:06:27 which meant he could start straight away on the run; he was then followed by Matteo with 01:21:17; and then Joe pulled in with 01:31:48 at the end of the bike race Matteo had a 6.68 minute advantage over Liam. However, Liam was making up the time on the run whilst Matteo was trying to hang in there to maintain his lead.

The event was to be won or lost in the 5km run and it was extremely tight between Liam and Matteo with only a few seconds between the two coming in to the finish. Liam finished the 5km first but this did not mean he had won as Matteo still had an advantage over him from the swim which meant that Liam had to sit and wait to find out if he had won or not. Matteo was pushing himself for the win and it was all down to his last lap on whether he had got the win or had it gone to Liam! For the final lap Matteo had to run 400m in 61 seconds to beat Liam and the win went right down to the last second when Matteo managed to win. Whilst all this was going on Joe knowing he was out of the competition did not give up and made sure he finished the event and that is what he did with the support of the other two and everyone watching. Matteo’s overall time was 02:06:31 followed by Liam with 02:06:35 and lastly Joe with 02:20:51.  

In conclusion to the event, the three of them managed to raise £170 to go towards Jess’s treatment and the three of them truly got an idea of what triathletes go through and how physically fit they have to be.

By Charlie Malin, THA Sixth Form