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Share  Tweet Thursday 22nd February 2024

GB Talent Squad athletes attend training camp in Gower

This Talent camp brought together all three squads (North, South & Scotland) – some 60 juniors – for race simulation training and took place from the 14–18 February. In this blog, Richard Tiley gives an overview of what the camp entailed. 

This year, the camp was based in South Wales masterminded by Mark Saunders & Alice Bedwell of Talent South.

We were able to increase the “race feel” of the camp by having the SOA tracker units with us, so that parents & friends could follow the progress of the juniors around the Middle & Long races.

We started with the Middle race at Oxwich Burrows. In common with many parts of the UK, South Wales has experienced an extremely wet winter which has resulted in many of the flat depressions having filled with water, adding to the route choices. The weather started out ok but by the time of the first starts, around 11am, then the rain had set in and was to become increasingly hard for the next 12 hours.

On Thursday afternoon, we drove into Swansea for a sprint race planned by Ben Mitchell around the Marina complex.

Friday morning the rain had stopped and we moved inland for a Long race at Margam Forest. Again we were able to use the trackers to follow the juniors tackling some challenging route choice legs set by planner Marcus Pinker.

By Saturday morning, the drizzle started again as the juniors took part in 2nd/3rd leg relay practice on Broughton Burrows. The afternoon was spent drying out before a Night race on neighbouring Whitford Burrows in driving rain. The flat areas were really quite deep with water (reports of chest high crossings) and this coach was relieved when everyone was safely ticked back in.

Finally on Sunday morning we made an early departure for Kenfig Burrows where the juniors took part in First leg relay mass start practice in the early morning mist.

Thanks as always for the support from parents & coaches who attended this camp and to SBOC for allowing us to use their areas/maps  and arranging permissions. Special mention must go to Alice Bedwell, Karen French, Eunice Carter, Adam Nagy-Kovacs and Judy Bell who shopped & catered for our group of around 75 people over 4 days.

Image credits: Kirsten Strain, Finn Diguid, Scot JSOS team