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Multi-discipline . . . Geraldine High School triathletes (from left) Marcus Furrer, Conor Foley-Smith and Robert Furrer (all 14) have taken up competing in triathlons this year, since joining school's triathlon club. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

Despite running for less than a term, Geraldine High School’s triathalon club has had a successful start to the year.

Teacher Stu Wilcox said the club had about 20 pupils, from years 7 to 11, and they had already achieved placings in secondary school triathlons.

He had started the club at the beginning of the school year, inspired by his own passion for the sport.

“I love triathlons.”

While most pupils competed individually, the school had entered an U14 girls and U16 boys team in the Canterbury Secondary Schools Triathlon in Christchurch, on March 6.

Both teams had placed third.

Mr Wilcox had also taken a group of five junior pupils, in years 7 and 8, to the Oamaru Triathlon and Duathlon earlier this month, where they did their first ocean swim.

“[They] absolutely loved it.”

Two pupils had also competed in the duathlon and placed first and second, he said.

Pupil Conor Foley-Smith came third in the U16 category at the Challenge Wanaka secondary schools triathalon in February, while other pupils placed fifth and eighth in the race.

Conor said he already did a lot of swimming, so taking up cycling and running made sense.

Furrer said he had been inspired to join the club after competing in a school triathlon on school grounds late last year, which Mr Wilcox had organised for pupils in years 7 to 10.

“I quite enjoyed it.”

Mr Wilcox said the school triathlon had been popular with both competitors and onlookers.

“The rest of the school were cheering them on.”

Marcus’ brother, Robert, said he liked all three disciplines, but especially cycling.

Mr Wilcox said the multi-discipline sport was a way for pupils to compete in a more individual sporting discipline, if they preferred that to team sports.

While the triathlon season was wrapping up for the year, the club would continue training over winter to be prepared for when the season began again in November, he said.