JENNY MANNERS will be 24 on Saturday but the Cirencester triathlete plans to postpone her birthday celebrations – hopefully just for a matter of days, writes Danny Hall.
On Thursday, she flies out to Edmonton in Canada for her last big event of the season, the World Paratriathlon Grand Final in which she will act as a partner and guide to the visually-impaired GB athlete Alison Patrick.
Manners, who just has to deliver her final dissertation to complete a Masters Degree at Loughborough University, had a satisfactory send-off with a fine effort in the British Elite Sprint Triathlon Championships in Liverpool at the weekend when she finished sixth (fifth Briton) behind the winner, World No.1 Gwen Jorgensen from the United States.
The superb effort moved Jenny up to third place (from fifth) in the final standings for the British Triathlon Super Series – the same position she achieved in 2013.
“I was very pleased with my race, especially the bike ride, as there was a lot of depth in the race,” said Jenny. "I caught Gwen and we were riding together in a group of four about a minute ahead of the main field.
“Conditions got worse through our race – the wind picked up and barriers were being blown down – so much so that they cancelled the men’s race due to take place two hours after ours.”
Despite the highly-charged nature of the competition, Manners is hopeful of a medal at the World Paratri Championships which takes place on August 30.
In only their second international competition together, Alison and Jenny took silver in the PruHealth World Para-Triathlon event in London’s Hyde Park “Alison is improving all the time and has been training with me at Loughborough,” she said. “I think we have a definite medal chance.”
Jenny should know – in 2011 she won a gold medal in the same event with her previous partner Charlotte Ellis when the prestigious event was run in Beijing.