Dave was racing at the National Champs
This was my second middle distance race of the year.
My ‘master plan’ for the season was to space three middle distance races approximately a month apart but the postponement of the original Marshman resulted in a two week gap between the events. So our travels took us north to Grantham, birthplace of the recently deceased Maggie Thatcher. Having now seen the town, for the first time in my life I almost felt some sympathy for her. Obviously having beeen brought up in such a place she resolved to spend the rest of her life making as many people as miserable as possible.
In sharp contrast the Beaver triathlon race site, although only 8 miles east of the town was a world away. The race is centred around the grounds of Belvoir Castle, home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland and a quintessential English country estate.
The swim took place in a shallow ornamental lake overlooked by the castle on the hill. I was in the second of the two waves and found the water at 14 degrees almost balmy compared to Swanage Bay. It was, however, very silty and the first wave stirred it up even further so there was no visibility under the water surface whatsoever. I had a reasonable swim hampered only by weaving in and out of those in wave one.
The run up to T1 is one of the longest in triathlon. Some athletes removed their wetsuits and ran but I chose the option of stripping down to the waist and warming my legs as i ran towards my bike.
The bike was an undulating affair which apparently is usually short and fast. Unfortunately loose chippings had been laid the week before the event so the course was altered to add a few more miles and take in a horseshoe turn followed by a steep hill. Despite the blustery conditions I enjoyed the bike and felt comfortable entering T2.
The run was a 4 lap out and back course up and down a long hill. Again i felt comfortable until I managed to fall over a small pothole. fortunately the only damage was my pride.
I finished in 4:58:26, 72nd overall and second in my age group.
Next up is the Cowman followed by Challenge Vichy (10 weeks from now!)