This doesn’t really happen very often but I had to attend this race by myself because Coach 2 still had a poorly eye & we didn’t want her sending the racers in the wrong direction !!!!
This is my first standard distance race of the season so had to think in a completely different way in how I raced it.
So the day started with a 3:45am alarm call & I headed off into the New Forest at about 5am. The journey was uneventful although there was a nice sunrise & plenty of New Forest wildlife to keep me entertained.
I arrived with plenty of time to get registered & racked. The race organiser, Richard, was in transition telling everyone that wetsuits were optional but also advising that there had been sightings of jellyfish in the river, so I opted to wear mine for the swim. The swim start time was 7am (prompt) & the sprint wave had gone ahead of us at 6:50am. This was a two lap affair with no untoward problems & I felt that I swam quite well.
I exited the swim & a had a nasty run up to T1, which was up a 400m grassy hill but I had a good transition when I got there. I then headed off onto the two lap bike course & this was quite an eventful ride due to a couple of roundabouts on both laps & having to stop due to coaches, horseboxes, caravans & at one time I had to completely slow down & pull to one side to let an ambulance pass that rushing to an emergency with its blues & twos blaring. The first lap was quite competitive between four of us. On the second lap, two of them rode away & I was hanging on for dear life onto the third guy. I hoped that I hadn’t gone too deep considering that I still had a 10K(ish) run to do.
I entered T2 for another quick transition & by this time it was still early(ish) but was told by one of the marshals “enjoy the run, it is only 30oC out there”. The run consisted of two laps off road, through the forest by Bucklers Hard yacht club. The first lap was quite good because the people who were doing the sprint were now on the same run course so I had plenty of people to try & catch & overtake. The joy of out & back courses is that you can judge where people are behind you. I did get overtaken by one person in the second lap as he was absolutely flying, but otherwise I stayed strong until the finish. Well I thought so anyway. You may look at the times & disagree. The run course had two ascents of the same hill that we ran up after the swim, but otherwise another great event organised by Richard & Jo of Race New Forest. This being the last triathlon that I was ever going to race for them as they are retiring next year.
My splits are as follows:
Swim – 20:15
Bike – 56:35
Run – 46:14 (the winner only did 41mins)
Total time – 2:03:05
I came 9th overall & 1st in my age group