Diva Triathlon

Gra Diva Run (3)

Graham became a Diva…

My week running up to this race wasn’t the best.  My runs were very sluggish & didn’t have any zip in my step which was a little bit worrying for a taper week.  We travelled up to Chester on Saturday in atrocious weather.  The journey took just over 5 & a half hours.  When we finally got to our B&B I decided that I just needed to get out on the bike & do a little run so Coach 2 came with me & waited at the bottom of the drive.  I then did a 20min bike ride & a 10min run.  The pleasing thing about this was the run was a bit more bouncy than I had done in the week.  That evening we went off & collected my registration pack then headed off to a nice Italian restaurant in the town.  We reccied the bike course, which almost ran past our B&B towards the end of the one lap circuit so headed back to the B&B to get some rest.

 

Race morning dawned fairly windy but dry & warmish.  We arrived at transition at about 7am because we were being thrown out at 8am for an 8:30am swim start.  There were 114 in my wave, all 45-49, so this was going to be a big ask to achieve my goal of coming somewhere between 15th & 20th in my age group because this was also a qualifier for the Worlds.  Plus I was working off of my race two weeks ago in Shropshire where there was only about 40ish in my age group. So with this many in the wave I expected everyone to be trying to achieve a position in the Worlds.

 

The swim was 850mtrs up the river & 650mtrs back.  I managed to get a clear start on the far side, almost tucked in the over-hanging trees.  This wasn’t quite so bad as everyone else seemed to want to be in the middle of the river, so I was quite happy with that.  I was very pleased with the way the swim went.  There were no untoward incidents of punching or kicking, just a clean swim.  It was a little bit difficult coming back as we were swimming against the flow of the river.  The exit out of the swim was difficult too, all up hill & 15 steps to navigate before I even reached T1.

 

I was pleased with T1.  I then headed off on the bike for a one lap ride.  I managed to keep the one person I came out of the swim with in my sights.  I was about 10mins into the ride when the first quick biker came flying past me, never to be seen again.  Up to 15K was the first proper test with a constant 2 mile climb, then over the top another 3 more bikers came through but with the steady descent down the other side I just rode my own thing as I didn’t want to go too far into the red trying to hold onto them.  The last 10K I seemed to have the wind behind me & was starting to really enjoy the bike ride.

 

T2 came & went in a flash.  Then headed out onto the run for a 3 lap 10K run.  This course consisted of a mixture of cobbles, paving slabs, road, grass, single track off road & a suspension bridge.  I had previously discussed with Coach 2 that I wasn’t to get too wound up by people overtaking me on the run, as this is definitely not my strongest discipline since the ops on both ankles & with one now starting to play up again.  However, Coach 2 said that I was going really well.  The first lap seemed to go well but then at the start of the second lap it just didn’t feel right.  My hamstrings were feeling a bit tight but once I knew that I was on the third lap & seeing a few of my age group competitors on the out & back section catching me, I just had to bite the bullet & get on with the job in hand, which was to try to run as fast as I could to the finish.

 

My splits are:

 

Swim – 25:07 (includes the run to transition)

T1 – 0:54

Bike – 1:04:48

T2 – 0:42

Run – 42:52

 

Total time – 2:14:25

 

Overall position – I came 80th out of 621 competitors (10th in my age group – which was very, very pleasing – also, if I’d put my name down for the Worlds, I would’ve qualified outright in 4th place – nuts).

 

Conclusion – bring on Austria for a the start of my European domination campaign – well, may be!!!