It’s been a while since I’ve done a race report, as it’s been a while since I raced! (2019 for a pool based triathlon & 2015 for an open water one.)
Knowing that I was going to step back from my Academy commitments this year, it seemed like a great motivation to focus on getting back into some sort of race shape, so began looking for an experiential event to have a play at and the European Masters Games in Finland ticked all the boxes. Never raced in that Country, never raced at a dedicated Masters event, so Tampere here we go.
The team at www.dialaflight.com did a great job is finding us a hotel within a 5 minute ride to the start line, so we spent a few nights at https://murikanranta.fi/en/ although we didn’t get involved with frisbee golf.
The lake we were swimming in was over 1500km in area, thankfully it was a clearly marked course that started with a deep water start. I knew that I would be towards the back of the swim, so no surprises when I was with half a dozen or so at the rear. Bit more surprising when, despite all the space we had, the same bloke swum over me twice…once going left to right, and once coming right to left…
Up the hill and into transition and no worries finding my bike. Onto a multi-lap, closed road where I saw Di heading in the opposite direction on a few occasions. Little bit of rain, but the road surface was pretty good, so absolutely no dramas on the bike. Just enjoyed getting out & having a play.
Lot of competitors & spectators were around T2 by the time I got back in, so real good vibe & lots of support as I headed out onto the two lap run course, that ran you around a cafe before heading into a wooded trail. You popped back up onto the road near to a local chalet/caravan park and a few families had come out to support the athletes on this part of the run course.
I tried to make sure I thanked all the marshalls and groups of supporters as I passed them, came across the line applauding the marshalls, volunteers & race organisers, having thoroughly enjoyed myself.
I had anticipated being towards the back of the results and being last in my age group but the process goals I had put in place I nailed, achieved the outcome I wanted from those processes and had great fun racing in a brand new place and making new memories.
Reflecting back on the journey to Tampere, what stands out is that I actually enjoyed the open water swim training at Ellingham Lake (not my natural environment) and that stood me in good stead for being able to cope with being swum over & dunked; the bike training was challenging but progressive and the run was a run & not a walk for home. Probably the “best” race I have had this Century!