Great to hear about Dave Pratten smashing the field and winning his age group.
The main reason for taking part in this event was to undertake a good workout as part of my preparations for the Norseman (54 days away..not that I am counting). It was to be my second half ironman distance event in four weeks with the 300 bike of the Tour of Wessex sandwiched between them.
The 500 odd triathletes were divided into 3 waves for the reservoir swim. Young ‘uns’ in white hats in first wave, age groupers in blue hats in wave 2 and older age groupers in yellow in the last wave. Each lap started 5 minutes apart on a two lap course with an exit of the water and diving re-entry between each lap. As an old but reasonably competent open water swimmer I found myself overtaking some blue hats by the time I reached the first buoy and white hats at the end of the first lap. This made the second swim lap very busy as I tried weaving my way in and out of the earlier waves. I exited the water having completed the 1.9k swim in 30 minutes leading my age group.
The first part of the bike was almost as congested as the swim but I soon found some space and settled into my own rhythm. The course was flat with a few technical turns but otherwise fast. The air temperature rose quickly into the twenties and I made sure I hydrated well and stuck to my nutrition strategy. I completed the 90k bike in 1:45 knowing that I still led my age group rivals.
By now the weather was really warm but again I settled into my ironman rhythm and hydrated well. I felt strong and in control throughout the run and finished the half marathon course in 1:39 almost bang on my target. It was great to know that the overall time of 4:57 was good enough to win the national title for my age group, 10 minutes in front of my nearest rival and 30 minutes in front of the third placed athlete.
Next up is some heavy miles training then the Enduro 24 relay and then the Norseman. Can’t wait!!