Both Lou & Graham ended out at this one. Lou was so overcome at taking her 2nd podium of the season that she hasn’t recovered enough to write up her race report…but Graham managed to hold himself together to write this.
I did this one for a few reasons. One being it is a local race, on my doorstep – only 10 minutes from my house. Also, I felt I had to put something back into Triathlon so myself & Coach 2 did the registration on Saturday afternoon. Also Coach 2 helped out with the marshalling on Sunday whilst I had a blast through the New Forest. Another reason was so that my dad could see me race again, second time this year, with the first being the Ringwood Tri. Also, after the London Tri, it is 5 weeks until my next big race so I just needed something in the middle to break up the training.
With Coach 2 helping with the marshalling on Sunday morning we were up at 4am to be on site for 5:30 so I was the first to rack my bike which gave me plenty of time afterwards to catch up with Lou, my fellow Synergie Team-mate who was also racing. This triathlon was slightly different to the norm in that it was an 1100mtr swim, then a mile(ish) run to T1 (the race pack said it was 1K – not), a 33K bike ride followed by a 9K off-road run.
So I left transition, which was a Moyles Court School, to walk/run to the lake where we set up a shoe transition, put the wetsuit on & entered the bath-like Ellingham Lake for the one lap swim at 7am. The swim went OK & got to the first buoy in a little group but then I passed them on the return leg. Got out of the lake, took wetsuit which I had to put into a bag with hat & goggles. If this wasn’t done then there was a 3 minute penalty given so I made sure that it was put in properly with the drawstring tightly pulled.
I then started the run back to T1 & set off on the bike leg, but two of the quick runners overtook me but I couldn’t keep up with them. T1 went OK & I then headed off on the one lap bike ride through the lovely New Forest. This was the weekend where we had the real windy conditions & not as windy as the Saturday but it was still very windy, especially on the open plain on the way back. By this time I had caught a gentleman who wasn’t very happy that I had overtaken so we played leapfrog for the rest of the way back. Along the windy part, it wasn’t as bad I had originally thought as I was managing to hold 18-19mph. In the bleak winter months when I train in this area, I have known my speed to stay in single digits. On the final run into Moyles Court the gentleman got away from me but with my good dismount & quick transition I managed to beat him out of T2 which I was quite pleased about but that didn’t last long because within the first 200mtrs he had overtaken me again (he did go on & run the fastest run split!!).
The only way to describe the run course was like the Rio bike course hill, but many times over. What you had to do going out, you had to do coming back. There were a few people to overtake on the first part of the run because there was a sprint event on as well & they turned halfway before I got to my turnaround point. It felt like I was running OK to the turnaround point but I did get overtaken by a couple of guys on the return leg, but I did enjoyed this very tough run.
My splits are:
Swim – 18:48
T-Run – 8:29
Bike – 58:20
Run – 40:56
Time – 2:06:33
Overall position – 11th out of 102 competitors & 2nd in my age group