Perranporth Triathlon

There are four reasons why we are returning to Perranporth:

  1. Our lovely B&B
  2. To eat a proper Cornish Pasty
  3. Not to nearly die again in the swim
  4. To get on the podium in my age group (4th last year)

We arrived Saturday lunchtime to find the sea was lovely & calm.  The sun was also out.  However, would it stay like this for tomorrow’s race?  We then did a reccie of the bike course, which was mostly to refresh my mind of the tricky descent on the course.  Registration came next & then we relaxed for the rest of the day.

Sunday turned out to be a cloudy start to the day & we both had a deja vu moment when we saw the weather as we opened the curtains as it looked alarmingly like last year!!! The bad thing was that the wind had picked up & the sea was not as calm as the day before.  However, it was nowhere near as bad as last year.

I rode down to transition whilst Coach 2 had breakfast.  This was a very rare event for her as the starts are usually so early that she has to eat on the go.  I set up transition & waited for Coach 2 to come down to meet me.  The race briefing was scheduled for 8:45am but they were running a bit late so it was at 9am instead.  This gave me a bit of time to get into the sea & do a few practice strokes under the waves before the 9:30am start.

I started on the righthand side of the start line & had a clear run into the sea for a 1500mtr sea swim.  I still had a few issues getting started but once I had gotten past the rollers, my swimming started to go well.  I soon found my rhythm & felt that everything was going well.  When I got to the shoreline & stood up because I couldn’t swim any further, I found it difficult to run through the surf.  It was a very long run through the sand to get to T1.

Into T1 for a swift transition & then out onto the three lap, 38K bike course.  Each lap consisted of 10mins of constant climbing.  I think I got a little bit too racy on lap 1 because I struggled a bit on the second lap on the climb, & now I was relatively on my own so I settled into my own pace.  The third lap went OK & got overtaken by two people.

Into T2 for another quick transition & then out onto the 8K (I think) run which now had been changed from last year because of the high tide.  This is how you make a hard run even harder – they took us up a flight of steps, over a massive sand dune, then dropped down a steep concrete zig-zag onto the beach & then onto the same course as last year.  The first part of the run was tough through the loose sand.

I managed to run up the whole of the sand dune but it felt like my toes were coming out of my shoes as I came down the concrete zig-zag.  Now I’m on the beach where the sand was a lot firmer so I could now get into a proper run rhythm.  I reached the turnaround point, had a quick drink & then retraced my steps to the concrete zig-zag, which I just managed to keep running up (more like a slow jog than a full blown run). Then we went up another sand dune & I openly admit that I had to walk up the final bit (we did find out after the race that only one person managed to run up the whole thing – so that didn’t make me feel too bad).  The final section before we got back onto the beach was down a tricky descent, i.e. down a grass bank which I took very carefully as it was full of rabbit holes & I didn’t want to do anything silly.  I then headed off onto soft sand again for the final stretch to the finish.

My splits are as follows:

Swim – 28:26 (36th & 3rd in age group)

T1 – 0:53 (17th & 1st in age group)

Bike – 1:10:36 (28th & 1st in age group)

T2 – 0:43 (29th & 1st in age group)

Run – 37:24 (34th & 3rd in age group)

Total Time – 2:18:03

Overall Position – 29th & 1st in my age group (mind you, one of those above me was part of a relay team.  There were also two women ahead of me as well!!!)