The reason we entered this race was for the B&B – would it live up to the expectations of the pictures on TripAdvisor? And boy did it ever. Very large bathroom with a roll-top bath & power shower with radio installed plus Jack & Jill wash basins, a huge living/bedroom with a 40” TV, a dressing room & a beautiful bay window with views over Perranporth beach. Oh yes, now I suppose you’d like my race report!!!!
Myself & Coach 2 have been looking forward to this one since the end of last year so we rocked up to Perranporth on Saturday afternoon with weather conditions perfect for the very much anticipated race on Sunday – it was very warm with the beach full of people, dogs & surfers. Wind breaks everywhere too. We asked our host how far was it to registration & he said 12secs on a bike & probably a 5min walk so we headed off to register & then meandered around the village. Always in the back of my mind was the storm that the weather forecasters had been predicting all week “would it land on the beach on Sunday morning, or would it hold off for a day!”. No such luck. Sunday morning, with getting a reasonable wake up call at 6:30am, opened the curtains & I thought Oh s**t. The storm had indeed landed & seemed to be stuck in Perranporth. It was blowing a gale & pissing down with rain & the waves looked monstrous. Oh the joys of summer sport!!!
Whilst Coach 2 was having a quick bite to eat I decided to cycle down to transition, which took me 15secs. I set up transition & tried to keep my run shoes as dry as possible but my bike shoes & helmet weren’t so lucky. Everyone was asking the organisers if the swim was going to go ahead & the reply was yes, this is fine. You’ll be OK. Whilst waiting for the race briefing, THE HEAVENS OPENED. The rain was so heavy that Coach 2 & myself found a bit of shelter between the Registration Tent & a van. During the race briefing, the organisers said that in the 30 years that they have been running the event, they have never had weather like it!!! Trust me to pick this year to do this one!!!
Out of T1 & onto the 38K, 3 lap bike course, which we drove around twice on Saturday afternoon to make sure that I knew where the pitfalls might be. The first part of the lap was approx. 14mins of climbing, turn left along a main road for a couple of miles, which was quite fast due to the tailwind, then there was a sharp left with 6 x 12” hay bale wall for protection because the turn was 90deg. This was a closed road & very steep in parts & very technical. It was also very wet & slippery. It then opened up at the bottom with another left-hand turn onto the High Street, which again was a closed road. There were supporters but they were mostly huddled in doorways or finding shelter under awnings. I spent most of the 38K overtaking people, which was enjoyable (not like the swim) & no-one overtook me. All throughout the ride it was chucking it down.
Into T2 for another soggy transition. However, the cover on my run shoes had survived as they were quite dry. I then headed onto the 8K(ish) run, which is titled on their fliers & T-shirt as a “painful run”. I can verify that it was.
I headed out of T2 & onto the beach & was now running on sand which was ankle deep. I eventually got onto the more compact sand & headed down the beach as far as we could go. By now I was feeling OK but looking at the faces of the people who were coming back on the return leg, I could now work out that I was running with a tailwind & as soon as I reached the turnaround point & started to head back, I had a headwind which I found extremely difficult to run against. Halfway back on the return leg they turned us up a zig-zag, very steep, path & headed up onto the grassy dunes. By this time I was now walking but I wasn’t the only one. I eventually got to the top & had a tricky, windy descent back onto the soft sand to eventually finish.
This is one for the memory bank, so if the going gets tough, just remember Perranporth. It tried to drown me & tossed me around like a lettuce in a salad bowl. It tried very hard to kill me & destroy my legs, but I survived. I would like to say that it was a good day at the office, but that somehow doesn’t seem right.
My splits (if you can call them that) are as follows:
I was 47th overall with a time of 2:25:12
I was 4th in my age group (50-59)
I was 42nd male overall & got chicked by 5 (but one is turning pro next year – does that make a difference!!!)
I was 125th overall out of the swim
I was 27th overall for T1
I was 37th overall for the bike
I was 57th overall for T2
I was 41st overall for the run