You can tell the season is in full flow as everyone is getting busier.
Scott was out classifying at the ITU Paratriathon race in Besancon where the weather was decidedly nicer than the UK; Di had to cancel off her cycle training instruction with the young athletes from Chapel Tristars while Graham went out to race in the wet & windy conditions of Shropshire.
Here is his race report.
This was a World qualifying race for Edmonton 2014. I wasn’t trying to qualify, so you may ask yourself why do it then? Well, the reason being is that I like to race the best in my age group so that I can see where my fitness level is at the moment. Only time will tell on that whether I am on course or not!!
After a nightmare trip up to Shropshire on Saturday (not only horrendous traffic jam on the tiny stretch of M6 that we had to go on but it also rained (very heavy in places) all day). When we got there, we had an hours breather before heading off to register & then off to reccie the bike course as it had been 2 years ago since I last did this race, so I felt it best to have a refresher.
Race day dawned bright but weather was due to get worse. It was also a strange start time of 10:30, with my wave going off at 10:45, but I still woke up at 6am so had a leisurely hour for breakfast & still had time to do a little run, a few drills & a final check of the bike.
I got to transition at around 9am & set everything up. By this time the rain had started to arrive (more like drizzle but it was going to get worse (oh yes, much worse!!!). We got chucked out of transition at 10am so still had a 45min wait to my start time so I went off & did a proper warm up run. I couldn’t do a swim warm up as they were not letting anyone out of the small holding pen, so it was a case of just dunking my whole body under the water & a couple of mock swim strokes to try to get used to the water temperature (which we were told was 15 deg – however, my body disagreed as it felt more like 12 deg).
The swim went really well & I didn’t have any bumping or barging at the start or round the buoys. The sighting was good & I was overtaking a few of my blue capped wave as well as catching some of the ladies who were in the wave before mine.
Into T1 with a swift transition (in my eyes anyway) & out onto the bike.
However, within 2mins of starting the bike ride the heavens opened & whoever was upstairs threw everything at us. The rain was so heavy it felt like hale-stones hitting me. This lasted for a good 10mins, with more heavy showers due to come. The bike course was a one lap affair. A bit short at 23 miles, but with three good quality climbs. The first one comes in at the first mile, the second one at 14 & the third at 16. I thought that the bike was going reasonably well up until about 10 miles when the uber bikers came tearing past me with no chance of me hanging on to them, so I just settled in & did my own stuff. The annoying part of the bike section was with 6 miles to go, when a group of about eight came past me with about a metre between each of them. Not fair. Where’s the draft busters when you need them!!! I just couldn’t keep this group in sight which was the only disappointing part about it, because I was then on my own all the way until the end of the bike leg.
Into T2, the announcer shouted out my name & said I was 12th in my age group – I didn’t pay much attention to that as sometimes they get it wrong. Anyway I had a bit of a problem putting my right shoe on as my foot was soooooo cold & didn’t want to go in the shoe. It felt numb for most of the run.
As for the run, it was a Y shaped course with a 2.5K out & back & then repeat it in another direction then off in yet another direction to finish the run section. The first part of the Y had got three short, sharp steep hills so in total six climbs in the first 5K. I seemed to handle this part quite well but however, I found myself starting to pay attention to men’s legs (don’t tell everyone!!!) to see if they had an “I” on it so after the first 5K, unofficially I was in 10th place in my age group. Onto the second 5K which had two longer climbs, so four climbs altogether. I had a bit of a bad spell between 6 & 7K & started to get overtaken by some blokes but on the way I seemed to rally (in other words I just told myself to put my arse in gear & get on with it). Which I did with quite a strongish finish for me. Now that run did hurt. (Coach 2 says they are all supposed to hurt).
My splits are:
Swim – 23:02
T1 – 0:51
Bike – 1:05:27
T2 – 0:52
Run – 42:49
Total time – 2:13:02
Overall position – 78th out of 329 competitors. 12th in my age group.
On the whole, very pleased with the swim but disappointed with the lack of power on the final part of the bike. Working off of the other race that I did, the run worked about right, or maybe a little bit better considering the difficulty of the run course.