Wow, well that went fast. Lots of course confusion, lots of rain, lots of wind surprisingly I only saw two Casualties of Triathlon.
Somehow I was in the “elite” wave, now I don’t know if that was a rush to the head when purchasing or I just got bumped up on the day as I was originally wave 54 but became 56 So no pressure as the compère announced us to the crowds (I’d say a few hundred at most), looked at the swim course and it looked like the map, but of course that was just to lull us into a false sense of security.
Swim. Pondered the meaning of triathlon on the pontoon, shook hands with a competitor, 54321 and off we go. Stroke rate, stroke rate Instead of a rectangle, it was some sort of triangle. So after weaving through all sorts of swimmers - elite my arse - I made it out of the white hats into yellow stragglers, felt a bit lost for half of it but my RPE was good. It felt like a highish stroke rate but no fatigue. Near the end got motored through by two blue hats, reminding me that my swim is good but…still 25m35s…target achieved
Transition is not smooth, you come out of the water and are handed a bag to put you wetsuit in before you’ve had a chance to unzip. Once all off and in the bag you’re allowed into the stairwell where Mr Helpful is mopping the stairs slick. Some kind of hessian-like may lined about half of the way you need to run, then youre told to slow down as it’s slick the rest of the way Still got to my bike before most of my wave so the floor was dry there. I though it was good but apparently I was BoP in T1.
Felt good running to the industrial start line off and riding, but there’s a steep down ramp and chicane to deal with then on to the road so I’m still struggling to get into my shoes and gears 2.5min into the bike
Blasts of wind, 80mm wheels and a road full of clueless triathletes well I’m sure you can imagine. I’m used to people flying past me on the bike so I was glad to be keeping up with the numbers I’d spotted in my wave, and even taking the lead at times.
The wind combined with rain and road traffic I road entirely on feel and took no nutrition again, I felt I might be pushing the bike too hard at times but there were some forced freewheeling sections too so I hoped for the best. After the race I saw I’d got NP 241, AP 222 and 1h02 Another PB
Legs totally numb from the wind and rain and no feeling in my right foot….I was a little pensive running into transition but “hey ho”, change and go. Didn’t see the timing mat so hit my watch late.
Oh my Lord. If you though the bike course was busy, wet and windy then this was another level.. Thankfully I’m a plodder but even I lost my patience with the blockers at 8km. There was no talking on the run course - I don’t think I’ve ever heard such a silent, seething mass of runners tripping over each other . I paced it, running fairly hard but felt within myself tried to turn it up for the last mile and hit the afterburners twice for the up ramp and the finish line! . Felt really good and I had to yell a bit to let the emotions out Boom. Done. 50min something run, not my best.
Beating my new PB at Dartford last month by a minute