My first race report….
Well this is what the long winter sessions have been getting me ready for… my first Middle Distance Tri. (But does it really count cause the swim was cut short??? Hell yeah!)
It was a little chilly on arrival (but positively tropical compared to an early season dip at Blackdyke!) Bike racked, kit checked, then checked again. The forecast for midday made bike clothing choice a tricky one, but the cycle jersey option had more food storage… so a no brainer! Nutrition was high priority today.
500+ athletes lined up at the edge of a massive bowl of pea soup. “Don’t worry, it’s crystal clear 10 meters out” the marshal fibbed! Nicely positioned in the 35-39min pack, I stayed the edge out of trouble and maintained a fairly uninterrupted stroke, sighted well for the first 2 marker buoys and just followed an orange hat into the sunlight as we headed back to the beach. Part one over, no dramas!
And uneventful T1 and off to the mount line. Where the elastic band holding the clipped in shoe promptly snapped leaving me flapping around trying to get a foot in and I wobbled slowly and unceremoniously out onto the road. 200m later I remember to tell Garmin I’m out of T1. D’oh!
The bike route holds no surprises after our recce a few weeks ago. The disc wheel crowd streak past over the next few miles as I settled into a steady pace, drinking copiously, sucking back a gel every now and then, and savouring lumps of banana soreen on the long straights. Nom, nom!
Only one mechanical moment mid-route when a brake pad jammed on after clattering over a pot hole, fixed by a quick wheel out, calibrated jiggle and wheel in. Off again! Phew!
As the miles ticked off I managed to hold my 30kph average and in the late stages I pick off some of those who raced past early on; Simon Bottomly’s story of old and young bulls springs to mind. 😀 Part two done.
Another uneventful T2, forgetting to tell Garmin again. Biff!
Trainers on, out of the gate and boom 💣💥… into a world of hurt!
I could feel the twinges of cramp in the lower quads in the first few steps; it was obvious this was gonna be a gruelling run. My worst fears realised. 😖
Only one thing for it… run til I cramp, then walk until I can run again. Run-cramp-walk… repeat until a Nice Tri man hands me a plastic glass of alcohol free lager! And just over 2 hours later it was over! TFFT!
I’m not a huge fan of running anyway, but I have to say it really sucked. Guess I’ll have to start racking up some long training runs straight off the bike before I get to Holkham in July.
With a chip time of 5:30, even a second swim lap would have brought me in under 6hr, so despite the run, I’m pretty happy with my first Middle. The sun came out and the support from Ely Tri Club was, as always, outstanding.
Gotta finish off by saying a big ‘Thank You’ to Kev Chalmers and Andy Sole for the training programmes, support and advise, and the excellent preparation trips to Bala and Mallorca.
Here’s wishing you all a great 2017 season, whatever and wherever you race!
Go Ely Tri!!!!