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Windsor Triathlon 12th June 2011

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Swim: 25min 07sec

T1: 1min 19sec

Bike: 59min 59sec

T2: 1min 07sec

Run: 38min 09sec

Overall: 2hr 05min 41sec

Position: 2ndin age group, 3rdoverall


Over the last few years this has always been my main race of the year, so to train hard this week and treat it as a training race seemed a little sad as it would be interesting to accurately gauge my improvement from previous years in one of the largest races in the country with circa 1,600 competitors. I changed a few elements of preparation too, most of which did not work…

With bike racking the day before, a good friend did the deed for me while I attended to children’s parties down in Gloucestershire. Christian could not help but send a text to explain that his young daughter’s reaction to seeing the bike was…”Wow who’s bike is that?”…..which was closely followed by…”but why does he have a girl’s bike?”

Race preparation was the main first item to change in this race. With a 6.35am wave start, breakfast was going to be interesting. Following a discussion with my coach, getting up at 3am seemed the best option. What we did not discuss was going to a bbq the night before and going back to bed after breakfast again. This was probably fuelled by a little bit of over confidence following last week’s race. I got to bed too late and learnt that burgers and sausages do not feel so good during races and going back to bed after breakfast felt like digestion slows down again leaving me feeling a little too full before the start line.

With two thirds of the swim upstream, I hugged the bank and felt to be swimming well and keen for a time similar to last week. There did not appear to be much current. Bit annoyed to then exit the water in circa 24.5mins, minute and a half down. Final swim time bit higher due to long run to start of first transition. Perhaps there was a bit of current after all.

T1 was uneventful after last week and was especially careful to make sure I put the race belt on before jumping on the bike. I had put an old pair of running shoe insoles into my cycling shoes which made the fit much better than last week, one good improvement. Felt comfortable but then had a bit of a shock after about 3 minutes when a bike came past me….drat…he had all the kit so perhaps he was quick. Kept the regulation distance behind him for a minute or so and realised that I had probably been slacking, overtook him again and thankfully did not see him from then on. Stomach felt pretty average after about 20mins and then dodgy again each time I drank up until about 45mins….I forced myself to keep drinking though. With the end in sight, stomach had settled and due to being the first male Olympic wave found myself out on my own, things were looking up. For such a well labelled and marshalled course it was surprising that I got confused at one of the last roundabouts and went left instead of straight on, cycled for a bit then realised I had gone wrong. Interestingly this really affected me badly, I was absolutely furious and with only a mile or two to go I was berating myself and considering whether it was worth starting the run. I managed to buck my ideas up and had another reasonable transition and got out onto the run. After overtaking a couple of ladies I was then out in front of all the Olympic waves. Perhaps linked to the roundabout issue, stomach still not 100%, and mental excuse of it being dubbed my training race, I was not running well and had to concentrate hard to push through the run. My last lap slowed further by another minute and in the circumstances happy to finish the run in 38min.

Still muttering away under my breath, found a chief marshal who politely explained it was my fault at the roundabout despite my thinking the marshal should not be hiding around the other side of the roundabout. Mild compensation was he would add it to the race debrief. I guess this is the first race I have been close to being out in front and one needs to pay more attention to the route in future.

In summary, 7 minutes quicker than last year and lots of lessons learnt.

Next up is Pontevedra on 26thJune. I will train hard this week then taper before flying out with the family on Thursday week.