Skipton Sprint Triathlon - 17 Apr 11
by borobhoyApr 17th 2011
This is a popular early season sprint triathlon in North Yorkshire. This is a pool-based 400m swim and with around 600 competitors the pool is in use from 0800 until around 1430. My start time was 1220 due to a predicted swim time of 8 minutes. This meant that the race was well under way with a constant stream of swimmers running from the pool to transition and others out on the run course.
Competitors were set off in waves at 10 minute intervals - four in a lane with 5 seconds between each swimmer. I was fortunate in that I was first to start in my lane and the person behind me didn't turn up - so I had a gap. I completed the swim in around 7:25, having lapped the other two swimmers in my lane, my fasted 400m. I then put my trainers on as it was a 400m run to transition on a concrete path - it was worth the 10 seconds or so for the chance to run comfortably.
Transition was fairly quick for me, change to cycling shoes, helmet on and run 100m uphill with my bike to the mount line. The bike course is a one lap, out and back with a loop at the far end. The first few kilometres of the bike are fairly flat but along the busy A59 which means trying to pass others with cars trying overtake as well. After negotiating a roundabout the route begins the loop, about 12km. This starts on the A59, taking in the villages of East and West Marton, before heading south to Thorton-in-Craven and heading back to the roundabout that started the loop. The loop is very hilly throughout and seems to be either up or down so it was good to be back onto the section heading back to transition to get some consistency going. It was slightly longer, about 21km, but the hills didn't help with a quick time. I had hoped for better than 42:40.
From transition the run begins by going up a short sharp hill. It is a two lap run which means there are runners around you the whole time. The hill at the middle and end was enough to make your quads burn but short enough to mean you could keep running the whole way. By the time I got to the run it was very warm, especially for April, and the water stop at the turn-around was a welcome sight on each lap. A time of 21:35 was fairly good for a hilly 5km.
A total time of 1:15:54 was okay but about 5 minutes slower than I had planned. Overall, a good early-season race that appeared to be well organised, especially for the number of competitors.
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