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This is just a place for me to say what I am doing, 2011 is also my first year of triathlon

Dambuster Triathlon - 18th June 2011

dbristowby dbristowJun 19th 2011
Lets cut to the chase and post the full and ugly truth of my result: 03h:42m:43s which was a finishing position of 735.

Swim: 00:40:10
T1: 00:04:33
Bike: 01:40:54
T2: 00:02:30
Run: 01:14:36

Having only arrived the day before the race which was 1 day later than scheduled due to City Link not delivering my nutrition as planned, I was not really off to an ideal start. However the B&B was perfect, I stayed in The Kings Arms in Wing, only a few miles from Rutland Water. I settled in, unpacked all my gear and headed to the race location to see what I had set myself in for. This after all was my first "proper" triathlon and if took note when I booked the event I would have noticed it was a qualifier for the Worlds then perhaps I would not have entered!!.

Anyway I was now here, and my stomach was all over the place - not in a get me to the toilet quick way but just nerves. Hard to describe, I was not panicking but I was breathing much more slowly and deliberately than normal. The weather had turned (lots of rain) so the planned little bike trip did not happen so I just looked at the transition and entry/exit points and the lake. The lake was choppy because of the wind and boy was it windy!

Having looked around to get my bearings, sat down in the cafe to have a cup of tea and get all the negatives out of my mind - listening to some Glee tracks seemed to help; also helps me remember the songs for the show next weekend at the O2.

Next was a drive around the bike course, shame in the car that you can't tell how hilly it is when driving around but I have included a picture of the famed Rutland Ripple (which is quite some down and up but having done the Dragon Ride this year was not that bad). The course was undulating

I had seen enough back to the the B&B, food and sleep (well not too much sleep!).

I was up at 04:30am, final preparation - stomach was still weird with nerves so kept breakfast to a minimum, just a banana (not enough for sure). Arrived by 06:10am, thank fully had registered the day before meant it was just a rack the bike and get ready for the race brief.

Here was my first mistake (nearly), they close transition before the race brief at 06:45 and at 06:43 I recalled that I had not put on my timing chip, idiot!!! So quickly ran in and found it and back out again, phew!!

The race brief was short and sweet and before you know it the first group were in and off, I was off in the 3rd group in 10minute intervals based on age groups. It is quite impressive watching a whole load of people starting off and can only imagine what it would be like if it was a mass start. 20 mins later I was in the water, up to my neck in it and just thinking shit! what am I doing. A quick warm up and then off, all I recall was knowing that before we commenced the first people were already in having completed the swim in around 17mins (bloody hell!). And we're off....

I stayed to the back and the left side which seemed to be the shortest route. I tried to keep to a smooth and even stroke and not panic too early and after 200-300m it happened, something just made me stop dead and catch my breadth and made me swim breaststroke for far longer than should be allowed. I was now annoyed with myself. The only thing I can put it down to was the water was choppy and I felt as if I was getting battered and my breathing was getting hindered. I turned the end boy and made a concerted effort to swim pre-dominately FC and mostly I did but on the way in - the surface water was breaking into my breathing side (note to self, spend more time in the off season - perfecting bi-lateral). I was a little off course but not as fas as some, it made me smile as I knew then I wasn't the only one struggling.

One final turn around a boy and then heading into T1, the music was playing loud and you can hear the crowd, certainly pushes you on. I needed a hand as I exited the water, I had jelly legs (pretty bad) and had to small baby run steps to the bike around 100m where I took an age. Take off wet suit, put on bike top, put on cycling short, put on race helmet, put in nutrition, cycling shoes last, unhook bike and go (and I forgot to take on any electrolytes which I had prepared for T1). A quick run and then onto the bike..

The first 300-400m was sheltered and no idea of what was to face me and then turned left onto the main road and there it was in it full; the wind. My nemesis, you see I am not small chap and for the next few miles I managed only 11mph and I was trying to push whilst still trying to find my legs after the swim. No sooner had my bike legs arrived, it was a left turn and more wind, this time slightly into the face but mostly from the side. I kept pushing hard even though I was getting passed as if I was standing still, skinny folks on their £££ bikes and aero bars. The Rutland Ripple was upon me and what a ride that was, its steeper than the photo suggests and my back wheel was not always in contact with the road in a straight line which made it all very interesting (I am built for downhills and passed a few people). Soon (and all too soon) it was back up the other side and I was passed once more...

This seemed to be the case for much of the 42km distance, even when we had the wind behind our backs and I was pushing between 28-32mph with ease and still I was being passed, positive thoughts!!!

I did help a fellow rider who had dropped his water bottle and gave him 1 of mine.

Coming into T2, I did not feel too bad, yes I was little tired as I did push myself. THis transition was much smoother and took 02:30, rack bike, helmet off, cycling top off, t-shirt on, shoes off, trainers on and go. Baby steps once more as I try to find my run legs - did this for about 1km and then tried to push a little more and then my quads started to hurt and cramp so had to revert to baby steps. The out part of the run was fine but the run along the day (4 times in total) was a dull as dishwater - nothing to try and focus on. As I was wearing my CLS t-shirt at the feed stations they sang the CLS song which made me laugh even though I was getting hail-stoned!!!. I turned for the final time donned with 2 bands indicating I had done enough loops and headed back - the music getting louder (the crowd had thinned out by then but was not unexpected) and I crossed the line. I was very happy to finish.

I am slightly disappointed with the end time as at worse I thought I could break 03h:30m but considering the conditions and being only 12mins outside shouldn't be too hard on myself. Lessons learnt, need to remain confident and strong in the swim as this is my strongest event of the 3. I need to do more brick sessions and try and improve my run speed.

I gave myself 6 out of 10, next Olympic is on the 6th August but have a sprint to do next weekend so time to recover and back on it this week.
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