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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

New Forest Sprint - 26th June 2011

dbristowby dbristowJun 26th 2011
I was looking forward to this race because:

a) Catch up with friends met at a Joe Beer - Triathlon camp from last year
b) It was shorter than the Olympic distance I did the previous week
c) Chance to race against my mate Mark, herein to be known always as Cosmic

So the weekend started with a drive down to Sandy Balls in the New Forest ┬- which is a lovely place to be. Met Cosmic around midday on Saturday as we need to register and rack the bikes early. It seemed a complicated procedure as the race was across two venues.

1. Swim at Ellingham Lake
2. Bike back to Sandy Balls
3. Run in and around but mostly up hills in the New Forest and then back to Sandy Balls

So after consuming food (pasta for energy of course) we checked in the bikes, got a little lost trying to find Ellingham Lake ┬- it seems that understanding and following directions are not part of Cosmics┬' universe (even though he is a cabbie from London!).

So after finding ourselves back at Sandy Balls, we both needed to go for a run ┬- I went for what I thought was the start of the run course and Cosmic went the other direction. We met back at the cars both looking very sweaty as the weather was improving dramatically and the forecast for the weekend was hot.

We met P at her house, a very lovely abode in the town of Lyndhurst and were greeted with a warm smile and an offer of a beer. If anyone knows Cosmic and I, you know that we could not refuse such hospitality. By the end of the night, it turned out we had several beers (not pints, just bottles). Who would have thought that we had to be up at 05:00am the following morning for a triathlon? Not sure what time we retired for the evening but it was not too late and before you know it, time to get up ┬- race day!

We arrived at Ellingham Lake with 20mins to spare and getting ready for the race, time flew by and it seemed that the last few moments were rushed and we needed to get a move on, good practice for a Sprint.

On the same day they were organising the Forest Man race which is a full Ironman distance event and the athletes were already swimming and mostly coming to end of the swim, respect to them!

So after the morning briefing it was into the lake, it was a misty morning and we had to swim many miles (it seemed) before we got to the start line. It wasn┬'t long and the whistle went, as I did last week I kept to the shortest route which was on the left hand side determined to keep swimming as this was only half the distance from the Dambuster last weekend. I was determined but something in my inner doubting psyche was not having any of it and once more I swam some breaststroke but I felt I did more FC than before though the times did not reflect that (not sure if the Swim was longer as the bike and run definitely were).

Coming to the end of the swim, it was time for a swift transition ┬- ok not so swift, sure there was time for a 3 course lunch for the time I was in there. Running with the bike towards the road I was told check shoes as strap undone, got to the road and had to put the bike down to sort the strap out and finally I was off. I was happy with the bike, struggled on the initial uphill bit and it certainly felt like that the back tyre was under-inflated so made me struggle more than I should of up the short hills. When I was on the flat ┬- I felt I had some speed and was catching up people, the speed was reading over 24mph and there is nothing better than seeing riders ahead of you to focus your mind and forget the pain.

Then the run, well the day before I thought I had ran part of the run course and I was coming to the end of the bike I saw Cosmic and thought I was not that far behind. However, after the transition the run course took me inland and not where I expected and so it turned out I was further behind than I imagined. Key to preparation is to do it properly, another lesson learnt.

The funniest thing on the run for me was when I walking up a steep long hill were the words from a competitor behind me as I started to run near the top was ┬"don┬'t start running now as I have just caught you up┬", it made me smile broadly and I knew she would pass anyway. The run in the end turned out to be around 6k or just over and this was the same with the bike also. In the end I was happy with the result and enjoyed the race.

Swim: 24:41
Bike: 53:14
Run: 49:12

Most of all it was the company I was with over the weekend and the feast that followed. Those are the things that make the training easier to go through.
 
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