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A new year in Triathlon
A new year in Triathlon

Race Report

exmrtrobby exmrtrobAug 26th 2013
Registration all day Saturday makes for an easier schedule the day before a race. I've put a lot of running miles in the last two weeks and thought it best to remind the legs of our strong part of the triathlon hell. I took the bike for a gentle spin through 15 miles of rolling valleys traffic in the morning. Felt good too, spinning and pushing the big gears. Bit breezy on the way up the valley but that made for a fast down and back home.
I showered and we went to register. Makes for good family time when you race on the coast and can register the day before. I had coffee, they had ice cream! Everyone was happy. It was still very breezy though and this would not be great come race day.
4am alarm calls are never great, but this one brought still air and chilly conditions. I'll cope with cold but lets keep this wind down. I had packed the kit into the care the night previous so it just meant coffee, breakfast, clothes on and go.
I arrived bright and early pre dawn and parked the car. I like to get into Transition to set up and rack nice and early and then retreat to a safe distance and let mayhem unfold as everyone else turns up with rocket ships for bikes.
I had plenty of time to set up and fuss before making the decision that it was good enough. My running shoes would go in last as I hadn't thought to bring spares. I went back to the car and chilled out with earphones in and a good playlist to fire my thoughts in the right direction. I ate, I drank, I gently strolled around and loosened up before getting my wetsuit on with 45 minutes to go before the gun. I strolled to Transition and untied my shoes before placing them on the deck next to my T Box. I went to the Slipway and got in the water to warm up and flush the wetsuit before race briefing.
Briefing done we were told to get in the 'Oggin' for the mass start. I had it in my head that far right would be a good place to start as people gravitated toward the middle of the start buoys. I was wrong as everyone who wasn't swimming for the win did the same. It took a lifetime to even get going as people bumped and jostled for position. I'm not a fan of starting 250-300 people of vastly different abilities together as some will inevitably get dunked and this will make them fearful of taking part again. But we do it and get on with it. I had what felt like a good swim when i found my stroke and exited mid pack. better than last years race as i was second to last after wearing a poor fitting borrowed suit. Lets just say it gave me a sensitive problem that was not conducive to swimming! This year was better.
I am always dizzy getting out of the water and this time was no different. I shuffled my way up the slipway and the steps to Transition and quickly found my rack space. Having a blue kit box helps as it's quite bright amoung all the clear boxes and bags. That's a good tip for beginners!
I put my shoes on and then my helmet before un-racking my bike and jogging out to start the bike coarse. I was breathing heavy and had the awful taste of seawater firmly at the back of my throat. At the mount line i jumped on and was away. Tightening my shoes on the go I was soon in a group that I had caught. Sensing a problem if I stayed here with a drafting penalty i moved passed the group and settled in. I drank from my bottle which was mounted between my arms and got on with it. Soon though my legs were burning. Nothing seriously unusual about that, they do tend to burn up and then settle as I spin through the gears. They didn't let up though and I was down on power. I tried to get through it by drinking and downing a gel that I had taped to the bike. I gave up trying to sort it, and peddled. My quads burned all they way round and I couldn't really get a good gear going at all. I battled with pin thin girls on climbs and even got overtaken on a descent and that never happens! I spun the gears into to T2 and wanted to throw the bike.
Running shoes on and the bike seemed like heaven as my legs immediately told me this was not going to happen. I shuffled down the run course, the pain quickly turning to cramp. I had to stop and stretch my calf. It had been giving me some grief for a couple of days and I had tried to work through it and here it was ruining my race.
I shuffled through it and other racers flew past me. I got to the end. I finished. My time?
13 Minutes faster than the same race last year! 12 Months ago this race was my first and made me fall for this pain ridden hell fest. I was much quicker! imagine if I'd felt good on the bike or run?
I can do this...I can be faster...I will carry on.
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