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The Vitruvian Race Report

lowsliceby lowsliceSep 9th 2010
The Vitruvian Race Report
I don't remember the exact moment I decided to take up Triathlon, but I do remember signing up to become a member of BadTri a few days after completing the 2008 London Marathon. A month later I'd got myself a road bike and had completed my first Triathlon - the Cotswold Women Only Super Sprint....I was hooked.

I remember thinking to myself, about 2 years ago "Sheesh! I'd never want to do a
half ironman, let alone a FULL Ironman!". Here I am today having become a Vitruvian on Saturday and an Irongirl-in-waiting, having signed up to Challenge Copenhagen next August!

I stood at the shore of Rutland Water at 6am on Saturday with the great mates I've made at BadTri, a little bit of me wondering what the hell I was doing there, dressed in neoprene, looking into what seemed like an abyss (you could barely see the water, let alone the buoys due to the fog!) but mostly itching to get going so that I could complete my first middle distance event. I'd put the training in and was confident of being able to complete the distance. I didn't have much of an idea what time I wanted, but I was keen to get under 7 hours.

There was a bit of a delay with the start, so our ladies only wave was emalgamated with the vet men's and so we were to set off in what seemed to be an enormous wave! The hooter sounded and off we all suddenly went, a huge melee of limbs, splashes, bobbing heads. I couldn't see the buoy at all so I just made sure I followed the crowd. I found the pace quite fast and I couldn't get into a rhythm, mainly due to being obsessed with sighting and not ending up alone in the fog at the other side of the lake!

As I got to the end of the first lap of two, I was quite depressed at the prospect of doing another. I don't think I was, but it really felt as though I was one of the last out of the water, so I just wanted to get this swim done asap. The fog had lifted somewhat by the second lap and the buoys were a bit clearer so I just kept swimming...I must say swimming is definitely not my favourite part, I find it rather boring...but eventually the end was in sight. I clambered out and started to trot up to transistion, taking off the top half of my wetsuit and waving to the little enthusiastic crowd of BadTri supporters.

There was much faffing in T1. I don't usually wear gloves and armwarmers in shorter distances but the very fact it was blimming cold made them essential add ons to my bike paraphenalia! I'd been really worried about the biker leg because I'd recently had 3 punctures and slightly dodgy back breaks so I didn't want to suffer a malfunction that would ruin my race. It was also really foggy but I think this was an advantage - you couldn't see the hills in front of you! I'd heard about the infamous climbs of the 'Rutland Ripple' but I did end each hill with the
thought "Oh, was that it?" so was a tad disappointed by their benigness (well no not really). I made sure I took on fluid and food and got into a good rhythm, alternating between my drops and tri bars on the flats. By the second lap the fog had truly lifted and I didn't even recognise some of the course, so thick had the fog been! I was really enjoying myself and even passing some people on TT bikes, which pleased me immensly.

It was soon time for T2 and I arrived back at Rutland Water to more cheers and shouts of "well done" and "whoop". I'd obviously taken enough fluid on the bike as I had to stop for a "comfort" break, but then off I went on my run, which I'd been strangely looking forward to. The run course could be mentally split up into 3 sections (6 over 2 out and back laps) so it was a case of doing each section, having a quick walk at the feed stations to take on fluid and some food then on to the next. As it was an out and back lap, there was always enough to distract you with other athletes coming the other way, giving the occasional smile or grimace. I felt great, keeping the pace steady but my calf muscles were pretty tight. By the middle of the second lap my knee had really started to cause a bit of concern but I recognised the pain from previous long runs so I just kept concentrating on my form and getting to the next feed station! I distinctly remember picking up a jaffa cake at one of the last feed stations and getting a seemingly huge energy boost from must've been the chocolate.

Before I knew it I was on the final 'section' and looking at my watch thinking I could get under 6h15 - wow! As I plodded up the final small hill just before the finish I could hear the lady on the microphone shouting "Joe Bloggs, you are a Vitruvian" and knew I was a mere minute or so from hearing my name . I crossed the line in 6h12 (although I don't actually remember
hearing my name being announced, tut), received my medal and went foraging for some food. Much to my delight, I found a packet of hula hoops and a banana.

The best bit after a race is the sitting down bit where you get to go "ahhhhh" and reflect on what you've done whilst munching on hula hoops. As I sat there with my mates who'd done fantasically (in the race and at supporting) I couldn't have been happier.

My next project is only a few weeks away - The Snowdonia Marathon. I'm having a "recharge the batteries" week this week - I've only done a 20 minute run and a few laps of a 10 metre pool! I'm itching to go again already.......
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