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team pocock
team pocock

Last Tri of the season

timPby timPSep 10th 2013
My last scheduled triathlon for 2013 was a pool based sprint, organised by the excellent DBMax at Westonbirt School. Although it was only 3 weeks after Ironman UK I was particularly keen to do this event as the title sponsors were The Triathlon Shop ¬- Bristol who have been generous enough to support team pocock¬'s endeavours this year.

For a change it was a very civilised start time as the event contained a choice of distance with the longer (500m/30k/8k) ¬'challenge¬' event setting off ahead of the more traditional sprint, it also gave the opportunity to cheer team mates taking part in the longer race.

Racking in the tennis court was pretty straightforward; however it is a good 300m from the exit to the pool. As the track is pretty rough the organisers gave the option of leaving a pair of shoes outside the exit to the pool to make the run to transition a little easier. After a little bit of indecision I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and left a pair of trainers there.

It seemed pretty strange not to be pulling on a wetsuit for the swim start and even stranger to be getting in to a nice warm pool! The swim itself was fine, there were 3 people in the lane when I started but apparently one chap decided enough was enough after a few lengths, got out and disappeared into the distance. I did hear a number of comments afterwards about how choppy the water got during each wave but to be honest having experienced the ¬'washing machine¬' at Ironman UK I didn¬'t even notice it.
Last Tri of the season
There was a lot of shouting and screaming going on as I left the pool, my top support team Debbie being bolstered by Niece Danni and Nephew Jordan for the day. All of the photographs are Jordan¬'s by the way. I was glad I¬'d left a pair of trainers it made the run to T1 nice and easy and enabled me to overtake 4 people who¬'d beaten me out of the swim.

All I remember about T1 was the seemingly never ending run from the exit of the tennis courts to the mount line. My Garmin measured it as 250m, it was an awful lot longer than when I had done this event a few years ago.

The Westonbirt bike course is a single loop with a good mix of roads, no major hills but definitely not flat. My plan had been to give the bike a ¬'bit of stick¬' but unfortunately my legs just weren¬'t up to it. It ended up being a respectable bike leg but nothing special. Remember that 250m run from the mount line to the entrance to the tennis courts? Well I wish I had, I took my feet out of my shoes prior to dismount as usual and then had the most painful (and slow) run to my racking slot that I¬'ve ever had. Not sure why, the road surface was bad but I¬'ve run on worse, perhaps it was because my feet were very cold or most likely I¬'ve turned into a wimp in my old age!
Last Tri of the season
The rest of T2 was fine and I was soon out on the run passing the three people who had overtaken me as I was hobbling in with my bike. The run course was different to previous years, the normal loop being replaced with an out and back, obviously to make life easier for the organisers to change the distance between the two events. I quite like an out and back course and had a pretty strong run, especially pleasing considering my bike legs hadn¬'t been there. The only problem I encountered, along with the majority of others was the choking smoke on one part of the course where a farmer was indulging in a little burning.
A major benefit to the change in run course is that the finish is in front of the magnificent Westonbirt School, a fitting backdrop to finish the season. The last 400m of the run was great, lots of people about shouting and cheering, especially from my top support team and then it was over the line, medal, goody bag and all important bottle of water.
Last Tri of the season
It ended up being a great day out and a solid performance to finish a really enjoyable triathlon season. It was also a good event for the Triathlon Shop Race Team with 3 top 10 finishes in the classic sprint (not me just in case you were wondering!) and a third overall in the challenge distance.
My thoughts are now turning to next year and at the moment I am undecided. It would be nice to be able to take some time to reflect on the lessons from this year and use those to help plan next seasons campaign. Unfortunately with the popular races selling out on the day entries open it seems time is a luxury we don¬'t have.
In the meantime there¬'s the small matter of a half marathon to run, one of Debbie¬'s charity challenge events. Hopefully next time I can report back on that and also some thoughts on next year¬'s calendar.
Happy racing.
ritatrisby member: ritatris, Sep 12th 2013 12:56
Sounds like a good one Tim, especially so soon after IMUK! A nice outing as part of the team too.

I'm also desperately trying to preserve a bit of head space before thinking about next year's plans and races, but like you say the pressure is on for some of them to get entries in now. Plan B is enter now, then forget about it until after christmas!
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