Early this morning I travelled down to Llanberis to take part in the Snowdonia Slateman sprint distance triathlon. The race consisted of a 400m open water swim in Llyn Padarn, then a 20k bike up the gruelling Pen-y-pas hill, over the top, down to the bottom turn around and all of the way back and then a 6k run up and around the Slate quarries.
Before the race I registered nice and early and was drinking my Herbalife Prepare, I got a feel for the run from the water to transition and then out on to the road for my bike. I racked my bike and all equipment needed. I was racked next to 2 under 23 triathletes, one of which was a competitive international welsh triathlete and the other racing for Team Triathlon Europe. So I knew it was going to be a tough competition.
The Swim and T1
Llyn Padarn was measured at 11.3degrees…at the edge, the middle was a lot colder. I slowly walked into the water trying to acclimatise myself, but it didn’t really change the fact I was freezing. I then got to the start surrounded by 140 other competitors. The start was like a massive free for all arms and legs flying everywhere, but I managed to get myself up at the front and sat in 4th position. I got out of the water in 4th just behind the Triathlon Europe athlete and began the long run into transition, I had quite a slow transition as I struggled to get my wetsuit off but once off, my shoes and helmet were on and I was gone. I exited transition in 3rd 1minute 45seconds down on the leader.
The Bike and T2
I shot out of T1 and went out hard at the beginning of the bike, slowly I was reeling in the leader. A quarter of the way up the climb I had caught up my 1:45 deficit, I pushed hard and went past the second place athlete and then opened up a big gap by the top of the hill. I was now sitting in second place and the new leader was riding at the same speed as me and it stayed that way the whole ride. I got over the top of the hill and down the other side, I then continued for another half a mile and got to the turnaround meeting the leader on the way as he was heading back up. I turned well and began climbing back over the killer hill, but then I saw a rival I had already over taken turning around half way down the hill, about a mile from the turn around. I caught him again, but kept my mouth shut instead of losing my temper because of him cheating. He then stayed with me for the rest of the ride and I caught another sprint competitor, another that had turned half way down as the leader was still around 2 minutes in front. I flew back down the hill maxing out at 43mph and had opened up a 20second gap to the lad behind me. I completed the whole bike in a time of 41:07. I got into transition for the final time I got my shoes on smoothly and as I left, the two that turned around early were entering T2. I left T2 in 2nd place.
I knew that some of the other competitors were really good runners so I had to give it my all if I wanted a good position overall. I began strong and ran up the switch backs and could see my fellow competitors down the hill. I was overtaken by one person at the start of the run but I kept working hard and pushed all of the way. I got to the top of the hill still in 3rd but I had a feeling the others were trying to hunt me down. They didn’t, I managed to stay in 3rd for the whole run and also managed to take 2minutes out of the next person to finish. I finished the race in 3rd overall and was the first under 23!
After the race I had another Herbalife rebuild to assist my recovery! And then waited for the prize presentation. This was my first senior triathlon podium finish!
Check back in two weeks (2nd June) as I am racing deva triathlon where I hope to qualify for the world championships. Thanks for reading!