On Sunday the 14th I travelled to Aberdovey on the welsh coast to take part in a standard distance triathlon. The race consisted of a 1500m sea swim, a 25mile challenging bike and then a 10k run the was 3mile up a steep hill and then 3mile back down. The weather played a huge part in the race, with a late start because of the tide, it started at 12:00pm so it was seriously hot and the temperature kept rising. There was a consistent breeze throughout the day as well, but one thing that was nice was the temperature of the sea, it was cool and fresh which in the heat was lovely. The transitions were in two different places, a fair distance apart which made it slightly difficult getting the times right Pre race.
Swim and T1
The swim started on the beach which meant I had to get to the front bunch so I could keep out of trouble when the competitors sprinted into the water. The swim went well, with the beginning being a bit of a jumble with arms flying everywhere and me getting bumped around next to last years winner. After the first 100metres the water settled and I found myself on my own with two swimmers up in the distance. By the end of the swim I came out in third place about 2minutes behind a relay team and the leading woman. I swam the 1500m in about 22:30 which I was very happy with. I then covered the long run along the beach and into T1 efficiently. I slipped my wetsuit off quickly and got my shoes and helmet on and I was off.
Me diving into the sea near the front of the race!
Bike and T2
I was then out on to the undulating section of the bike course. I started off comfortably to get my legs warmed up and so that I didn’t use all of my energy at the beginning of the race. At around 4miles into the bike I was caught by last years winner, he came out of the water 30seconds behind me and went past me pretty quickly but I tried to keep him in my sights so I didn’t lose to much time to him. I then got into my rhythm and caught the relay team and the woman that led out of the water but then I was past by an experienced triathlete who has represented GB all over the world so I kept him in my sights. Then at about 15mile there was a short steep bank where I made up lost ground on both last years winner and I past the experienced Wrexham triathlete, I kept the pace high before the hardest section of the bike route, a 1.5mile really steep climb before a 7 mile nice steady descent into T2. I attacked the hill hard and put in more time to 3rd place and then by the next transition I was 1minute 15seconds behind the leader and had a 40second gap to 3rd place. I now knew that I was going to have to produce a solid run time I had any chance of keeping this position. I was in to T2 and u got my race shoes on, helmet off and I was gone. I had the 3rd fastest bike split overall.
Me heading into T2 in second place!
I started the run strong and didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t been out to check the course so it was just a case of pushing hard all the time. At about 1mile there was a long straight stretch of road as it began to climb and I could see the leader about half a mile up the road, but when I looked behind I could see 3rd place very close. So I picked up the pace and closed the gap to the leader, there was no time to slow and see how he was running as it was just a case of running hard to keep away from those behind. Then before I knew it I was leading the race, not having a clue where I was going other then up the side of the huge hill in the soaring heat, I tried to get into the shade when possible but it wasn’t really helping. When I got to the top I looked behind and I couldn’t see anyone and I was feeling good so I kept the pace high and started to bomb it down the other side and back round to the finish. Then I was back onto the long stretch which we ran out on, so I knew there wasn’t far to go. It was a weird feeling leading the race and getting cheered on by runners who had just started the run as I was going into the finish. As I got closer to the finish I saw last years winner, the leader out on the bike, walking with no number on. He had pulled out due to not feeling well with stitch and cramp.
Then the time flew by and I was into the finishing straight, still in first place! It was an awesome feeling and it was great, my mum and dad couldn’t believe it as they saw the pace the Wrexham triathlete went out on the run at! I finished first and had the fastest run split by over 1 and a half minutes. The supporters were shocked that I was only 16 and had just won the race, and so was I to be honest. I now know what it feels like to win, I want it some more!
My finishing time was 2:15:15 which was about 5 or 6minutes faster than my world qualification race on a harder course. I had won the race by just over 2minutes so I was really happy! After the race I had a Herbalife rebuild to help with my recovery.
This week I only have one time trial which is a hilly 19 on Wednesday where I hope to go well to keep high up in the overall standings over the Parker international series.