Harlech Sprint Triathlon, 6th April
Harlech was my first triathlon of the year and after looking at the start sheet, I knew there was some fast competition. But all that was on my mind was to get the triathlon season off to a good start, with hopefully a podium finish. It was an early start for most but with having one of the fastest 400m swim times on the start list I was off in the last wave at 11:30, with the fast boys. The weather was really bad with a lot of rain and really strong gusts of wind, but it was the same for all of us.
Once the bike was racked, warmed up, briefed I was ready to go. I jumped into my lane which only had one swimmer left from the previous wave that would be soon exiting the water, all was looking good so far. I started strong with around a 1:08min first 100m. I kept the pace high and at 14 lengths I sighted on the way back to see if my lane counter was waiting with a board for 2 lengths to go… But no, he was facing the other way talking. I couldn’t get out after I thought I had finished because I would of got DQ’d so I had to hold it out until he realised, this turned out to be an extra 6 lengths later. So in total I had done 22lengths instead of 16… Not a good start.
This left me way down on time to the leaders, so it was all about trying to keep my head on and not let this get the better of me. I pushed the bike hard, struggling to keep both wheels on the ground with the wind and deep wheel combination. I rode the whole distance with a red mist, angry with my lane counters mistake. I did eventually start catching athletes, but these weren’t the ones who were competing for first place.
I got off the bike, still down on the leaders with a minimal chance of me catching them, I just pushed the run hard and used it as training. Closing down triathletes from earlier waves I reached the finish knowing I could not of run any harder, I was hurting. The final results were posted out and I had finished 11th overall in a big field and first under 20 by 14minutes. Later that week the organisers kindly amended my swim time and placed me in fourth position.
SCCA 10mile TT
One week after Harlech I had a back to back racing weekend, this consisted of a 10mile TT on the Saturday and then a short course duathlon (2.5mile/17mile/2.5mile) on the Sunday.
The time trial was hosted by my team (Revolutions Racing) so I knew I had to perform and do the team proud. After my usual 40minute warm up, the race wheels were on and it was time to go. With it being an out and back course the wind plays a big factor, and on Saturday it wasn’t the most help as it was a crosswind that only helped us slightly on the return. I started hard and held this effort the whole time, an average 202bpm heart rate was the zone I was in, it hurt. I pushed on and finished at a good pace in a time of 23:28minutes. I was happy with this time as it was my first solo 10 of the year, it placed me 6th overall and first junior by a minute.
Following the time trial with tired legs I raced Hereford duathlon, this consisted of a 2.5mile run, 17mile bike and then a 2.5mile run.
After a warm up it was time to race a small field of duathletes. The first run did not go to plan, after a 5:40 first mile I was hit with really bad stitch, I kept running but not as fast as I wanted to be. The leader of my race was then getting further and further away. After about a mile of stitch I started to get my rhythm back and headed into T1. A quick shoe change, helmet on and I was gone about 30seconds down on the leader.
I knew it would be hard to close him down after racing him before in previous races, but I set out holding back slightly for the first mile to get my legs used to the unusual feeling of running before biking. After this I put the hammer down, I caught the leader at about the half way mark of the course. I didn’t hold back and powered past him, the great feeling of leading the race encouraged me to push on harder. I was quickly back into transition with the fastest bike split of the race and a 30second gap back to 2nd place.
I saw 2nd place as I set out on the final run, he was just entering transition but I knew this wasn’t enough to take it easy. I pushed on and didn’t suffer with stitch this time and finished strong opening the gap to second to 1minute 30.
After checking the results I found out I had also got a course record along with my 1st place!
A big thank you to Pete Roche (www.petespowders.co.uk) for training me in the gym over the winter. And also to Muscle Mania gym and fitness ltd (www.musclemania.me) for letting me use their great facilities.
Thanks for your support!!
Thanks for reading.