I wanted to leave this race report until July, as I knew I wouldn’t have anything exciting to write about… and who wants to read a boring blog post!
So, we need to cast out minds back to a rainy and miserable race day morning back in June. There I was in Chester town centre, setting up my transition area prior to embarking on my first half iron distance (or middle distance) triathlon.
I was nervous but quite excited, I knew there was a few fast guys racing so I was secretly hoping to be able to be in with the top guys of the ‘chase pack’. The first half of my season had been leading up to this race, but despite this my preparation still hadn’t been ideal. Because of injury and exams I hadn’t been able to get any consistent high volume weeks in which are key to a successful race. But never the less I was quietly confident that with what training I had done I would still be able to pull off a reasonable race.
Down at the start area I kept quiet and listened to my music whilst doing a stretch band warm up. Unlike last year I was first into the water rather than last, which meant I got a bit of a longer paddle around the start area before the horn sounded! Once we got going, all the drafting practice we had been doing at swim training was a bit wasted. As I immediately found my self on my own behind the fast guys, but leading out the rest of the main field. Not ideal but hey ho I was swimming faster than I ever had done so I couldn’t complain too much! Out of the water in 6th I quickly ran up to the transition area, where I took a bit longer than usual as I wanted to put my soggy socks on before my shoes :’)
The bike was rather uneventful, I passed one person who got out the water just ahead of me, and also got overtaken by someone who looked like they had a rocket attached to their bike! What struck me about the bike ride though was how it was rather enjoyable, because I wasn’t going full gas I was able to enjoy the scenery a bit more whilst still tapping along at 36kph for the 87k course.
Onto the run and this is where the real fun and games began, I had never run 21kms before and knew that once I passed 15kms I would be in unknown territory. With this in mind a conservative first 1km of 3:52 (a bit ambitious haha) which soon settled down to a consistent 4:25/km. I was happy with how I was coping, I had only been passed by 2 people one of which was only 200m down the road as I headed onto my last lap.
The second of the two people to pass me had dropped me to 11th position, I came to this race with the aim of a top 10. So I was determined to catch and overtake him. Each lap was around 7km long so I knew that I still had awhile to go so I didn’t need to kick too early. I bid my time and decided that from the turn around point I would try and close the gap down… within 1.5k I had made the catch, leaving me around 2kms to the finish… oh shit!
Those last 2kms really hurt! I had committed to running at 4:10/k and knew slowing down wasn’t an option, so I gritted my teeth and crossed my fingers, hoping that a red tri suit wasn’t going to catch me again and put me out of the top 10. The last time over the bridge was such a good feeling, I knew I could stride it out and enjoy the finish having achieved my aim of a top 10! I even had a bit of speed to beat someone from the standard distance race in a sprint finish down the blue carpet haha (I must not have raced hard enough!)
I was rewarded for my efforts with a 10th overall and a 1st in age category, not bad if I do say so my self! Now I’m fully looking forward to competing at the brutal Vitruvian middle distance race in September!
Swim – 27:30 (including a long run to transition)
Bike – 2:24
Run – 1:26:15