A big month of triathlon in the UK with all three sprint qualifiers and two of the standard distance qualifiers, with a standard of racing that many were saying was the highest ever in domestic races!
Nottingham Sprint 1st June
Very early start to drive down to Nottingham for a 7:30am wave start, but at least it would all be done by breakfast time! Swim was OK (12:38) although I started too far back really and never got stuck in. T1 was a bit of a shambles, lost too much time here. The bike is four laps around the regatta lake so pretty straightforward, head down (figuratively, not literally) and ride – OK but couldn’t really get the power down as I would like. T2 similarly slow as T1 with a long run on tarmac with cold feet. But once I got my shoes on all was right with the world and had a great run 17:29 for (a tough under) 5k to finish 22nd in my age group. Seven to qualify from this race so a way off the slots but just close enough to think that it’s not completely a lost cause.
Bowdon 5k 6th June
Not much to say about a 5k, other than it hurts! Went from the gun to try to go under 17 mins on a reasonably fast course and a beautiful evening. The clock was counting down as I headed to the finish and I thought I’d just missed it by a second or two – which still would have been a good PB – but the official results had me at 16:59, yay!
Manchester Wheelers 50km 3-up TT
A decent showing for the Manchester Tri team of me, Howard and Steve with a respectable time of 1:13:49 (25.3 mph). A painful final third for me and Steve though as Howard dished out the hurt.
Photo courtesy of Martin Holden
Tri Bristol Sprint 23rd June
Interesting urban race venue with the finish up on a flyover! The swim start was narrow so I decided to get up the front and get involved. Went hard from the start and was rewarded with a 12:04 swim and out of the water 18th in my age group. What’s more I didn’t lose any places in T1, a bit of practice and stripping it right down to the minimum helping me be a bit slicker. The bike was two out and backs on the Portway, headwind out, tailwind back. Rode a touch better than at Nottingham but still struggled to get all the power out that I know I can (and do every week in training!). By the end of the bike I’d made up five AG places, but then lost one in T2. The run is an out and back on a path the other side of the river before winding up onto the flyover to finish. I had a good run again, although a slight stitch at the 2km mark meant I had to back off a touch. With a couple of hundred metres to go I kicked on to take one more guy who I assumed was in my age group before hitting the finish line.
Thanks to The Triathlon Shop for the photo
I thought I’d need to be in the top ten to stand any chance of qualifying but when I got my results print out I was slightly surprised and very pleased to see 7th in age group! With five slots available I now needed two people ahead of me to have either already qualified at Nottingham or not be trying to qualify. A slightly nervous wait for the results and then cross referencing with the “registered to qualify” list… and yes, there were two who could be struck out! Somehow I’d sneaked the 5th qualifying spot!
Llandudno Sprint 29th June
Not a great run in to this race as I was ill on Tuesday and Wednesday (Brunal Lock Belly!) and had done no training at all since racing at Bristol. But on the day I felt OK and I wanted to do the course so decided to head down. The pressure was off so I could just enjoy it after all!
Very busy race with a huge transition area (equals sore feet from lots of barefoot running) and lots of Manchester Tri folk to chat to. Not done a sea swim since Challenge Barcelona in 2009, always a bit more interesting than lakes; a little bit of swell, an offshore drift and lots of jelly fish (I didn’t get stung but lots did). The bike is two laps around the Great Orme, a proper “road-man’s” course with climbs and descents and twists and turns; lots of fun. Although I nearly got taken out be a seagull crossing the road from between two parked cars (it hadn’t read the green cross code clearly). Felt fast starting the run on the flat section along the prom. Climb up to the turn around point then back down and hit a nasty headwind for the run in to the finish (that’s why I felt so fast at the start!). No need to destroy myself today but I would have hoped to finish a bit higher than 35th in AG, quite a come down from last week!