This was (so far) the best race of the year :)
I will start with the figures:
3rd fastest bike 1:02:05
13th fastest Run 36:03 (P:B)
7th Fastest Swim 19:45
After the disapointment of Shropshire(being stupid) and Athlone (being slow and injured) I was really hoping for a good race here. My legs felt OK (My right calf was still sore and my ' glute' was uncomfortable but the best they had felt all year).
The drive down wasnt the best with a 2hr delay due to the blackwall tunnel being closed and the Camp site was not exactly quiet (the kids next door were watching a DVD about a dad trapped in a dogs body?!?!?). By the time we arived the wind was up and the clouds had descended - it was looking like Ireland all over again (at least the run was flat :).
We drove the bike and although it was 'lumpy' I opted for the disc as Streetlife had tuned this to run perfectly. I knew the bike was long so it was a course that suited - it was just the swim that was an unknown. I had done a sea swim in OZ last year but the UK sea in high winds does not look like the Goldcoast in 'winter' - at least there would be no sharks (however the pink hats might have attracted some).
An early early start to rack before 6:15 for a 6:30 start, missed most of the briefing but got a really good Transition position (this made T1/T2 much easier).
I positioned myself as far to the right as I could at the start of the swim (Mass beach start) as you could see the current was dragging you away from the RH turn at the first bouy. This seemed to be a good plan as I could use the current to my advantage and have a relatively undisturbed swim to the end. The sea was pretty choppy and I took on a lot of water trying to sight 9if you timed it wrong you ended up not being able to see anything bar wave). There is no doubt that sea swims favour the stronger swimmers as it really split the packs. I dont class myself as a strong swimmer but held my own to come out in the senior men about 6th. I had a great run to T1 (but cut my foot on the stones) passing a number of swimmers from my wave who were getting their bearings. T1 was very quick (not quite Carl Shaw) and I attempted my first 'Superman' mount which went well (I had only taught myself this the day before).
I caught a Lot of people on the bike but had no idea where I was in the race, I saw Tom Sturdy and Colin Dixon on the turnaound so knew I was about 1-2 mins down on them.
I managed to pass everybody else on the bike and came into T2 just after Tim Male causght me with the fastest Bike split) so hit the run in what would be 4th place.
The run was an out and back twice which allowed me to judge gaps on Tom and Colin. I passed Tim very early on the run and counted the leaders, it was only then I realised that I was well placed and that I may have been first in age (as didnt recognize either Carl Shaw or Rich Pryer.
On the run back toward the start I saw Carl, Rob Brundish and Rich. going the other way. I knew these boys could run so dug a little deeper and kept the cadence up as with the ERRelays. At this point the calf started to hurt and the glutes started to twinge, I knew Carl wasnt going to catch me but I also knew that Rich was coming very fast.
At about 2k to go I worked out I was probably 3rd overall and that Rich was about 100m behind me. I upped the pace again to try and stop him from going for a sprint finish.
On the way to the last 100m I almost took a wrong turn as I believed the finish to be down another route but managed to hold on for a 3rd place finish behind Colin Dixon and Tom Sturdy
Very pleased with the result and getting closer to some of the best agegroupers.
having only completed 2/3 races (best 3 count)
- As an ex-National League Basketball player I took up triathlon as a development from cross training. I won my first Sprint distance race and placed second in my first Olympic distance. Since then I have raced the UK Elite Superseries coming 24th in the National Elite Champs, raced Vegas 70.3 WChamps and helped Paratriathlete Iain Dawson to World, European and National Titles. In 2011 I obtained Pro authorisation from the BTF and am pushing my development by stepping up to top level competition in 2012. Aside from this I am a L1 Swim and Tri coach and Professional Lloyds Broker.