I had been looking forward to this race all year - my first outing as a guide.
As far as I can see, guiding in Triathlon is all about allowing the athlete to race as hard as they can so a guide needs to be stronger than them. The partnership with Iain (on paper) looked to be a good one, I am a stronger swimmer and runner and we match each other on the bike (he may be slightly quicker but dont tell him I wrote this!!)
We had experimented with chords (guides and athletes need to be tethered in the run and swim) and decided that an ankle to ankle tether with Iain swimming behind me was the most efficient method.
The tactics have always been for me to go as hard as possible on the swim and bike so that Iain had more left for the run which would mean he could run close to his 5k P:B whereas I would be more fatigued and run slower than my P:B - Hopefully still at Iains Pace.
The swim at London Sprint was the biggest wave I had started in since the IMUK09 and the worthing event (which was a beach start and therefore a natural seperation occured, add to this a thether and it was always going to be interesting. I was hoping to knock off the swim with iain in under 11minutes as my P:B was low 10's and we were on the way to achieve this until I lost Iain at the first Bouy (I turned, he didnt and the tether grew longer and longer until we had about 8 people between us. This meant that the lead we had achieved and the open water I was in had gone as we had to stop mid race and relocate each other - this happened twice and cost 2 minutes or more. We exited the water in 13mins or so a long way up on Haseeb who was the the other athlete in Iains Category.
T1 is not nice at the best of times in London - wet tiled steps, a long run to our bike (although we think we were sent the wrong way as the marshals didnt think we were in the Para race :( lespecially when ooking at the T1 times of other Para Athletes!)
We also had to run round some cones which were supposed to be moved by the marshals - Again I don't think they expected us so quickly :)
The bike course was not made for a Tandem, it was tight, dead turns, lots of drafting, cyclists in the middle of the road, s bends and a few hills, oh we also had to deal with slow MBikes (which we passed on a number of occassions). The bike went quite well until the last 2.5k (or maybe more) when we got a front flat, we had to drop the speed and really struggled on the corners and the hill back into T2 - AGAIN LOOSING SOME TIME!
T 2 was better and we shot off for the run - I didn't enjoy this race, there was no element of competition, we didnt know ehere we were, the crowd didnt know there was a real race going on between Haseeb and Iain and there was no information to this ends given by the comentry team - it just felt like the priority was to 'churn them through' and this does not make a good copetitive event.
Iains run was good but dificult as we had to try and run round people of all speeds as a pair - the ground was also uneven and there were some very narrow sections.
Iain Finished 1st in cat, 1st Paratriathlete and 6th overall at the London Sprint. We didnt break any records in any section but it was a tight and difficult course.
All credit to the squadies who were awesome on the day :)
- 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.