Friday, 15 October 2010

11TH Sept 2010 World Champs Triathlon (GUIDE)

Iain had travelled to Budapest with Barrd as his guide for this event. They were looking good as a pair having notched up wins nationally previously in the year. This was Iain's hardest race with the biggest competition from the UK (Chris and Haseeb) and the German Pairing (Ralf Arnold) all had new guides, some had new swimming techniques and after the problems that the Germans had in Edinburgh (wheel and falling off), Chris had at Notts (Big lump of weed in swim) and Haseeb at Notts (a cyclist tried to cycle between the guide and athlete getting caught on the wrist chord) this was going to be a test for both parties.

I wasn't racing with Iain as had my priority race the day after. After the disappointment of the Europeans (where calf problems caused me to drop out of medal contention in the run) I had a point to proof and wanted a medal. I was carrying a hip flexor injury for the race but as it was the last of the season I could just go for it (Tendonitis of the Hip Flexor and accompanying issues). The Budapest race also gave me chance to qualify for the worlds and Euros for 2011 if I placed top 3 Brit - I had to bring my A Game.

The day before the Paratriathlon I was approached (while having a physio session) by Iain as Baard had been suffering from an ear infection and was touch and go for the day. It had been raining consistently since Tuesday and the roads were pretty appalling so even though Jon Rhiall had stepped up and said he would race he had never guided or been on a tandem - this was not the race for a test run especially with so much surface water (one of the female pairs crashed out on the day).

I was torn between the events, Iain had a very good chance of medalling and there was a chance that the race wouldn't effect my race the day after - I was already carrying an injury and knew that if I ran a 5k my calves would also be sore for Sunday. The GB Physios agreed to help me before and after the races and I would have never forgiven myself if Iain and an inexperienced guide had crashed or lost out by a matter of seconds.

That was it then, I was in if Baard couldn't race.....and so it was.

The rain hadn't let up for days, there was a small smell of sewage and a possibility discs would be banned (which worried me for the Sunday race). With plastic bags on our feet we racked the day before and reviewed the course. As I had not been at the briefing I had not seen the sprint course and didn't know the routes so tried to get a handle on things. The Germans were still using the toe clips.

We had no idea what the Germans would be like on the swim so I hit the start hard and managed to follow a small group of swimmers ahead of me (which I thought was good as the course wasn't completely familiar. I am used to being at the front of Paratri events with Iain which I prefer but this allowed me to concentrate on the swim rather than the direction).

I followed the lead pack round the buoys (which I thought was unusual) and in towards the 'beach'. As I took a breath I noticed that the next pack had come straight through the buoys so knew I had gone wrong - would this cost us the race??

After Swim 12:25 (750m) Nearest Competitor 13:11 (HUN)

Up the very wet bank into T1 I could see we were 1st T6 cat athlete which was a good start as I also knew we would put time in on the bike. Straight out onto the bike route for the multilap flat and fast bike but with 2 dead turns - not easy on a Tandem or hand bike.

We continually put time into the other athletes and recorded the fastest bike split, no problem with Cramp but issues with the marshals. We came round to the second lap before the marshals had changed the cones which directed us onto the wrong side of the road. Fortunately there was a cut through over the central reservation a bit later and we managed to get across -time lost? a little, hours off the life of the athlete we were cycling straight at - probably 5 years!

At the end of our bike section we also took the marshals by surprise as they tried to send us round for another lap and were still setting up the dismount line. After a brief argument with the marshals we attempted to dismount but it was more a case of avoiding marshals, cones and competitors as we ran in with the tandem.

After Bike 42:08. Nearest competitor 45:58 (Chris)

Racking was good and we started the run. We knew that Chris was closest and believed that Raulf was 3rd. We also knew both were good runners so had to be aware of them. Fortunately the first section of the run was a long straight road next to the Danube so we good visibility and I could keep Iain updated all the time. Even though I knew I was racing the next day I wanted to make sure we got to the bridge and the home straight out of sight of the others. After some misguided directions saying we were crossing the next bridge (it was two bridges further up) we pushed into the finishing straight.

Iain had a good strong finish and looked in much better shape than the World Duathlon event the week before (so I was expecting some cheeky remarks when he was interviewed!)

It was a win by 1:48 over Chris and a good 4:22 over 3rd place. Iain taking Gold in all events he entered this year (I believe) so I am very pleased to have been there to allow him to compete.

After the race it was food and rest for me (and lots of massage)

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About Me

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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.