2 days, 2 races - would it be two podiums??, well to summarise ...no.
I felt pretty good on the day, the sun was out for the first time, Discs were allowed and I wasn't suffering as much as I thought (shoulders were a little tight and the calf was sore - surprised?? I wasn't!).
After the success of the day before I wasn't really expecting much from the event, I had essentially written it off as soon as I said yes to Iain- was this a bad thing?? Was this a psychological way of dealing with it, take the pressure off or just realistic?
I knew a lot of the best AG racers and knew that I would have to be on my A Game in all disciplines to be competitive. I knew I had to be up on Charles Pennington on the bike, Knew I had to catch Dale on the Bike and had to be in with the quick guys at the start of the run to stand a chance.
To do this I had to be close to a P:B in all events.
The swim started well, I found space and settled in a comfortable group and tried to pull away towards T1 - my shoulders were defionately feeling the swim from the day before and was expecting to come out mid pack but was always hopefull that I would be up with the usual suspects. I ran the longer route into transition (compared to the day before) and almost ran past my bike. I noticed Charles Pennington in front of me so knew that the swim hadn't gone quite to plan as I am normally out with him or in front.
Swim 20:38 (24th in age) Fastest being 17:57 Dale Grassby
Current position 24th (2:41 off lead)
Got set in T1 and ran through what can only be descibed as a Fjord and jump mounted my bike (I had been practicing this and was a little weary in the weather but had nothing to lose and all to gain at this stage).
T1 2:09 (13th in age) Fastest 1:49 (Prince)
Current position 22nd (2:52 off)
The bike started well, I settled down and started picking people off. I kept my cadence higher than usual (I normally get into a cadence fight with others thinking I must be spinning to high a gear - I am more comfortable with my bike now and was happy to cycle my own race).
Bike turn 1 2:40 down (13th)
I recognized various cyclists and kept an eye on Charles who had out biked me at Shropshire at my first race back from injury. I could see I was pulling away and that I was also catching Dale Grassby (who I knew was a strong cyclist). I expected that Charles would catch pull some time back as the race went on, I was expecting to get tired and to drop off the pace but just kept an even rhythm and attacked the dead turn (its amazing how much easier turning a Transition is compared to a Tandem!!).
Bike turn 2 2:38 down (10th)
I picked off a few more riders and could see a group ahead of me which included Dale. There wasnt the same level of drafting at this event comapred to the Gold coast last year which made the bike times more representative of ability (well I would say that!). I think if it had been a hilly course things would have been different but the fatigue didnt come.
Bike Turn 3 2:01 down (7th)
I was hoping to get up to group in front so I could start the run with others but was starting to run out of time being a shorter bike. Had it been a full 40k and not a few short I think I would have caught the group. Flying dismount and into T2
Bike: 48:42 (Fastest by 44 seconds)
Current Position 5th (down by 1:32)
T2 was a little slower than I would have hoped, I could see the leaders as I came in so knew I wasnt far away and also knew that on a good day I would catch Dale.
T2 2:12 (9th in age)Fastest 2:00 Paul Savage
Current Position 5th (down by 1:39)
I pushed hard out of T1 and could feel the calf tightening up straight away. I was probably limping by the time I reached the first marker
Run turn 1
Current Position 5th (down by 1:39)
Lange shot past me like I wasnt moving, I tried to up the pace but had nothing in the legs and the the claf was certainly giving me 'feedback'. I knew I was still in with a chance of medalling as long as I didnt drop any more places. I knew I would gain on Dale if I could keep an average pace and was also confident that a couple of the leaders wouldnt be runners. The run essentially went from bad to worse with both calves tightening and the hip flexor problem re-occuring due to a deterioration of running style which was taking a lot of concentration.
The nail in the coffin came at about 6 K when Charles and Rich Todd came past me together, again I tried to go with them but realised after about 500m that I was not going to maintain their pace. On a good day this was a possibility but at this stage in the race with the fatigue in my legs I knew that it wasnt going to happen.
Run 38:15 (29th) Fastest Lange 33:26
1:51:55 (13th in age) Winner was 1:46:17
Thoughts on the race??
Well, massively pleased with the bike and considering the race the day before and the injury carried from the World Duathlon race it was a good result. I was 13 places higher than the WC in 2009 and over 100 places up overall. I was a bit down in the swim and know where the majority of work needs to be over the winter (run and swim where a good 10% improvement is needed in both.
- 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.