Thursday, 14 October 2010
National Paratriathlon Championships
After a hard a fast race the day before (no sleep and sore calfs) I was very apprehensive about this race with Iain. I knew that the swim would be easier than London with a lot less bodies but also knew that the prospect of two hard races in a row was an unknown for me - and it wasn't just my season that would be effected by this race.
The swim started well and it wasn't long before we were catching the wave before us (and avoiding a lot of weed!! - some T6's weren't so lucky) Although the shoulders were sore from the day before we put quite some time into all of the other Para athletes and were first into T1. Normally the run to T1 is a lot longer than the one set up for us in Notts (well it was in London) and as such I hadn't even got my wetsuit top off before we had reached the bike. I normally work with Iain to help him with his stuff and make sure he is ready for the bike section, this short distance threw me considerably and trying to remove my suit left Iain to work by himself for the majority of T1 - This would be sorted by our next race.
Out of T1 we mounted the trusty Tandem smoothly and I can remember thinking we were going to cruise the bike section and that my feet were set to start pushing the power. This was my first mistake, something that Iain had previously experienced and something that I don't want to do again The Tandem we ride have forward drops so with both Iain and I pushing through the pedals at the same time we pulled the wheel out of the rear drop out and onto the frame. As I was still pushing I lifted the rear of the bike up and to the side and almost went over the handlebars.
Luckily Iain had experienced this before and knew exactly what was wrong so it was a quick fix and we were on our way - a good minute lost on the mount - this made things much more interesting.
We were hoping to catch some of the other T6 guys and lap them on the bike as we knew it was a short 5k loop and that we would have put time in on the bike. With a lot of other athletes on the course it became quite dangerous at some points when we were trying to avoid some of the slower riders who were overtaking oblivious to the fact that we were steaming in in full TT mode - we had a couple of very very close calls and also dropped quite a lot of time when we had to slam on the breaks as a rider pulled out and crawled past the rider they were overtaking.
We managed to catch a Tandem in the male cat and to our surprise managed to Lap Chris (who had serious weed problems in the swim). we then shot into T2 and started the run.
I kept pushing Iain all the way round the run course which was quite lonely as it had been adjusted for the T1 and T6 cats only (due to the wheelchairs and the vision of the T6's the grass hill was removed which made sense). The run for us was against the flow of cycle traffic to a turnaround and back so it would always be clear what the splits were between athletes.
The turnaround was quite a lot further up than we had realised although we were over two minutes up at the half way point. This was a lead I knew that Ian could maintain, however I kept a little bit of pressure on and pushed for a sprint finish - it was all good training for what was to come later this year.
Iain now had 1 EC and 1 Nat Championship in triathlon with the World Duathlon and World Triathlon to come..... could he make it 4 (or was that 5??)
- 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.