Hardwick Sprint triathlon + cycle 66km

AM. Hardwick Sprint Triathlon (750m/20km/5km) (http://gogglepedaltrainer.com/default.aspx)

Actual distances: 700m/21.5km/5km

Swim 700m/9:40 (official time 10:22) 1:23/100m, HR149(155)
T1. 1:30 (0:47)
Cycle 21.5km/33:25 (33:10) 38.6km/h, HR167(171)
T2. 0:45 (0:43)
Run 5km/19:03 (19:13) 6:08min/mile, HR171(175)

Total: 1:04:18. 6th overall, 1st over 40 (Results http://www.stuweb.co.uk/swp/default.asp?a=2&e=264)

Swim route / Cycle route / Run route

Lovely day for a triathlon. Three of us (me, Jules, and Morag, from the Oxford Tri club) piled into the car, bikes on the roof rack. As is usual for me, we got there rather early, but at least we got a good parking space, near transition and registration. This was actually my first sprint distance triathlon. I was hoping for a good result – a top-10 at least – but I knew I’d have my work cut out as I’m not suited to the shorter distances.

Jules and Morag were off in the first wave at 9am, and us old gits followed them at 9:10am and the seniors were starting at 9:20. I managed a short warm up in the lake, discovering that it was very weedy, but also quite warm (wetsuits were optional). We were quickly off, and I did my usual sprint to the first buoy to try and drop most of the field. It didn’t quite work and after rounding the buoy, I had to put more effort in to get clear. There were two strong swimmers ahead of me, and I didn’t quite have the speed to swim on their feet.

I forgot to kick hard coming back into the shore and wobbled about a bit as I found my feet getting out of the water. I was quickly up the bank and into T1. Got my bike and headed out of the water park. One of the two strong swimmers was having trouble with his bike, and I passed the other one not long after I’d got my feet into my shoes. I powered along, determined to put some time between me and the chasing pack, passing Jules through one of the many villages on the route and giving her a shout as I went by. I didn’t really give myself any time to settle down and kept the pressure on the pedals pretty much the whole way around the bike course, picking off the women from the wave in front of me.

Back into T2, and I had a long way to run, my rack was at the back of the transition area. Looking at the results afterwards, I noticed that all the fastest women had really short T2 times – their bib numbers gave them positions on the fastest/shortest side of transition! Once again, out into the run, after a little struggle to get my cold feet into my running shoes I didn’t give myself any chance to relax through the three running laps. I was passed on the second lap by a very fast runner from the last wave – he was flying! I realised I could get under 1:05 if I kept the pressure up, and despite dying a bit in the last km or two, was very pleased to see 1:04 on my watch as I crossed the finish line.

I waited to cheer on Jules and Morag, who both finished with respectable times. I think we’d all enjoyed what had been a relatively low-key, friendly event. We hung about for the prize presentation and I got a bottle of SIS carbo mix for my first place in age category.

PM. Cycle 66km, brisk HR150(167)

After a steady drive home we dropped Morag off, unpacked the car, washed our gear and had a little lunch. I went out for another couple of hours on the bike. Although I don’t know yet whether I’ve got into next week’s 100-mile TT, I needed to get out the door and ride hard when I was tired, as a race simulation. It had got pretty windy, so it was hard work. I did the same ride as yesterday, but 13 minutes faster.

Knackered, we went down the pub for a few beers and had sausage and chips from the chippy on the way home, yum!