Merchant Taylors’ Triathlon

AM. Merchant Taylors’ Olympic Triathlon (1500m/40km/10km) (http://www.triathlon-zone.com/events.html). HR152(164)

Swim 1500/22:52 ____ 1:32/100m, HR145(156)
T1. 1:33
Cycle 40km/1:08:55 __ 34.8km/h, HR151(162)
T2. 0:52
Run 10km/40:08 _____ 6:28min/mile, HR160(164)

Total: 2:14:23. 5th overall, 1st over 40 (Results http://www.racetimingsystems.com/public/results.aspx?raceid=1112)

Another cold, early morning start but at least there was a bit of sunshine about. We were up at 4am to drive to registration and the start was at 6:40 for the men. We’d been warned that the lake was very cold, and no kidding! I was keen to get into the water as soon as the women’s race was underway, just to get a bit acclimatised. The start was a bit chaotic – a lack of sprint training in the pool meant I didn’t get clear water off the start and I got bashed around quite a bit. One guy in a green swimming hat virtually rugby tackled me to get to the leaders, pillock. That took my breath away a bit and it took me another minute or more of steady swimming until I got my panic under control. After that, I was slightly catching the lead group, but just tracked them into T1, about 20 or 30 seconds back.

I was so cold getting out of the water that it was hard to negotiate removing my wetsuit and getting my gloves on, but eventually I was underway. I saw a few near-disasters out of T1 as riders tried to get their feet into shoes on the move. Speed humps and a slight uphill out of the school grounds didn’t help and I saw at least one crash. I didn’t have such problems though, thankfully, and was soon out on to the roads. The cycle route was very hilly and twisty – I used every gear I had, from 55-12 to 45-23. It was initially a struggle to get some fluid inside me – my stomach was protesting at the cold a bit, but after about 15 minutes I manages to swig some of my bottle. I recognised a few of the lanes from the Watford Half-marathon. I nearly caught up with a guy on a Ceepo on the way back round the lap, and about 200m in front of him, could see two riders doing a 2-up (naughty!). I think the Ceepo rider must’ve been the winner, outrunning them both.

After a nasty couple of climbs towards the end of the cycle, I was quickly into T2 and trying to stuff numb, cold feet into my running shoes. The run was mostly off-road, some lumpy paths and some cricket pitches, but reasonably flat. One guy passed me like a rocket towards the end of the first lap but I kept a steady pace (halves of 20:08 and 20:00) and raised a bit of a sprint for the line. I spoke to the marshal with the results laptop – he didn’t have Age Group placings as he’d already realised that some people had missed the mats, so I didn’t bother hanging around for any prize-giving, looked like it was going to take some sorting out.

There were some nice pastries and tea/coffee at the finish:

   (click picture for more photos)

We were both pretty tired and the rain came down in the afternoon, so when we got home we had an easy time reading the paper, watching the F1 from Monaco and a snooze before going out for a few beers at the Marsh Harrier and a curry at Karma.

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