AM. Faringdon Sprint Triathlon. 1st/1:01:35. Hard, HR160(170)
Swim 400m/6:01 (1:30/100m) ___ HR146(152)
T1. 0:37 (est.)
Cycle 19.3km/33:19 (34.8km/h, 21.6mph) __ HR161(168) __ ascent 205m
T2. 0:38 (est.)
Run 5.1km/21:00 (6:37 min/mi) ___ HR164(170)
Total = 1:01:35. 1st
After writing yesterday that I’d had the last of my early morning alarm calls, today was another 5:30am breakfast! After the confusion over our entries, Jules had been bunged into the later, faster swim waves. She wasn’t happy about that and I thought that if we got there early enough she’d be able to take the place of a drop-out from one of the early starts. That meant another early morning departure, but it was worth it as Jules was able to start in the second wave, and got a reasonable swim after that. She also managed to finish before the rain that fell on the later starters (me!).
I cheered Jules on her way then got on with racking my bike and so on – they’d run out of space on the normal racks and I had to use an impromptu chair racking system, but the ground was a bit gravelly there. Just as I was about to go to the pool for my swim, and while Jules was out on the run course, the first few drops of rain started to fall.
Starting in the last wave, I had a good swim. Only one other, much slower, swimmer in my lane, so no problems, and I managed to bag the lane next to the pool exit ;-). No tumble turns – yet another repeated project for my off season – how many times have I said that :-/
Quickly through transition, bike shoes already on the bike (And although they are tri shoes, they have velcro straps that do up the conventional way, not reversed like most modern tri bike shoes – so that the straps get caught on the cranks when they’re undone. Next year I’m definitely going to get some new ones!). The rain was getting a lot heavier and I took the first few corners very steadily before hammering away from a couple of other guys who’d emerged from the pool at the same time as me. The new bike course had some fearsome descents (and ascents on the way back) through Cotshill, to Highworth. I hadn’t changed the gearing from yesterday’s cancelled 10-mile TT, and found 42×21 a bit extreme to push over the climbs through the last 5km – out of the saddle and straining on the pedals was sure to kill my legs for the run.
Thoroughly soaked, I was quickly through transition, but all the grit and gravel there got on to my feet and into my running shoes. As a consequence my feet got badly cut up by the finish. Thinking of my good negatively-splitted run last Thursday evening, I took the first half of the run steadily and then hammered the return leg back to the leisure centre. I’d just failed to beat the hour, but was still fast enough (just!) to take the overall win.
We hung around for the prize presentation where we learnt that not only had I won overall (and 1st vet medal), but Jules had finished second in the women – a top result! We both got medals and I received another crystal memento like the one I got at Merchant Taylors’s Tri, plus £50 prize money – not a cheque or vouchers, but an envelope with tenners in it! I’ll be taking Jules out to dinner, I think ;-)
The rain cleared up in the afternoon so I washed the bikes and kit (my bike was filthy!) and thought about going out for a spin, but two early mornings on the trot had left me monged out so I decided better of it (for once, my legs said yes and my head said no) and settled down on the sofa with the Sunday paper and a beer.
[Somebody’s pictures of the race (before the rain came!) on flickr HERE]