I was looking forward to a good smash out on this hilly sprint triathlon (400m swim/ 23km bike/5km run). I had a bit of a sub-standard 25-mile TT the day before on the H25/1 when I’d got my pacing badly wrong and then my handlebars had come un-bolted with a mile go, so was looking to salvage something decent from the weekend.
We had perfect weather – sunny and cool – always a confidence booster. The swim was in the Bath University 50m pool, the first time I’ve swum in a 50m pool since I was a teenager! It was a pretty short 400m, which didn’t present too many problems, although I realised fairly early on that the wave starts were a bit random so I pushed my way to near the front of my wave to get in the pool nice and early so I didn’t have too many people to swim past.
Quickly out of the pool and on to the bike with a flying mount – every second counts in a sprint – I was soon into top gear and flying down the road. The first and last bits of the out-and-back bike course are through minor roads with quite a few junctions and mini-roundabouts, you have to be ready to stop, which can slow you a bit. I was pretty pumped up though and pressing on hard. Towards the turn there’s a massive down-and-up that you have to do twice (worse on the way back). I realised it was important to pace the climb properly, leave something in the tank for the flat run back to T2 and the run beyond. I think I just about got it right as I nabbed a couple of Strava KOMs in the last 10km, although I was a little held back in the descents by traffic queuing behind slower, more cautious riders.
Stuffing cold feet into racing flats for the run took a little longer than I’d have liked, but I was soon out of T2 and struggling up the gradients. Like the bike course, the run is up and down quite a bit of the way. It’s on grass and gravel but as we’d had no rain, easy to negotiate – good for my still slightly sensitive “broken” toe. I tried to leave a little bit for the final kilometre back to the finish but really I was all done in.
The winner passed me with 1km to go – no way could I live with his pace.
I was very happy to find I’d finished 10th overall, and first SuperVet (over 50) by a good nine minutes.
Total = 1:10:41.9