A nice little ‘Olympic’ distance triathlon for the end of the season I spotted not too far away, in the Cotswold Water Park. I realised I’ve not raced over this distance for three years, although at just over 2 hours it should lie in the best range of my endurance.
Despite a decent week’s training the weather had got distinctly autumnal and I’d managed to put on another kilo as a result, not ideal but I knew I still had good fitness. Indeed, my old BlueSeventy Synergie wetsuit was a bit of a tight fit this morning but it didn’t seem to hold me back as I had a decent swim: after a quick sprint off the line I settled into a good rhythm and apart from a slight pause at the second buoy to clear my misted goggles I really enjoyed it. The leader of my wave (I was in the first of four waves) was miles ahead but I don’t think I was more than 5th or 6th out of the water, a good start.
After a bit of a struggle with cold hands to get my wetsuit off I was quickly out on the bike and reeling in the early leaders. Not too many on the road just yet, so I was able to ride my own race, the way I like it. Coming in around the second lap, the next wave of triathletes were just emerging on to the road. I had about 10 minutes of overtaking them and then another lap mostly on my own. With 5km to go I downed my one and only gel, although I was feeling little “full”, maybe from drinking too much of my bidon on a cool morning.
I stopped in T2 to put on socks – a little insurance for my broken toe – and was soon out on the run. The leader of my wave was already coming around to complete his first run lap, minutes ahead. We had six laps to do, and the guy I’d caught at about 30km into the bike was already past me at the end of lap one. A bit frustrating, but I just had to keep plugging away. At the end of my first lap there were still only four bikes in transition, all good. Looking at my Garmin I thought my run pace was a bit slow, but it was a tight, rough twisty path and all the run times were a bit down. It was good though to have been in the first wave here, as we didn’t have too many runners to overtake each lap. Finally my six laps were up and I could head for the finish. I had a moment of doubt as I’d managed to accidentally pause my Garmin for about 30 secs coming out of T2 and wasn’t sure I’d done quite the right distance, but I hadn’t lost count of those laps!
Quite a nice little event. There were even a couple of newly-weds from Cheltenham Tri doing the event as a relay – the bride ran her laps holding a wedding bouquet from the day before (I’m guessing the wedding breakfast was a relatively sober affair!). The club was having a BBQ at the end of the race which added quite a bit to the atmosphere. After collecting my M50 award I headed home and a chill on the sofa with the Sunday paper.
Swim 1600m/23:59 (no need for my own splits as the timing mats were well placed)
Cycle 41km/1:05:26 (37.6 km/h)
Run 9km/40:12 (4:28 min/km) = Total 2:12:29, 7th overall and first M50 [Results]