With the cancellation of Tri the Beast I looked for another middle distance event. This popped up on Google and at a reasonable 2.5hrs up the motorway seemed a good option. Cheerching! Money paid. Entry gained!
We camped at the suggested Go-by-cycle campsite. A very nice site. Very well maintained by the couple who ran it. They were very helpful and so welcoming. The bonus was that transition is 7mins down the path and the gate to the campsite is on the bike and run course! Easy spectating!
Registration was swift and very friendly. You got a t-shirt, arm warners, a neck tube and your wave hat and bike sticker. There were lots of instructions! Since registering there had been a lot of emails. Got to say that being well informed was not an issue with this event. The briefing pack was good and everything was there!
On the morning Transition had to be emptied by 6ish – which meant an early start! Well, they usually are. A 4.30 alarm for breakfast of cold porridge and honey, couple of slices of maltloaf and a strong coffee sorted me out. Bike had all been prepped the night before so it was tires inflated and off to drop off the kit. The racking was numbered and specious – rare these days! Kit sorted I went back to the tent for a sit down.
I wandered back to watch a couple of waves off and then had my briefing at 7.20am, I was in wave 7 (out of 8).
We went into the water for a warmup and I spotted Jo! The first time she’d made the swim start since the kids were born. It was very nice [thank you Jo]. The swim went in a squished ‘m’. I was initially quite near the front but didn’t see a group break to my left and missed a tow. I headed out and found some feet about halfway through. This was very welcome!! I averaged 1.30/100m – not too shabby for me and a 70.3 pb of 29:52. Guess the swims in Combe Martin bay helped! 10 hours of swimming (31k) this year can’t be that good for a pb though!
I’d heard it was a quick course but with perfect conditions this course is rediculously quick! The first lap I averaged in 20.1mph and the second overall dropped to 19.5, which with my biking this year being 1365km in total and not more than an hour I was very pleased with. I could however feel the lactic building over the two laps and knew with poor bike training I was going to suffer! Nutrition on the bike was good. A few gels emptied into a small bottle supplemented my home made flapjacks. Two bottles of water delivered me comfortably onto the run.
T2 was funny. As the waves weren’t ability or age grouped you were picking people off all day. Arrival at T2 saw a few interesting dismount! Still, all ok. A jog along to my bike rack and trainers on. In bad weather we were advised to wear trail shoes but I went for grippy flats for the 13.1 miles.
I like to break down running into Parkrun now! 5k efforts. They went like this… 1st 5k 27.12, 2nd 27.16, 3rd 28.43 and 4th 29.31 (and a bit more!).
Off the bike I felt OK and then the cramp started. Past experience has taught me to deal with this and I stayed around my target time of 5.15/km. This part I always have a few miles of chastisement. Solid bike training leads to a good run… Fool! Still, make the best. The run is three laps and I really enjoyed it! Scenic and interesting! Technical and twisty but still able to run. You have to pick your feet up as it’s rooty… The trees were great in the sun! Lap three came swiftly and after my second visit to the man with the hosepipe I set about the mental journey of closing out the race.
I was getting slightly slower but when I got to 3k to go something just clicked and I pushed on. I put in a strong finish and finished in 5.19… My third fastest 70.3 with a rediculously poor amount of training. 36th in my 45-50 age group.
A huge thank you to my wife and children… Great supporting! Love you! It is a great venue for children too! Lots to do and ice-cream to buy!
The day was perfect. The competition faultless. Throughly recommended! https://www.113events.com