Monday, 28 May 2012

The Beaver Middle Distance Triathlon, Belvoir Castle, England 26th May 2012

1.9k Swim 77k Bike 21k Run – Temperature 25oC

Swim 00:30:18 - T1 01:14 - Bike 02:07:46 - T2 01:07 - Run 01:23:46 Total Time 04:04:11

1st Age Group 45-49, 11th Overall

My race in Mallorca two weeks ago had marked the start of my Ironman specific block of training, using half distance races to sharpen up my speed coupled with big blocks of race specific aerobic training. I quickly recovered from Mallorca and put in a solid 10 day period of hard training running into the Beaver triathlon. I didn’t feel well rested but the post race soreness was gone and I was ready to race hard.

I started my pre race routine early Saturday morning and arrived at the swim start well prepared and everything running like clockwork. I now have an established routine that works well for me. Final preparation then pull the wetsuit up ready for the gun but to my chagrin, the wetsuit ripped at the seam – panic – resignation – into the water and get on with it.
The gun fired and I swam hard to the open water ahead and quickly settled into a stroke that put me in the lead group. Apart from navigating round stragglers from the previous waves and fighting with the silt and duck weed, it was an uneventful solo effort, exiting the water in just under 28mins, fantastic, probably the fastest split I have had at this distance. There is a 500m run up to transition so I took off my wetsuit before running into T1 and grabbing the bike.

I was hard on the heels of the guy leading the age group as we jumped on the bike but he quickly put the power down and disappeared up the road. I knew I had the edge in the run so I focussed on riding hard but consistently. The ride was great in the sunny weather and the wind was even in a helpful direction. I put in a solid effort on the bike and the nutrition plan delivered me to T2 in good shape for the final segment of the race. By this time the temperature was soaring but having raced Mallorca two weeks previously it seemed very manageable.

Through T2 in a flash and out onto the challenging run course. It consisted of four repeats of an out and back route effectively up and down a hill, the wind rather inconveniently this time, blowing down the hill just to make it a little more interesting. I ran the first lap hard to catch the guy leading the age group and was surprised how quickly I passed him; from then on I just wanted to deliver a fast run time to reflect the training I had been doing. The laps ticked off with only a slight wobble at the start of the fourth – this was quickly fixed with half a gel to pep me up for the run home.

It was a wave start so you never really know how you are racing compared to the rest of the field but I was delighted to win the age group and thrilled discover I had come 11th overall.

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