Deva Triathlon Olympic Distance (Worlds Qualification)
So the big race had arrived… The last 6 months had been building up to this race, it was the main aim early in the season and the rest of my season would depend on this race.
Training had gone well leading up to the event, swimming well, cycling well and after a winter of a constant injury in my foot I finally felt like I was running well… And then DISASTER, The week before the event I came down with man flu!! I wasn’t particularly worried about losing fitness in a week I don’t believe you can lose too much fitness (I had planned a light/tapper week anyway) I was more worried about getting rid of the man flu and recovering in a week. I rested Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday I was starting to feel better, I did a little 5k run on the Wednesday, 60km cycle on Thursday and a 1.5k swim on Friday evening.
Saturday Morning arrived still with the sniffles but feeling ok, we set off at 11am for the 220 mile trip up to Chester, Arrived in Chester at registration at 4pm and that’s where it hit me. This was nothing like a race I had done before there were a lot of triathletes around. Every other person you walked past in Chester was a triathlete. I registered, got my numbers, timing chip, goody bag and T Shirt and headed off to the B&B to rest! A quick power nap then off out to dinner.
Sunday morning dawned and it was another early one! 4.30 and the alarm was off… Vicky jumped out of bed hurrying me about (I think she was more nervous than me) One thing I will say is putting tattoo number stickers on at 4.30 in the morning is harder than you would think, I can tell this because I put the D on my arm around the wrong way! So I was number 25 backwards D age group!! In my defence it looked right in the mirror… A quick breakfast and a double check that I hadn’t forgot anything and we were off, a short drive into Chester City Centre to the race HQ.
When I got to transition to set up my suspicions that there were a lot of people were correct, the bike racking went up to well over 1100!! Once I racked my bike it was back down to the river front for my start time. I was in Wave 1 which included Male Athletes Age 16-29. A quick briefing and we were counted into the water, although we got told not to dilly dandy around on the pontoon because if it had more than 15 people on it would sink, so it was a case of walk straight on and jump in!! A water temperature was a mild 14c. We had 5 minutes to familiarise ourselves.
We were called to the start line! Everyone on one side, 5, 4,3,2,1 GO!! The next 3-4 minutes would be the worst 3-4 minutes of swimming I have ever had! All the slower swimmers seemed to line themselves at the front, so it was a case of arms in your face, people pulling on your wetsuit cord, feet in your face and people swimming over you! After 300-400m it thinned out and I had some space around me and I could get into a good stroke, it was 850m up stream and 650m back down stream. I exited the water very happy and at the back of the front pack.
Not a lot happened on the bike. 40k of most flat rolling roads with a few little digs and one main climb, I hit 20km at 32min and 40k at 64min so pace wise I was happy with my cycle. Off the bike and into transition! I entered transition with 3 others from my age group. We all had quick transitions and headed out onto the run together. 10k left of hard running! one of the lads was off the other two lads and I ran together for the first 5km then that’s where it started to go wrong for me… I just didn’t seem to have anything else to give in my legs! At 6km the other 2 lads pushed up the pace but I couldn’t respond! I had to watch them run off!! If I’m honest the last 4km were horrible! I had a stitch, stomach cramps and blisters, I gave it my all and then to top it off another lad from my age group came sprinting past me with 400m to go!! I crossed the finish line straight to the timing screen to see how I had done! 8th in my Age Group so just outside the qualification for the worlds! Bugger!! I may have worded it differently at the time… If I’m honest I was gutted!! So I phoned Dad and he helped me assess everything. In summary, I had a good race, No I didn’t qualify for the worlds but I knew why so I can go away now and work on my running. I am entered for the British Championships in Liverpool in 5 weeks and this is a qualification event. That will now be my next aim for the season, I have a few races planned before Liverpool so I expect you will hear from me before then.
My first race at National level and a great weekend, a lot learnt and a great experience! Many thanks to Vicky, my two sisters, Mum, Percy and Al for coming and supporting! The loudest spectator award goes to Hannah!
My splits were –
Swim 1500m – 24.24 (It was longer than 1500m)
Bike 40k – 1.04.11
Run 10k – 39.01
Total – 2.09.21
8th in Age group, 54th/974 overall