Sunday, 23 August 2009

Hayle Sprint Triathlon

Blimey. Two posts in two days.................. Easy Tiger!!

6am on Sunday morning and yes ............... it’s raining again!!!!

We moved around the room getting things ready for the days race and muttering things about the weather under our breath while drinking coffee and forgetting to have any breakfast. We arrived at Copperhouse Pool and the rain had pretty much stopped as I racked my bike and poured myself into my wetsuit. The big decision of the day was whether I was going to run in my new Brooks T6’s or stick with the tried and trusted Nike Zoom Elites, not wanting to get my new toys wet I opted for the old faithful’s. A last minute queue up for the loo’s and I was one of the last to hit the water and make my way out to the start line.


Normally the swim is where I start my race well, today though it was probably the worst of the 3 disciplines. I’d positioned myself behind a renowned speedy swimmer (and eventual race winner) and planned to tuck myself on his feet for as long as possible. The race started, there was a flurry of arms, legs and splashing; we were away. I quickly found my rhythm and my targeted feet, great, no need to sign buoys, just follow the bubbles. This drafting business is dead easy or at least it is up until the point when you realise you’re on the wrong feet and everybody’s swimming away from you. Oh sh1t! Time to work! For the rest of the swim I hammered my way through the field trying to claw back some lost time. As I exited the water I recognised someone grabbing their bike to leave T1, maybe I hadn’t lost as much time as I thought.


Transition was a total disaster. I pulled my wetsuit down to my waist, down my legs and then tried to pull it off my ankles. Once, twice, three times and still it wouldn’t budge. Around the 5th time of trying to get past my left ankle I realised that I’d got my thumb hooked up in the timing chip strap. Finally the wetsuit was off and I pulled my bike shoes on, but by now I’d been bent over so long that I went all light headed when I stood up and tried to put my helmet on.


After losing places on the swim and losing more places in Transition I headed out on the bike like a man on a mission. This is normally my weak discipline, where I lose time on my competitiors, but my normal competition were already well up the road, including three of my clubmates. Amazingly this turned out to be my best discipline and soon two of my clubmates were in sight and overtaken far too easily. This gave me the incentive I needed to push on and soon I could see people ahead that would normally have taken time out of me – bonus! Try as I might I couldn’t bridge the gap but slowly it started shrinking which was good news for when we got to my strongest discipline, the run.


Nothing real interesting to say here, I came in, racked my bike, ditched my helmet, put on my trainers and hit the road. Job done.


When I say it’s my strongest discipline that means it’s ‘normally’ my strongest. When I’ve nailed myself to the floor on the bike then the legs don’t tend to agree with the rest of my body when it’s discussing what pace I’m going to run at. Today was one of those days. Soon after leaving T2 I caught my remaining team mate (the important job) and set about catching the person just ahead of him. Oh No You Don’t! My legs have a pace when they’re tired, it’s a fairly quick pace but they refuse point blank to move from their comfort zone. Today was one of those days and my target although just about 20m ahead of me just wouldn’t get any closer. I even tried stopping for a walk and a drink at the turnaround in the hope that I could fool them into letting me run fast, but it wasn’t to be. In the final stretch along the Pool I suddenly started gaining time and wishing I had another km to do, but with nobody to close behind me I gave the folks watching in the rain a chuckle by running the last 50m backwards. Any little bit of amusement helps when the weather is awful.

So, the tale of the tape. Out of 187 finishers.

Swim – 11:16 – A rather disasterous 14th out of the water.
T1 – 1:02 – A truly shocking 32nd and 20secs lost to all my main competitors.
Bike – 33:48 – Amazingly 3rd fastest, only beaten by two Pro’s.
T2 – 0:31 – Nothing really to say.
Run – 19:14 – 5th fastest on the day, but nothing special. On another day with a lazier bike it could have been a lot quicker.
Overall – 4th place - 1:05:55 – 1st place in the dreaded 40+ category (I’m only 39).


A good solid day. Any day where I bike well gives me the incentive to train harder for IM Florida. Sure the swim and run weren’t the best, but I know I can do ok at those. When you do well at your weakest discipline it gives you the mental buzz you need to get out there and do some more without you feeling like Mr Slow all the time. If I can keep this performance fresh in my mind then the next few weeks bike training should be a whole lot easier.
Damn I talk some crap! You can all wake up now – sorry.


Anonymous said...

Well done Iain, if you forget to keep this race fresh in your mind for incentive, I am sure we can all remind you of it


IronTriTim said...

Whats with the photo and everyones eyes closed?

Simeon of Kent said...

crapbugger! You've just reminded me that I fall into 40-44 on Jan 1st.