What a great day, triathlon is a wonderful sport and events like this one just prove that. I’d like to start this race report off with two big thanks you’s :
1. To the officials and marshalls, they were on every corner of the route and everyone of them offered me encouragement, these people give up their free time to allow us to race – so thank you.
2. This is the most important one, I’d like to thank all the supporters that were there, but especially Emma and Pam ( Andy H’s wife ) for specifically, putting up with pre-race stresses, shouting encouragement, taking photo’s, holding gear and for getting up at the crack of dawn on a sunday morning…..them and all the texts from family and friends…..its great and means a lot to me ! THANKS.
Arrived in Skipton and was immediately was met with a firm handshake from a grinning Dave. Andy appeared and the usual question was asked “Why are we doing this?” and guess who got the blame ?
Racked the bike, talced the socks, layed everything out and double checked the tyres etc…then headed off to the pool. It was a really nice pool, brand new and all modern. I was in the same wave as Dave, he was in the next lane to me and Andy was off 16 minutes later. The water was nice and warm, get in with 20 seconds to go. Then it was underway, start my watch and start swimming……..I have never felt so tight chested during any exercise, as I approached my third length of the sixteen I was seriously considering just getting out of the pool. By the time I was up to 6 lengths Dave was onto his eighth, the bilateral breathing had gone and I was just concentrating on breathing every other stroke and getting to the end in one piece. What a relief as I pulled myself out of the pool, Dave who had miscounted and done 18 lengths was long gone, as was most of my wave.
Grabbed a pair of old shoes that I’d placed on poolside as I didn’t fancy doing the 300m run from the pool to transition in bare feet along the concrete path. Got to my bike, pulled on the yellow pirate jersey for the first time and headed the 100m to the bike mounting line. Onto the bike, a left and up the hill out of Skipton heading towards Clitheroe. Got into the big gears as quick as I could and just powered along, finally felt ok and just went for it. I was passing lots of people, and finally caught Dave at the top of one of the hills ( and I never used my little ring ), he seemed to be going well. We exchanged greetings and then I didn’t look back. At the half way point we turned round and into a headwind for the final 5 miles or so, and it was mostly uphill. My quads were working overtime as I just turned the legs as fast I could. The road surfaces were some of the worst I’ve ever ridden on and I had to keep double checking that I hadn’t punctured, everything was shaking !! I think I must have overtaken about 20 people, and no one came past me – very pleased about that.
Back to transition, dismount, run along to rack the bike, running shoes on, helmet off and onto the run course. It was mostly cross country and consisted of running to the top of a long hill and back down 3 times. Legs felt ok and I think I had a decent run. Saw both Dave and Andy and shouted encouragement. It was great finishing, no one else around me and the announcer shouting out my name for the crowd to cheer ! Smile for Em and the camera and collect my medal ( my first one for Triathlon ! ). Quick drink of water and a banana and back out on the course to support Dave and Andy.
I finished in 1:22:02 which given the toughness of the course I was very very pleased with. I think I did the swim in under 11 minutes, the run was probably about 24 minutes and the bike was 45:51 ( including 200m of running ), so the rest of the time was spent in transition. These are estimates, the full results will be available tomorrow. The finishing time and the bike time are accurate, the rest are rough guesses.
Stats for the bike:
distance: 13.77 miles time: 45:51 av speed: 18.00 mph max speed: 37.2 mph
So thats one step closer to ironman…..