September 11th 2016 and I begin my taper for my final Triathlon of the 2016 season. This is also the day I fly out to Mallorca with my family for a nice relaxing holiday. Actually it was the perfect training camp, pool outside the room for early morning laps, a cycle hire shop down the road, and they let us take the double running buggy on the plane for pre-breakfast runs.
I had seen that the start list was available before we went away but I didn’t look as I thought it wasn’t close enough to the event to start feeling nervous just yet.
On returning to the UK I noticed that the weather was as per. as we sailed our car into the drive. Some nice fresh water in Trentham Lake might be a good thing, apart from the temperature.
Race morning arrived. I haven’t done enough training, I’ve drunk too much, not eaten enough, oh no actually I’ve eaten too much and GO!!!! Oh we’re off …the start of the swim was a bit of a shock as I couldn’t feel any part of my body but I managed to make freestyle motions with my arms as the rest of the field few off into the distance. Half way through the swim though I started to make up places like no tomorrow and exited in a strong 5th place. This was the first Triathlon I’d done where you needed to don your shoes to get to T1, so on with the NB Prisms it was and I start the 600m sprint to my bike, half way there and I get cramp in my left hamstring. I stopped and stretch it and I could hear Sam shouting at me to get a move on, and I did, although to be honest I thought my race had ended right there despite my ‘flying feet’ along the pontoon.
On the bike and I was soon doing 30mph towards Stone and I’d forgotten all about my hamstring and I begin to overtake absolutely everybody on the road. After a few races it’s so easy to ride in a naturally aero position on my Argon 18, while still being able to put out all the power I have. I knew that some of the competitors were in other races but I was sure I’d overtaken some in my race, and I arrived at T2 without once being overtaken on the bike.
Out on the run I made anyone on the course a target to drag me along, the tough uphill start out of T2 which then catapulted me into a nice downhill towards the Lake for the off-road 5k. Running around the Gardens in the sunshine at full speed was amazing, as I negotiated my still flying feet around the gravel paths.
I caught the lead out bike and runner in the Olympic distance race and we crossed the line together and the commentator shouted out that I was in 2nd position, I was over the moon. I was even more over the moon when Sam told me the commentator had corrected himself after I crossed the line and said that I was in-fact in first position. What an end to a most enjoyable season of training and racing! Even tanned up nicely for the podium where I received a splendid piece of Moorcroft Pottery – Perfect.
I’m now looking forward to a good winter of training, starting next week with a Cross-Country race at Winsford, and a spot of Mountain Biking. Bring on the mud!