Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Wensleydale Full Cheese Triathlon

Short Report:
Swim + T1 45m (68/69)
Bike 2:51 (43/69)
T2 2:32
Run 1:48 (20/69)
Total 5:27 31st

Take-aways: Still not learning my lessons... Rubbish swimmer, average on a bike and better than average on the run. Having said that I think my bike is getting better at least on the flat....luckily the AxTri next weekend is flat, no? As for the swimming this could be the kick up the backside to actually do something about it.....well we'll see... Being at the back gives me more people to overtake...;-)

Long Report:
I simply had to do this Tri, been on holiday to West Burton over 30 times and feels like I grew up in the area. Added spice from the fact I know the hills (though never cycled them) and had nearly drowned in SemerWater as a kid.

Drove the cycle course the day before to remind myself of what I had signed up for and to try out the 11-28 cassette to check it was sufficient - it was...just

A very relaxed start to the day as the start was not until 10. Racked my bike in T1 and gave my bag for T2 to Em, she was going to drop it by on her way to support on the bike leg - I like the more relaxed approach (aka less anal).

Water was surprisingly warm, still i was trying out my swim socks ahead of the AxTri the following Saturday. We were off on a supposed 2km swim. It must have been short or otherwise I have got much better at swimming and the standard of the field was equally good?!?! Bad swim overall, took too much water in, couldn't get a rhythm, felt like was fighting the wetsuit. In the end I found a rhythm of sorts and was surprised to be out in 40mins.

I was all over the place in T1, shaky dizzy, and took c5mins....ridiculous. Shoved some food down and jumped on my bike. Ok, right, check you're in the right gear as you turn out of transition over a small bridge and straight up a 25% incline! Lovely stuff, that got the hr flying...

The cycle was awesome, loved it but it was also very tough. On way over the first top was wishing I had a compact. Views were great and the descents were 'entertaining' forearms were burning from holding the brakes on so tight.

Down into Swaledale and a chance for some food. When you are either out of the saddle on the way up or gripping your brakes for dear life, eating is hard to do.

Up over the buttertubs and my first of many cheers. There were my mum dad and Em. Em even ran alongside cheering as I struggled to the top. At 7 months pregnant this was slightly embarrassing ;-).

By the end of the cycle had passed my support crew another 5 times. It was great for me and very amusing for the other cyclist just ahead of me wondering who the crazy pregnant woman was appearing all along the course...

Was looking forward to the descent into Hawes and like Emma was annoyed with the massive head wind. Still made it back into T2 and had picked up a few positions along the way. It is one of the few races whereby it was actually a race ie everyone you overtook was in your wave and meant you were rising up the rankings. This was to help when I was out in the run.

Another slow transition and then I went off firing and could see people to hunt down. Anyone who has ever walked/trekked/mountaineered with me know that I subconsciously pick up the pace when there is someone ahead of me - even do it on the streets of London.

Tom was just ahead of me in t2 so was off after him too ;-). Reached the hill and could hear Emma saying to me 'you can run it all, some people walk it too....' so I didn't want to walk any of it. But I did, on the steeper bits early on when I was going too hard. I'd catch someone and then have to walk for 30 secs before running on. I did use these fast walking moments to take on gel and water which thinking about it was a good plan.
Two TriLondon kits in one photo

Made it to the top in 1hr and turned straight around and nearly fell over te marshall's collie that got under my feet. I had seen some people on the way down when I was nearing the top. So the question would it be so easy to catch people on the way down. I went hard most of the way down and picked up quite a few more places. Back on the flat I followed some guy onto the wrong track and then had to jump off a stone wall to correct this, nicely nose diving into a patch of nettles and thistles - nicely done Tim. I then had to catch the girl that had given me the shout. Couldn't see anyone else ahead so just maintained pace to cruise across the line in 5:26. My run was 20th and had made my way up to 31st so was happy with that.

Also think my transitioning to front foot running after my ironman a year ago helped. You are using the front of your feet anyway on the way up and you need quick feet on the way down to descend at pace. The path was very rocky/slabby so the lack of cushioning in my sportivas meant felt uncomfortable at times, like running on the road.

Overall a great event, awesome scenery and the fact that it was like a home tri, added to the awesome support meant this goes down as my favourite tri so far.

The fish and chips in Hawes also go down as the best I have ever had too. The pub crawl back down the valley was interesting. particularly the Victoria Arms. Had been warned about this pub so many times over the years that I just had to try it. They weren't wrong 'interesting' to say the least....

Now for the AxTri, any thoughts on the best way to prep and recover in 5 days?

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