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One down, three to go!

June 11, 2011 | 6:23 pm

Today I took part in the ‘Rother Valley Charity Super Sprint Triathlon’, which is a long name for a short triathlon.

I did a 200m open water swim followed by a 10K bike ride and then a 4k run. That’s not really a standard race distance but I think these days, things vary so much, it depends on where you do it more than anything.

If you have ever been to the Rother Valley Country Park, one lap of both lakes is 5K and one lap of the larger lake is 4k, so the race was a swim, followed by two laps of both lakes and one lap of the large lake.

I enjoyed it but it also highlighted my lack of skill. It’s hard to believe that Triathlon requires so much concentration. Don’t you just swim, ride & run? Well, apparently not.

The swim went fine, which was the part I was most worried about. I tried out my new wetsuit for the first time last week and found it really constrictive to swim in. Luckily however, as this mornings swim was just 200m, it meant that the wetsuit wasn’t really an issue. Well, not until I was getting out of the water anyway.

Failure #1 came at the start of Transition 1, coming out of the water. At this point, I should press lap on my watch to record the time of the swim. I forgot! I didn’t remember in actual fact till I was on my bike, just after…

Failure #2. This was an equipment failure. Before the race, I tried to make a race belt like the pro’s use, and it came flying off less than 200m into the ride. I had to jump off the bike and run back 20m to get it. By the time, I’d tied it back on and got on the bike, I’d probably lost the best part of a minute. It was at this point, thinking of time lost, that I realised I hadn’t pressed the lap button, not only when I came out of the water, but also when I came out of Transition 1.

So my first time split of 7’57” includes the swim, T1 & 200m of the ride – what an idiot. Such a basic error!!!

Once I was going on the ride, it was good. Really good, in fact. This was the debut of my latest eBay bargain…

It felt really nice to ride, really quick as well. Which is to be expected I suppose, given the TT setup. The course round the lake wasn’t quite so smooth. Most of it is actually a compacted hardcore path, rather than tarmac, with lots of loose stone to avoid. My bike split time of 18’29” doesn’t include the failure with the number belt, as I pressed lap just after that. However, I averaged 18.8mph for the 9.3K that was recorded as a ride, which I’m pretty pleased with. I also dismounted well, remembered to hit the lap button on the watch and had a pretty smooth T2, in a time of 1’12”. It could have been a bit quicker, but I stopped to take a big drink from my bike bottle. I quickly decided at that point that I hadn’t drunk enough on the ride, and didn’t want to run out of steam, so probably lost about 5-10″ there too.

The run is the part I’m usually worst at, but today it was actually my best discipline. I came into T2 and there were only two other bikes racked in our part of the transition area. There were 20 people in our race and I wasn’t sure how many people had come out of the swim ahead of me, but I thought at least five or six. As it turned out, I had come out of the water fifth, but with all the messing about at T1 and the beginning of my ride, they’d got away from me. I thought I passed a couple on my ride, but couldn’t be sure, because the race was also overlapping a womens only Triathlon, that was set over the same distance (Super Sprint) but had gone off 15 minutes earlier with a lot more competitors in and at least two swim waves (staggered starts).

As I left transition 2, and put my Diabetes UK running bib over my trisuit (gotta advertise the cause after all!), it occured to me that I was running in third place – if I was to believe the fact there was only two other racked bikes! I found this hard to believe, and fully expected a few to come running past me. Running is my weakest discipline, but the thought of someone coming past me spurred me on! On more than one occasion, I was sure someone was closing in on me, but when I tried to glace over my shoulder, there was noone there.

Still unsure of my position, I came into the final part of the run and someone should encouragement from the sidelines “Come on, great showing 3rd place – give it some for the last 200 yds” – or something to that effect anyway. Whatever he actually said, he confirmed I was 3rd! I couldn’t believe it. And it gave me a great boost over that last bit into the finish!

I was hoping to ‘not come last’ or close to! 3rd – I’m well pleased with that! I won’t have my actual splits until the middle of the week, and it will be interesting to see how my times compare to the others in the race.

Onto the next challenge – the Coast to Coast ride in July. And just a reminder that all this exertion is for a cause – Diabetes UK.

The link to makes donations is here. Please forward this to as many people as you can! In the mean time, a few piccies of the action….


Posted by Gareth

2 Responses to One down, three to go!

  1. avatar avatarRobin Crampton says:

    Well done I’m impressed. Sounds like you had a good day out. What route is the coast to coast ride taking. I did it about 10 years ago Whitehaven to Tynemouth.

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