Fred’s race report:
This year I was looking forward to this race. It was the first Triathlon that I took part in and would be a good measure of how or if I had improved.
I had a good transition place, it was close to the bike exit, this meant that I didn’t have to run the whole length of the transition with my bike. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal but transition at Dorney is 200m long so it should save me a few seconds. Well that’s the theory anyway.
I headed to the swim start about 5 min’s before my wave start. Into the water and a quick swim out towards the first buoy to spot the turn and swim exit. I lined up one row back from the start (I didn’t want some of the stronger swimmers swimming over me in the first 50m). With 1 min to go I had a clear space to start the swim 20 seconds to go I seemed to be a magnet for other swimmers I was surrounded by other guys. It didn’t help that I was in one of the bigger waves with 120 other swimmers. The starter sounded the horn and we were away. If you have read that the start of a triathlon is like trying to swim in a washing machine with 10 other people it’s correct. I had a kick in the face, a punch in the kidneys some one swimming on my legs and was being pushed of course by the guy on my right who was swimming at a right angle to everybody else. I put on a spurt to get out of the worst of the rough and tumble. I got a bit of clear space about 30m from the first buoy completely knackered from swimming too hard and breathing every second stroke as a necessity (I normally breath every third or fifth stroke in the pool). The first turn is always another area where you can come unstuck as 10 swimmers try to turn right on the buoy when there is only space for one (two at the most) I must have been lucky as I made the turn with some clear water. The rest of the swim was uneventful as the field spread out and I swam a bit wide on the second turn to avoid any more kick/punches. I should say at this point that none of this is intentional and can be avoided by starting a few rows back from the start. I must be mad, but, I enjoy the swim start and don’t let it worry me too much. I exited the swim in 00:07:24 a few second slower than last year. A good transition for me 00:01:51.
Out on the bike and I began to get my breathing under control. I felt strong and was just thinking that all the bike riding I had done over the winter was going to pay off when I had a rear wheel blow out. last years time was out of the question now. I stopped and fixed the puncture I had lots of encouragement from the other races as they flew past. Puncture fixed and back on the bike I had a lot of time to make up and only 17km to do it. I made up a few places and was back into transition in 00:41:30
On with the running shoes and out on to the run course. I ran well 00:22:42 5km not bad for me and about 1min quicker than last year, which was OK. I have done no run training over the winter and the improvement was just a general fitness improvement.
I felt disappointed overall but the puncture had spoiled the race, Still Windsor is up in about three weeks and a great chance to swim in the Thames.
Betty’s Race report will follow shortly but in the mean time checkout her race video below.