Friday, March 5, 2010


Thoughts on race day

The weather was in fact terrible, windy and dusty with visibility at a few hundred meters. Two weeks ago I was thinking that it was about getting through but as I got into my training it became more and more about times. The weather changed the focus back, the swim was fine as it was sheltered inside the Logoon but the  bike would be horrid and then the run the same. I did not take a watch on the rationale that I needed to work at 90% for the entire time and was confident that I could manage my pace which would need to be asjusted on different parts of the course to counter the wind.

Carl (left), Chris (right)

The wait!

On to the race

I got down early to the site and it all seemed far too real, there were a number of good athletes there including 2 Bahraini Olympians. I had organised a large group of people from work so I set about submitting their registration forms and dealing with paperwork, we managed to get a whole bike rack so the team atmosphere started to grow and I knew that was important. An hour or so before the race I handed over the organisation to a work colleague so that I could concentrate on getting myself ready.

Finally we are swimming

As the start time approached we all headed to the (cold) water, as we waited in the water it became clear that something was up, they had not held a briefing and the organisers called us all out of the water and made us walk back to the changeover area at which time I concentrated on getting warm. Once we were back in the water it all went very quickly, Carl and I decided before the race to keep to the side and out of traffic and this worked well. It was great to be finally racing after two weeks of prep (and one false start). I knew that I would have to push it on the swim, I am slow and I needed to keep as close as I could so that I had less to do on the bike. It was a great feeling to get yanked out of the water by one of the organisers and I made up several places by sprinting to the changeover area (it was about 200 meters) down the side of the Lagoon. As I reached my gear Liz shouted out 18:30 which was well ahead of schedule so I was pleased.

Back to the changeover area in 18:30, much quiker than expected but over 4 minutes behind Carl

My changeover did not go great, I was organised I had everything I needed. I think I rushed a little and with wet hands and body I could not get my shirt on, on a normal sunny day I would have gone without but I stuffed it in the back of my shorts and hopped on my bike, it took me a little way to get it on which cost me a few seconds I am sure. Next time an all in one suit will be much better.

Enough time for a smile, it was great to see Liz at the changeover

It was great to be on the bike, I knew once the leg was over I'd almost be home. Being on home turf really did help on the day, we were biking all around the area I usually ride so I knew where the gusts would be (to some extent) I decided that I would need to attack if I was to make up lost time, the first lap was quite slow, I was still unsure how hard the wind would make it so I took it slightly easier than planned. Once the 2nd lap got under way I tried to push as hard as possible, I wanted to catch Carl on the bike am I had seen him at parts of the course but as I came towards the changeover he was already out and running, I am not sure how far I was behind but I had a few minutes to make up on the run which I knew was possible.

A much quiker changeover

The start of the run was hard, my legs did not want to move, it took 2-3 km before they started to loosen and I knew that I had to make a move, I could see Carl ahead and was making steady progress. With 1km to go I tried to push the pace a little more as the gap was now small. As we entered back into the Lagoon with a couple of hundred meters to go I realised that I could not bridge the gap and this one would go to Carl (congrats mate, this has been great fun - let's do another one together), I had left my challenge a bit too late, as I finished I felt strong, I think that I could have run faster, I should have picked up the pace with 1.5km to go.

The last few hundred meters, I was a little sad at this point because I knew that it would be over soon

The result

Carl: 1 hour 31 minutes and 20 seconds
Me: 1 hour 31 minutes and 37 seconds

I was a little sad to run under the Red Bull finish banner as I knew that it was over.

"How was it?"

To sum up

I great event, a great challenge, easier than I had thought. I look forward to doing it again and wonder if with a bit of training I could go for a full triathlon (1.5km, 40km & 10km)?

More to follow

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