Redcar Sprint Triathlon

A sea swim? Closed roads? Draft legal? Who could say no?!? Cat, Greg, myself and nearly 200 other athletes could not.

Pre-race

Thanks to Greg to booking ahead, we had an HPH table in the club zone. This was super useful for having somewhere to dump all of my stuff and go rooting through my bags. Luckily, there was no rain, but it was nice to have some indoor space anyway.

The swim

We walked down to the beach and had five minutes to wade into the sea and have a swim to warm up. After that, we waded back to the shore and lined up on the start line. When the whistle went, the fastest swimmers charged into the water while the rest of us waded in a little more slowly.

The water was choppy. As the waves came and went we bobbed up and down. I swallowed a lot of seawater. It was fun to be back in the sea at first, but the more I swam, the saltier my mouth became until it started to burn my throat.

Once we are out past the first buoy, we turned to swim parallel with the shore. This made it easier than swimming directly into the waves. In some ways, the waves made it easier to do front crawl than breaststroke, although you did get a sensation of falling when your hand came down into the water in front of you.

After the final buoy, I turned towards the shore. The waves pushed me forward but then seemed to drag me back. It felt frustrating and I had to use markers to test that I was still moving forward, which I was.

My total swim time was 22 minutes including getting off the beach. This is pretty typical for me; slightly slower because of the beach run and challenge of swimming in the sea.

Transition 1

The water became shallow a fair distance out and it made for a slow wade to the beach. We then ran up in it and into T1. I had brought a bottle of water to wash the sand off my feet before giving them a quick dry and throwing my bike shoes on.

The bike

The bike course was on closed roads, mostly along the seafront. It was also draft legal, although you could only draft with people of the same gender. The closest roads made for fun racing as you could go around a corner without worrying about oncoming traffic: although you did have to watch out for parked cars on some roads!

The first lap was lonely. As I am a slow swimmer, I was mostly on my own. At the second lap, I began to find people to draft. I assumed I had caught people up as we were quite well matched on the bike. I followed a couple of people’s wheels, although nobody ever seemed to follow mine.

At the end of the third lap, most of the athletes I was cycling with peeled off into T2. It turns out they were a lap ahead of me, which I was surprised at as they clearly could not out-bike me. This made for a lonely final lap. Drafting made it a lot easier and I was regularly doing 35 kph without too much effort.

There were supporters all around transition, and, at the far end of the course, a church group outside of their building. I decided to give them a wave on my final lap and got an extra loud cheer.

Transition 2

Nothing much to report here. I pulled my shoes and socks on and set off on the run.

The run

The run route took us along the promenade and back again, followed by a quick loop around the boating lake to complete the lap. There were three in total. I almost followed someone going the wrong way at the turnaround point but managed to correct just in time.

I saw Cat coming the other way, and Greg up ahead, almost I suspected (quite correctly) that he was a lap ahead of me.

As I came towards the last half of the final lap I could see that I wasn’t quite going to be able to squeeze it under 90 minutes, so I decided not to push too hard and enjoy it instead, walking across the line in celebration.

As I crossed the line, my sister and brother-in-law had turned up to cheer me on (I completely missed them) and Elina and Venla were also there (I completely missed them, too), but did see the rest of the Harriers cheering me on. What we can learn from this is that if you want to be seen, at a minimum, you need to be wearing a Harriers jersey.

The result

My overall time was:

1:30:27

And my splits were:

Section Time
Swim 23:50
T1 01:41
Bike 37:47
T2 01:28
Run 25:39

I am satisfied with those times. The swim was more like 22 minutes plus extra time to wade up the beach. And the run was pretty speedy given it was 5.5km.

Conclusion

I would highly recommend Redcar sprint triathlon. The sea swim adds an extra challenge and the closed roads make the bike section a lot of fun.

Timeline

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This entry was posted on Monday, August 5th, 2019 at 11:42 am and is filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.