Posts Tagged ‘triathlon’

Ilkley Triathlon

Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 | Sport

Ilkley Triathlon was a record-breaker for me. But not one based on time or result.

If you have ever been to Ilkley, you may have noticed that there is very little flat around there. We did a course recce on Thursday and did a quick lap of the course. The climb is not too bad: it averages around 5% and is hard work but if you drop down to your lowest gears you can keep a high cadence. The downhill is rather steeper, though!

The swim was lovely for a pool swim. There were only two other people in my lane and the pool itself only had three lanes so there was plenty of space for overtaking if needed. I drafted Aron for the first six lengths before cutting the water for myself. I wasn’t entirely sure how to pace 500-metres but had a little something left to give so sped up for the final two lengths.

The bike course was three laps and each lap hurt the legs more than the previous one. the descent was steep enough that I did some comfort breaking. And it is comfort breaking: on the second lap I had just overtaken another cyclist and didn’t want to hold them up, so descended faster out of politeness 😂. That said, I actually set my maximum speed on the third lap.

It was getting warm by the run so I doused myself with a cup of water. Alas, there was no bin for it so I ended up tucking the cup down my tri suit until I could find a public bin on the course. As we headed up the hill I managed to overtake a bike: probably the first time I have done that! Coming down was probably the hardest bit of the course: the steep descent really went into my knees and the leaves on the pavement didn’t provide much confidence. As I rounded the final corner I realised I still had some to give so I decided to sprint to the finish.

My total time was:

1:12:38

And my splits were:

Disipline Time
Swim 11:26
T1 1:33
Bike 33:56
T2 1:40
Run 22:02

My final place was 74 out of 279. Top third is not bad.

Some interesting comparisons to The Dalesman. My swim time at Ilkley was 7 minutes faster than my T1 time at Dalesman and my total race time at Ilkley was 21 minutes faster than my swim time at Dalesman. I can see the appeal of short format!

In what way did it break a record? In 2019, I completed 15 triathlons. Ilkley was race 16 of the 2021 WTS (Worfolk Triathlon Series).

Thank you to everyone at LBT and beyond who volunteered, marshalled and generally made the event happen. It turned out to be a wonderfully social day with so many club members and friends there. Grahame and Paula didn’t even realise the race was on until they cycled past looking for ice cream. Thank you to Tony, Ralph and Naomi for the photos.

Best tri tops

Friday, September 17th, 2021 | Life

I have been trying to find a new tri top as they don’t make my current tri top anymore. They have a slightly different model but with one fewer pockets (my current one has three!). So, I have been hunting for the best tri tops with a high UFP rating and enough pockets for all of my snacks.

Orca 226

This is my current top of choice. Good shoulder stretch and three pockets at the back. It does bounce up and down a bit, though, so could use some grip at the bottom. Also, the zip only goes halfway down which probably helps with comfort but makes it a little less practical. It has UPF 50.

Castelli Free Speed

This looks nice but is only UPF 16.

Zone3 Lava

I bought this but it has one big pocket at the back and when I put my phone in it, it bounced up and down like crazy. The shoulders also felt a little constricted. UPF 50, though.

Zone3 Aquaflo

I ruled this one out because it does not mention a UPF rating, which means it will probably be bad.

Pactimo Summit

I ruled this out because it has a single mesh pocket at the back.

Huub RaceLine

I ruled this could because I couldn’t work out where the pockets were. It says it has nutrition pockets but I am not sure what that means. It has UPF 30 but it is not clear whether that is all over or just on the shoulders and upper arms.

Roka Elite Aero

I ruled this out because it does not state a UPF rating.

Santini Cupio

This looks like a real option and has UPF 30 but was not available from any UK supplier I was familiar with. You can buy it directly from Santini but shipping is £20 and there may be import taxes on t top of that.

Santini Audax

I ruled this out because it does not state a UPF rating.

Dalesman Triathlon

Thursday, August 26th, 2021 | Sport

My third and final full distance triathlon of the year. It was a little Déjà vu as I booked it last year as a replacement for Copenhagen but Dalesman was then cancelled too. I ended up re-booking this race a few weeks before when I again couldn’t get into Denmark. I went in with the intention of having some “fun” rather than to set a time.

I couldn’t find any accommodation in Ripon so I stayed at home and drove up in the morning, leaving the house just before 4 am. This made for a long day!

The swim

Two and a half laps of the lake in the middle of Ripon racecourse. There was a lot of plant life and reeds. Even more so than Outlaw as at least in Nottingham, you can swim away from them. But at least here the water was clearer than I have seen at any swim and so you could see what you kept grabbing handfuls of.

It all went well: only a few swimmers lapped me and those that did gave plenty of room. I was a little chilly towards the end. I did successfully do a wee while still swimming, though, which was a big timesaver compared to having to stop and tread water.

The bike

The bike was hilly. Almost 2,000 metres of climbing compared to 850 at the salt flats of Nottingham. To an extend that is just how Yorkshire is, although Newby Hall where the Yorkshireman is based is right next door and has a much flatter bike course. Garmin classified seven stretches as climbs, and it was a two-lap course, so 14 in total. Nothing too bad, though: we did go through the moors but they were all short and not too steep. Nothing compared to coming up Chevin Bank, for example.

I certainly felt the sting, though. It was my slowest average moving speed of any full distance. Even slower than my first ever, but thanks to fewer stops, I was still faster overall. My average power was slightly lower than Outlaw (149 Watts vs 157 Watts) but the normalised power was higher (184 Watts vs 172 Watts) showing the stop-start effort as went up and down the hills.

I spent a lot of the time on the bike thinking about my life choices. Every time I finish a long-distance race, I somehow forget how much it hurts. And then I find myself back in this situation. Other strategies for passing the time included singing along to some Billy Talent and re-writing Harry Potter as a Mary Sue fan fiction.

I ate more solid food than I planned. My gel flask had leaked and I could not find any on the first aid station so I was making do with energy bars, sweets and sports drinks. I felt sick pretty much the whole race but barely anything came up so I just kept putting more fuel in in some kind of dare game with my stomach.

The run

The sun came out for the run. It also rained. I was trying to take it easy but also aware that if I ran a 4:33 marathon I would go under 14 hours. This was appealing even though I deliberately came in with a few of having fun. I ran when I wanted to and walked when I needed to without focusing on the time.

I was planning to drink Mountain Fuel energy drink at each aid station but the only drink they had was water, so I went for a combination of water and mini sausage rolls. On lap two I grabbed my Lucozade from my special needs and then on lap three I pulled out my bidon filled with Red Bull. That first taste of caffeine was the highlight of the race. I gasped so audibly the woman in front of me turned around to see what was going on.

With the three big laps out of the way, the two smaller laps were easier. I decided to stop eating and hope my all-day fuelling would carry me through. I finally started feeling good (as good as you can 13 hours into a race) and gradually picked up the pace, running a 5:03 for my 42nd kilometre. The course finishes with a final “glory lap” around the transition and event village and I was all smiles. No slowing down, though, as I wanted that sub-14. I hit the finish straight with two minutes to spare and took a leisurely stroll across the line.

The result

I finished with:

13:58:21

Lovely to get under the 14 hour mark on a relatively hilly course. My splits were as follows:

Disipline Time
Swim 1:33:40
T1 18:51
Bike 7:24:42
T2 9:42
Run 4:31:26

After Outlaw, it was nice to get back to a transition that isn’t a kilometre long. Plus, my fastest full distance swim by several minutes.

The event

Organising a full distance triathlon is a huge task and can only be more difficult during a pandemic. So thank you to the TriHard team for putting it all together.

That said, there were niggles compared with IRONMAN, OBS or Freebird. Race information came out in a patchwork fashion and TriHard deflected emails: they asked us to wait until the final email promising answers, then sent a final email to say they didn’t have time to answer emails anymore. Water temperature was not checked in the morning. Transition did not open until 5:15, despite the race briefing being at 5:45. There was only one toilet in transition and I ended up queuing in T1. They had “Mountain Fuel” on the aid stations but this seemed to mean different things for the bike and run. Nor was it clear how many aid stations there would be. Multiple athletes got lost on the run.

None of this is a disaster and much of the event was flawless. And it certainly does not detract from the hard work that all of the volunteers put in, all of whom offered plenty of encouragement and were kind and supportive. Plus the photos were included!

Summary

Now that I am sitting on my sofa I am glad I did the race. But I am also looking forward to a little more relaxation and some shorter format races.

Evolve Quarter Triathlon 2021

Thursday, August 19th, 2021 | Sport

Last year, the Evolve Quarter Triathlon was my first of the year due to COVID cancelling or postponing everyone else. This year, it was race 14 in the 2021 WTS (Worfolk Triathlon Series). It’s so good to be racing again!

The swim

Mass starts are back. As mass starts have not been a thing for the past two years, this was the first swim that I was competitive enough to be in the pack on a mass start. It’s annoying. Bodies flying everywhere. An endless stream of athletes unable to sight. No serious incidents, though.

The bike

Pleased with this. Last year, I really struggled to stay down on my aero bars due to back pain that I was hoping I had eliminated with four months of daily stretching. I had not. But after twelve months of daily stretching, things are looking more hopeful.

Also, I was highly incentivised to stay on them as a tailwind helped us on the first half of the circuit and a headwind slowed us down on the second.

The run

Another happy performance. I wanted to take it easy on the run to save my legs for last week. And thanks to a solid bike split, I saw I had 59 minutes to run it in in under three hours. Even so, I took plenty of scalps and nobody overtook me.

The result

Nearly 13 minutes faster than last year and comfortable under three hours. The course was the same as last year: 1,000-metre swim, 47 km bike and 10 km run.

2:48:14

Here are my splits:

Disipline 2021 2020
Swim 25:39 26:27
T1 1:31 2:26
Bike 1:31:39 1:37:48
T2 2:02 3:38
Run 47:23 50:50
Total 2:48:14 3:01:09

The event was very well organised. There was no real queue to get in as all the volunteers kept the whole process moving with check-in, registration, parking, and checking of details and bikes all split into separate sections. We did have to wait until all of the half competitors finished the bike leg to retrieve our biles, but at least we could get our bags and car keys before then.

Evolve mixed team relay 2021

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 | Sport

The Evolve Mixed Team Relay is probably my favourite event of the year. They held the first one in 2019 as a test event to stage one to line up with the Olympics. It was September, getting colder, and it rained all day. But we still loved it. And HPH took ten teams.

COVID delayed both the Olympics and 2020 event but when this year rolled around we were back on. And, as with the 2019 event, we woke up to heavy rain. Luckily it gradually eased off throughout the day and we finished the event in the sunshine.

The effect COVID has had on participation is evident. We only took five teams this year and were still the best-represented club. Despite this, it felt like a small piece of normality: catching up with everyone, racing with the club and having fun.

Our team consisted of TeeJay, myself, Laura and Paul and we named ourselves Paddling Peddling Plodders. The more competitive HPH teams were storming it for most of the race but alas, Wakefield came through in the final run leg to take the victory, leaving us with a still very respectable 2nd and 4th place.

The swim and the bike course remained the same but the run course has switched to the trail loop around the lake. All of these times were taken from my watch so transition times are not going to be mega-accurate as it was when I remembered to press the button. Still, a general trend of getting faster.

Discipline 2021 2019
Swim 5:09 7:36
T1 1:24 3:05
Bike 19:58 20:46
T2 0:37 0:45
Run 5:58 6:22
Total 33:04 38:34

Most importantly, I finally made it into the club group photo! The previous two were taken at Castle Howard and World Triathlon Leeds. I was at both of these events but missed out of the photo, so I was not about to let this one happen without me!

Congratulations to Rosie, JP, Leigh and Alison who were the first HPH team home. And to Cara and Sam who were completing their first triathlon.

I’m already looking forward to the mixed team relay next year. It’s a brilliant event for both hardcore triathletes to those who have never done one before, or anyone who like interacting with other human beings.

Outlaw Triathlon

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 | Sport

Outlaw is a full distance triathlon that takes place at the National Water Sports Centre. A 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre cycle and 42.2-kilometre run around the scenic Holme Pierrepont country park and wider Nottingham region. What better way to spend a Sunday?

The swim

The swim takes place in the regatta lake which seems to be some kind of water-based plant nursery. I was swimming quite far out and I was still grabbing handfuls of the stuff at points.

It was long and hard. I had a wee panic attack on the out lap and had to switch to breaststroke to get my breathing under control. Having dealt with that, I allowed myself a quick look at my watch only to discover I was only 36 minutes in! Thankfully, I managed to settle down and the return leg was a little easier.

My intention was to speed T1 up a little (by my standards). I had gone with my tri shorts so that I could wear them for the entire race (previously I had done a full costume change). Somehow, I took longer. It did not help that transition was over 600 metres long: 1,300 athletes were mostly on two rows of racking that stretched along the lakeside. Wrestling with my top, applying sun cream, taking care of my feet and snacking on non-portable foods added up quickly. I did avoid sunburn, though, so probably worth it in the end.

The bike

The bike starts with a beautiful lap of the lake before heading out onto the roads. These were great. They’re not fully closed World Triathlon Leeds. But we did sometimes have a lane coned off, or the roads were quiet, and at almost all of the junctions, they had traffic management stopping cars and giving us priority. I think I only had to stop once at a roundabout and then only for a few seconds. There were a couple of roads where cars were holding me up but it usually kept moving as side roads were closed to stop them from turning.

I was religious with my nutrition and made my way through OTE, Clif, Haribo, Torq gels and several bottles of Lucozade.

The course was fast and flat. Technically, there was one hill in it which briefly maxed out at 11%. But nobody from Yorkshire would describe it as a climb. I spent a lot of time on my aero bars simply because it was more comfortable: the lack of elevation meant I could spin at a reasonably high cadence and protect my lower back.

The discomfort was mostly in my bottom from being sat in the saddle for so long. That and a kind of low-level-pain boredom. Only in full distance can you get to the two-thirds point, 120 kilometres in, and think “only the last little bit to do now” and yet still have two hours of cycling ahead of you. I might need to look at my cleat position, too. It was stressing my plantar fascia and for a nine-kilometre stretch, I unclipped and rode on the flat side of my pedals so I could move more onto the ball of my foot.

I stopped at aid station four just to try and kill the loneliness and take a minute to just not be on the bike anymore before taking on the final leg back to transition. T2 was a much-welcome sight. I took almost as long in T2 as I did in T1 and I have literally no idea how because I can’t really remember it. I didn’t eat anything or change my outfit (other than my shoes) but the time just disappeared.

The run

I walked the first few hundred metres as I ate some crisps and then set off in earnest. Some on-the-run maths suggested that if I ran a 4:17 marathon I could finish in under 13 hours. I had no idea how possible that was. I ran a 4:40 marathon at Yorkshireman but I was on for around 3:40 at Evolve Trio when better rested. I thought if I kept myself roughly in the game we would just see what happened.

What happened was it hurt. A lot. I was somewhere in the 5:30-6:00 range, plus walking the aid stations. I grabbed a High5 energy drink and a slice of orange at each one. My plan was to make it to 20 kilometres before moving onto coke (sweet caffeine) and for once I made it. By that point, I was doing High5 and coke at most of the aid stations as I could feel my calves tightening up.

Around 12 kilometres in my stomach started churning. I found a portapotty but I was so dosed up on Imodium that it didn’t help. I kept running. With it being a two-lap course, I was expecting to spend the first lap being overtaken by faster runners on their way to finishing their second lap. But almost nobody did. Most people were walking. A few were running at a much slower pace than me.

Despite a constant feeling that I was slowing down and that there was no point trying because I would never manage a 4:17 marathon, I kept trying to accept the pain and keep moving in the hope that it would pass. It did not pass but my watch kept saying 6:00 per kilometre and I reached the 32-kilometre mark I at least gained the comfort of “only one more hour of this”.

By this point, I could have potentially done some run-walking. But not much of it and I wanted to allow some time for emergency toilet breaks, the course measuring as longer than 42.2 or any cramp that would force me to slow down. So, I kept pushing knowing that if I got to 40 or 41, the adrenaline would push me through the final 10 minutes.

The finish

They should make the finish chute a kilometre long. A whole day of suffering for a finish that lasts 30 seconds. There were 30 great seconds, though. There was a big crowd cheering me down the line. It is impossible to take it all in. I wish I could freeze that moment in time, or at least remember to pause and walk it, but I was so fatigued, caffeinated and excited that it was difficult to think straight.

You might expect that crossing the finish line is the end of the suffering. But (in my experience) that is not the case in long format racing. If anything, it gets worse. my body stiffens up and it is hard to get up and down. And I just feel ill. It took me two hours to stomach anything and that is a surprisingly quick time frame compared with previous races.

My final time was:

12:50:05

My splits are below. While I am counting this as my fourth full distance triathlon, I compare it to my first in the table below. Both Woolenman and Evolve Trio are more recent but their event format was slightly different so Yorkshireman is the most compatible.

Discipline Outlaw Yorkshireman
Swim 1:37:20 1:59:17
T1 18:05 16:11
Bike 6:31:33 7:31:12
T2 17:00 8:23
Run 4:06:07 4:40:07
Total 12:50:05 14:35:12

That was good enough for a top-half finish: 502 out of 1053. My run split was the 136th fastest. And nearly 200 athletes took even longer than I did in transition 😂.

What’s next? I’m not sure. I have IRONMAN Copenhagen booked but I have also got everything I wanted out of full distance triathlon so not particularly inclined to do another. Time will tell.

Evolve Sprint 2021

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 | Sport

Another excellent COVID-secure event from the Blue Lagooners team. Only myself and Jay racing from Hyde Park Harriers but that is company enough. This was a warm-up for Jay before doing a middle distance aqua bike the day after and a nice relaxed race for me too as we move ever closer to Outlaw.

The swim

It was a staggered start in any order meaning there was a mixture of abilities. I usually avoid the packs but now I’m a more confident faster swimmer I tried to swim into the pack a little more and get involved. This did mean some other swimmers were groping me but nothing serious. and a speedy 16:17.

The bike

I thought this went quite well although the results suggest a lot of people were going faster. I spent plenty of time on the aero bars. and was pretty happy with how I judged my pace. I kept my average moving speed above 31 kph.

The run

I gout of T2 in around 2 minutes despite going for socks and regular laces. I went out too hard on the run but somehow managed to keep it rolling. The sun came out and I began to regret not putting sunscreen on. I finished the run in 20:39, which would have been a 5k PB but the course measured 4.91 km on my watch.

The result

My total time was:

1:19:11

Which was good enough for 41 out of 112 athletes. I am not sure the course was exactly the same the 2019 event but I have put it up for comparison.

Discipline 2021 2019
Swim 16:17 20:49
T1 1:53 1:17
Bike 38:22 43:38
T2 2:02 0:47
Run 20:37 24:18
Total 1:19:11 1:30:46

I have deliberately sacrificed my T2 to put my faster shoes on but clearly, I have let my T1 slide as well! Everything else looks good, though.

World Triathlon Leeds 2021

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 | Sport

This was a weird race for me. For many people, World Triathlon Leeds is all they think about, and maybe the one triathlon they do that year. For me, coming just a week after my third full distance at Evolve Trio, all I was thinking about was how to survive my first 4-kilometre open water swim. Evolve Trio was mercifully split over the bank holiday weekend but that meant finishing on Monday, recovering on Tuesday, and only thinking about Leeds on Wednesday.

Saturday races

Even though I wasn’t racing on Saturday I braved a 6am start to get down to the mark and cheer people on. My dad and Tim and Andy were in the sprint race from 8 am onwards and my mum and sister were in the GoTri at 10 o’clock. This made for a tough day trying to run around the park to see everyone at various points. Especially when you are pushing a 4-year-old in a buggy!

It was awesome to see everyone finish. We might have to rename it Worfolk Triathlon Leeds after this.

I had been so busy with Evolve Trio and work that I didn’t even have a nutrition plan for the next day but luckily OTE had a stall in the event village that allowed me to stock up on goodies. After that we headed to a friend’s leaving do (he’s moving to Japan) and then a family BBQ, meaning I only got to pack my bags at 8 pm, just before I needed to be in bed for a 5 am start.

The swim

The new COVID arrival times made for a bit of a rush setting up in transition. But I managed to get everything done and down to the swim start in time. This was my first 1,500 metres that I was planning to do entirely in front crawl and for the first time I found myself getting jostled by the pack. I leaned away from but in future, I might try leaning into the maelstrom.

The swim went really well. I clocked in at 33:34, and I would usually be around the 40-minute mark, so around 6 minutes saved there.

The bike

I forgot how much the hills in Leeds get into my back. The first lap saw me put some power down but it was an absolute killer on my lower back. In some ways, it was worse than the 189 kilometres of last weekend. By the second lap, I managed to settle down a little, keep my cadence higher and get down on the aero bars a little more. And, to be honest, just eased off a little as I reminded myself this was technically a “recovery” race. I saved around another six minutes compared to my 2019 time.

The run

Even though I have done Roundhay parkrun a bunch of times, I thought the hill was more of a gentle drag. Then you hit it and it turns out it is a hill. Some gentle pacing help me below 5:00 per kilometre which I was pleased with for a run I didn’t go 100% on. Although the run route a slight elevation gain, compared to the usual drop into the city centre, it clocked in at only 9.5 kilometres, and so I was a couple of minutes ahead of 2019 here, too. Plus I had half the tri club to cheer me on down the finish straight.

The result

It is impossible to do a direct comparison between this year and 2019 but I have included the figures here. Obviously big improvements moving from breaststroke to front crawl. I think my running has come along more than my cycling. My 2019 run was my 10k PB until the Abbey Dash so beating that without going 100% felt like a pretty good result.

Discipline 2021 2019
Swim 33:34 39:25
T1 5:44 8:32
Bike 1:13:16 1:19:04
T2 4:52 4:02
Run 45:28 46:59
Total 2:42:52 2:58:00

All in all, 2:42:52 is a sizable improvement even adjusting for the course being potentially easier. That was good enough for 32 out of 72 athletes, but being in the M35-39 age group, only 5 out of 6. What a stupid age group to be in.

The aftermath

Perhaps the best part of the day was being able to have a sit-down, each as much junk food as I could fit in my stomach and spend time with my fellow tri club members. It has been a lonely 14 months since lockdown came in and so the return of racing as a club is a much welcome addition back into my life.

Keeping the pros in the park was also great for spectating.

Overall, a very enjoyable but tiring weekend. I was pleased to put my feet up on Monday and watch the triathlon on iPlayer.

Evolve Trio

Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 | Sport

Evolve Trio is a new event for 2021 run by the Blue Lagooners team. It is designed to be an accessible form of triathlon with the swim, cycle and run split over the bank holiday weekend with one on each day. Additionally, the course is split into four laps and athletes can choose how many laps they do, making the distance standard to full.

The swim

22 of us were on the start line on Saturday for 1-4 laps of the one-kilometre swim course. The swim is not my strong point: I did a four-kilometre swim in the pool before Yorkshireman, as well as a 3.5-kilometre open water swim in which I got cramp, then I did the Yorkshireman itself, which I also cramped and found pretty traumatic.

After that, I decided I would get in the pool and swim four kilometres every week. Then COVID happened and no lake or pool opened for more than an hour. So, my preparation was not where I wanted it to be. However, since the pools opened last month, I have managed to fit in 23 swims including a 10.5-kilometre week as part of the 7in7 challenge.

As a result, I was sure how it was going to go. But it went well! I got around in 1:35:58. That was good enough to pick up the lanterne rouge by 15 seconds. Potentially, I could go faster at Outlaw given the course is 200 metres shorter and there may be less stopping for snacking (may!). 12 of us completed the maximum four laps.

The bike

Sunday brought the bike course. It should have been 1-4 laps of a 45-kilometre loop. However, roadworks added an extra 47.2 kilometres, making it 178.8 kilometres in total. Officially it was sportive rules so it wasn’t cheating when a bunch of us were drafting a tractor. But tractors also go slower than we can cycle. There were other riders for the first hour but after that it was lonely. Thankfully, there were race vehicles on the course and the marshals cheering us on.

Womersley is flat so I was able to get plenty of speed. I went through the first 30 kilometres in under an hour and averaged 29 kph. Part of it was also increased power: at Yorkshireman, I output 153 Watts and averaged 25.3 kph and 156 Watts with an average of 24.4 kph at Woolenman. This time I output 188 Watts so I like to think that had something to do with going an hour faster and finishing in 6:37:46. Seven us of completed the maximum four laps.

The last lap was hard. Despite constant eating, I was still hungry and probably quite dehydrated by then. Or maybe the sunburn was kicking in on the few areas of skin that I missed, despite sun creaming three times. The final time I did while cycling: new skill!

The run

Finally, the run. Getting up at 6am was not my ideal bank holiday but it comes with the territory. The other days started at noon and 11am which gave my stomach time to settle. The early start was harder, though, and my stomach felt uneasy the whole way around. I still managed to eat enough, though and kept a good pace the whole way around.

Because of my sunburn, I decided to run in my Under Armour HeatGear base layers. Luckily, it wasn’t too warm and went between sun and shade most of the morning. I started feeling good in the final two kilometres when my mind settled down and focused on how close the finish was.

I finished the run in 3:38:30, more than an hour ahead of my Yorkshireman time and even further ahead of my Woolenman time. Six of us completed the maximum four laps.

The result

My total time was:

11:52:13

Officially, it was a personal challenge and there were no prizes. But unofficially, that was good enough for third place out of the six of us that completed all four laps of all four disciplines. Which meets my fifth place at Hubble Bubble.

Although it puts me over two-and-a-half hours ahead of previous full distance triathlons they do not directly compare as I was able to rest between each discipline. Also, the swim course was 200 metres longer, the bike course was nine kilometres longer but had much less climbing, and the run course was shorter. Still, it has been a big confidence boost for Outlaw.

I got a different medal for each event and they fit together like a jigsaw.

A big thank you to Bev, Morg and the whole team down at Blue Lagoon for keeping us safe and looking after us for the entire weekend.

Tadcaster triathlon 2021

Thursday, May 27th, 2021 | Sport

Triathlon is back! Tadcaster was the first race of the season for many of us coming just after things started to open up. It was so good to get back to triathlon racing as it feels like 2021 is going to be a full season, albeit with plenty of COVID adjustments in place.

Eight of us from Hyde Park Harriers were racing: Naomi, Graeme, Leigh, JP, Paul, Aron, Carlos and myself. It is a pool-based sprint race with some odd distances: 400-metre swim, 14 km bike and then usually a 7 km trail run. However, due to flooding, it was changed to a road-based run of 5.5 km.

I was very pleased with my performance at every point. I have included my 2019 results but they do not directly compare: transition has moved to further away and te run route was totally different.

Stage 2021 2019
Swim+ 12:30 12:21
T1 01:10 02:36
Bike 25:59 28:41
T2 01:49 01:31
Run 22:54 32:32
Total 1:04:20 1:17:38

The “swim+” time includes the swim plus running to transition. My swim was faster than previous years, and I think under 9 minutes, which is probably a PB. The bike splits can be compared and I was faster there. While the run splits cannot be compared I was dumbstruck to find I had the fastest run split of the eight of us. I think everyone else was having a bad day!

Still, if I can continue to reduce my swim times I could be right in the mix as only Naomi and Carlos set faster bike splits. Now I know people were having bad days there as JP’s FTP is literally nearly 100 Watts higher than mine. In any case, it was just awesome to see everyone and race with them again.