Name: Chatsworth House Triathlon, European Qualifier
Date: Sunday 3rd July 2016
Venue: Peak District, Chesterfield
Distances: Swim: 750m, Bike: 20km, Run: 5km
First up earlier this month was Chatsworth House in the Peak District. It was the final opportunity to qualify for the 2017 European Championships so I had to nail it. The morning of the race was cold and when I arrived at registration and saw the water temperature I was in shock. 12C!!! In July!!! OMG, I was not expecting that! I was so happy I had my neoprene hat from Zone3 otherwise I would definitely have had a frozen head.
Getting into the river was painful. It was the coldest water by far this year and it was impossible to get warm. I positioned myself right at the front and just waited until the horn went. I sprinted off to keep in a good place, but also just to get a little warmer! I was in 3rd place for the out leg of the swim up to the turn buoy. However, I was then overtaken and dropped back to 4th. I was still very happy with the swim and kept swimming hard! I exited the water 4th and started the run to transition. It was a lot longer than I thought and also had to dodge a lot of sheep droppings along the path. I had asked the race director ‘Can you move the poo?’, but he just laughed.
Transition was slick (fastest of the day) and the start of the bike was fast. Heading out of the grounds and on to the roads I kept up good speed, but then we turned a corner and then it went up. Really up. For 6km or so at a maximum of at least 15% gradient. At times it was brutal. However, being on a road bike I gained a few places and didn't lose too much time. The downhill was awesome (except for the bit where some road was missing).
For the run, well, it was worse. It said 250m of climbing in 5km, really it was 250m in 2.5km and the second half was coming back down. Sadly the worst run ever for me. So hard, so steep and so slow. I was feeling cramps in three places, it was a nightmare. But I kept fighting and knew I was still in a qualifying position. Finishing the run I was in 5th place in my age group, but most importantly, I had qualified for Dusseldorf 2017!
Name: Lidl Bananaman
Date: Saturday 9th July 2016
Venue: Dorney Lake, Eton
Distances: Swim: 750m, Bike: 20km, Run: 5km
Next up in the calendar and just a week later was the Lidl Bananaman at Eton Dorney. The 4th round of the British Super Series. My first elite triathlon of the year, so I was very keen to see how I faired against the best this year.
I started the swim exactly how I did at the race at Eton earlier that year, on the inside, and tried to go round people getting the shortest line. Again it paid off! I was in the middle amongst everyone else, so I was sure to be in a pack coming out of the swim. I worked hard round the buoys and in the final straight to keep up and entered transition with four others in a time of 10:08, perfect!. Exiting transition I jumped onto the bike and had a small gap to a few riders up ahead. After missing out on the group a few times this year I was determined not to let that happen again, so I put in a huge effort and caught up with them. After a few kilometres into the ride a group of nine formed and we started to work really well together closing in on the group ahead. On the end of the 3rd lap however, two decided to break away disrupting the rhythm and nobody wanted to chase them down. We all were looking at each other to see who was going to chase. Eventually we all got back to working together again to catch the two ahead, but they stayed away for the rest of the bike leg. I dismounted the bike in a time of 32:59 and got my running shoes on and sprinted off. Immediately I caught one guy from the breakaway and aimed to stick with a few others from the rest of the bike group. I worked hard on the run and moved well across the ground making good time. I upped the pace on the second lap and I chased the guys in front as hard as I could. Crossing the line in a run split of 18:29 and a total time of 1:03:08 and in 23rd place, my best ever finish in a Junior Elite Super Series race! I was more than happy, I was thrilled with the result!
A huge thank you to Pedal Potential, Zone 3, Swim Canary Wharf, Sam Farmer and The Body Therapy Company for helping me to achieve my goals! They are without doubt crucial to my success and I am so grateful for all that they do! I owe a huge thank you to my team Max Curle, Excel Physiotherapy and my coach Dermott Hayes for everything they do.
My next race will be on Sunday 7th August at the London Triathlon at the ExCel Centre, Docklands in the Junior Elite wave at 10am.
Have a good summer everyone!
Race Times (Chatsworth House) Race Times (Lidl Bananaman)
Swim: 11:51mins Swim: 10:08mins
T1: 0:47mins T1: 0:49mins
Bike: 36:26mins Bike: 32:59mins
T2: 00:47mins T2: 0:43mins
Run: 24:44mins Run: 18:29mins
Total: 1:14:38hours Total: 1:03:08hours