Where: Cotswold Water Park – Cirencester
When: 06 May 2012 – 8.18am Start
Organiser: TriFerris Promotions
Course details: Clear water swim, Flat bike course, trail run around lake
Distance(s): 400m Open Water, 20k Bike, 5k Run
Marshalling: Marshalls every junction, fun and friendly bunch
Facilities: Public toilets, café, cheap parking
Technical: Chip Timing
Freebies: SIS gels/recovery drink and finishes medal
Photography: Chris Young
It was a bright and sunny 5.20am wake up call, which is something I’m not use to be honest, so firing some porridge down the hatch was a bit of a struggle! As I knew it was going to be an early start, packing everything in the car on the Saturday was a wise move as it made the morning a bit more bearable. I was doing the event with a friend, so we decide to go over earlier than the wife’s, so that scored us a few brownie points for later.
The drive over was a great way to wake us up as the whole Oxfordshire/ Gloustershire border wildlife population where up and out on the road! No animals were hurt in the making of this report.
We arrived just over an hour before our start time so we could register and get set up in transition. It was a really well organised process, transition was a good layout and I found my spot had a little more room than normal so I was very happy. The water looked a bit choppy as the chilly wind was blowing across the lake towards the start,
The wife’s and my family supporters arrived just as we were getting the wetsuits on and then nerves started to kick in. why is it, as soon as you get a wetsuit on you need the loo?
After walking over to the swim start to watch the wave before us go off it was nearly time to stop worrying about the water temperature and get in. A 3 minute warning was issued and we had a little splash around to try and get acclimatised.
The airhorn sounded and it was off with a slight run-in start, which is always interesting as you need to be careful not to jump on someone and get kicked!
I picked my spot, made a beeline for it and missed the legs of the guys in front. The cold water shot down the back of my suit and took my breath away but managed to stay calm and swim through it. A pretty uneventful swim as I stayed away from the main pack which were to my right all the way round so I must have been a bit off course! A few bumps and kicks at the turn buoys’ but no dramas apart from the cold feet. Last turn buoy and the exit is in sight, a couple of Marshall’s are on hand to drag me out and I can now think about the bike.
It felt like an age in transition as I decided to put gloves on and the famous Basingstoke Tri Squad cycling top over the trisuit as it was still chilly at 8.30am. Finally out onto the bike and spin the legs to get the blood flowing, take on some liquid and settle in. With a steady stream of guys in front, it made it easier to target someone and play catch up but with this plan, drinking went out of the window. A few aero bullets went past me from the wave behind but I was holding a steady average of around 24mph so I was happy to give them some encouragement on the way past me. I had a great battle with another rider on the bike leg with us constantly overtaking each other throughout. I managed to get the better of him in the final 0.5k and came in a minute before him.
Off the bike and run to transition, jelly legs kicked in but put a brave face on, stayed upright and a quick ‘alright?’ from the family supporters. Gear off and out for the last leg of the day, the run. I took it easy to start off with as cramp started to nip at my calves and my feet were like blocks of ice!
About half way round the first lap, the guy form the bike leg came streaking past! I was a bit gutted but I had nothing to keep up with him until my feet thawed out. First lap over and the feeling came back in the feet, cramp had gone and I could now feel what I was running on.
I aimed to keep a steady pace for most of the lap and finish with a sprint finish if I could muster one up. Rounding the final couple of corners I could hear heavy breathing from behind and a guy was right on my heels. He went a bit early so for the final 30 meters, I took a deep breath and sprinted past the family focused on the finish line. Two others runners in front had the same idea but I managed to squeeze past and beat all three of them to the line!
On the whole it was a great first triathlon of the season, well organised and supported with over 300 competitors. I would have preferred a slightly later start and warmer water temperatures but that’s May for you. It gave me a great insight into what I need to work on before my ‘A’ race in June and what I’m capable of this season. Thanks to my family supporters that made the early start and to cheer me on out of the swim, bike finish and the run laps, you gave me a real boost of energy!
Not to forget my mate, he came in at 1:24:25, which he was a bit disappointed with the bike leg but that gives him something to work on as well. We finished up with a well deserved fried breakfast and a pint, which was a great reward for a mornings work!
Bring on the Blenheim Triathlon on the 10th June!