Crawley Sprint – From one of our newest members!

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Where: Crawley]
When: 23/09/12
Organiser: Crawley Tri Club
Course Details: Pool swim, relatively flat out and back bike, out and back uphill out-downhill back trail run;Distances 400/25/4
Marshalling: Yes, limited
Facillities: excellent K2 world class sports centre;Technical;Freebies: gatorade sachet, baseball tee

Okay so first ever tri so not sure of what’s normal to expect or what was specific to this event.
Pre: excellent facility and registration and set up was very easy, the welcome talk thing was a bit long and went on a lot longer than stated. They then lined us all up along the pool side in order of slowest to fastest novice and then slowest to fastest normal. Transition area had plenty of space to rack-up although I was one of the first so wouldn’t have had a problem either way. Weather was pretty miserable, just into double figures and light rain. Only problem I had is not realising that I needed a race belt and so ended up having to fashion one out of a tubi-grip and safety pins I had in my bag!

Swim: they organised the swim so that you go up the left of the lane, down the right, then under the rope and repeat until you have done your 8 or 12 lengths, we were set off every 15secs. For some reason we swam towards the seating and not towards the door so had to pointlessly “walk not run” the width of the pool once getting out- illogically irritating but there you go! My swim was okay, given I couldn’t manage 50m 3 months ago! had a few overtake maneuvers, not so successful and really did not help my rhythm. My intention was to negative split but that didn’t work- think I did just sub 4mins for the first 200m and got out of the pool just over 9mins…stroke length really suffered between 2-300m.

T1: Transition was looooooooong, about 300m I think from pool to bike racks, so I put trainers on between the swim and the bike. Actual transition went pretty well, shoes were already clipped in, and stabilised with elastic bands, only bad point was how long it took me to strap my shoes- will invest in a tri-specific pair when funds allow!

Bike: By far the worst of the 3, went round a roundabout having missed my turn, and my watch died mysteriously halfway through :evil: was overtaking people throughout and never got overtaken myself but really should’ve pushed it more. I only averaged 31.5km/hr (42mins in total) compared to 29.5km/h when I went for a 3hr casual ride a week later. Also should’ve stretched out my calves a little towards the end. Still no disasters I suppose. As for scenery it was your bog-standard A-road…pretty dull but the surface for the most part was decent enough. Took on board my only nutrition here, a high5 carb drink can’t remember the exact one. Won’t bother doing this again as I have enough glycogen stores to keep me going for an hour, and my stomach didn’t take to it as well as normal.

T2: No complaints here, unstrapped easy enough, and jumped off and into my shoes. Little problem of numb hands stopping me being able to unclip my helmet and pull the elastic laces tight!

Run: very worried at first as my calves were so tight, and felt like I was back doing my first brick session! They threatened to cramp up after a few hundred metres, but luckily came through. Definitely negative splitted the run (although not sure of times due to my broken watch!), but finished full on sprinting the last few hundred metres and wished I had pushed a little earlier! finished the 4km in 17:17.

Overall: ranked 3rd/8th/1st for an overall rank of 3rd, a little disappointed but know where the improvement can be made and have the next 9 months to go about making it and more! Although this is currently hindered by my body- 2 mri scans coming up on my knee and back, with the gp telling me to just keep taking ibuprofen to stop my knee swelling with fluid…not what i would like, but that is the downside of relying on the NHS!

Did enjoy the competition overall but as we were set off every 15 secs it meant the event lacked a competitive nature and had more of a 1hr+ time trial feel to it (admittedly without a watch!), definitely looking forward to a mass start next summer and being able to see your direct competition, hopefully worth the few elbows and kicks along the way!

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