New Race Report – Cotswold Classic

Race Report from Mark Saunders…


I entered this race on a whim, two weeks ago.  No taper, other than a shorter ride on Saturday.  But I did get Ashley to sign up too. I then found out that Patricia and Mark Sherwood had signed up too.  I saw Patricia a couple of times on the bike but didn’t see Mark at all – but I did cheer at a couple of pirates thinking they were Mark.

So: Up at 2am.  By 4:15am we were at the race site and by 4:25 we were registered and in the water at 6:35 for a 6:40 start.

Swim – 29:01 – 7th percentile

My swimming is not up to too much at the moment, but I have a quick wetsuit and I drafted well.  The lake was clear, no problems finding fish or getting my goggles covered in weed in some of the shallower bits.  I was in the second wave and someone in the first wave decided to do some breaststroke at the last turn around buoy and I got kicked quite badly just below my neck.

Bike – 2:28 – 22nd percentile

This is a two lap course with one steep hill in the middle of each lap and otherwise pretty flat.  I averaged 33.9kph.  Wow.  The two laps were pretty consistent (second one was 85 seconds slower).  That may be a bit because it got windier later in the ride, and also because I started a bit too hard.

The best bit was the bike marshals.  Some just pointed flags in a bored kind of way.  But some seemed to have watched Top Gun and seen the catapult guys on the aircraft carrier putting their whole body into it.  But then they also seemed to add a bit of dance to it and co-ordinate it between two of them.  Certainly made me laugh each of the four times I went buy them.

The course was just over 82k and so a little short.

Run – 1:49 – 41st percentile 

Again, my running is not up to as much as I’d like.  But I ran brilliantly! The first lap was consistent, the second was 27 seconds slower than the first.  An the third was quite a bit quicker (but the location of the finish line meant it was a little bit shorter).  Looking at other people’s times, my last lap was proportionately quicker.  Or looked at another way, I should have gone a little faster at the start.

There was a bit of a sprint finish.  I lost.

Overall –  4:50 – 23rd percentile


A well organised and enjoyable race that was stress-free.  Definitely recommend it for next year, although they are planning a new 226k version of it…

Learning points

– Swim drafting really works.  I definitely swam above my ability.

– T1 and T2 : I was so sloooooow.  Could easily gain a couple of minutes if I got my act together: tri bike shoes and elastic laces would save time.

– I think that the interval training I’ve been doing on the bike has helped big time.

– There are lots of quick runners out there.  And most of them are skinnier than me.

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