Chris recently took part in the ‘220 Evening series’ triathlon and won it, leading from the gun. Chris is really starting to show some form this season and is racking up some cracking performances.
I have raced at Dorney Lake numerous times in sprint, three quarter and full length Tri formats. The race in question forms part of the midweek tri series, one of five events held on a Wednesday evening. They are great as a training race comprising of 3 different heats and this makes it feasible to compete in as an after work race for a number of people. The course is pancake flat comprising of multiple bike and run laps and a single swim loop in lovely clean water. The only downside of this course is how open it is; breezy days give little respite and in all the races I have competed in, this was the windiest so far.
After my preparations I was ready to race. The gun sounded and I started off hard, which is always a good thing if you can get clear water. I swam hard for about sixty strokes before settling down into a lower intensity. Due to the wind there was a fairly strong undercurrent from right to left, as such I had to sight a fair amount more than usual to stay on course. I rounded the first turn buoy, sighted the second and made my way onwards. Into the current I didn’t have to worry about deviating from the swim course, but around the second buoy and back towards ‘swim in’, I could barely see the distant buoy and the current was pulling me off course.
It seemed to take a long time to make it to the last buoy, but I eventually made it and sighted the swim in. Up onto my feet my 2XU wetsuit had performed impeccably yet again. I grabbed the zip cord and got the wetsuit to my waist before hitting transition, a quick wetsuit stamp and it was off. Helmet on and onto the bike it was time to hold onto my lead. Due to various heats you end up riding with other competitors, for me this makes it easier to keep the intensity high working towards the next rider to overtake. Today there was no respite from the crosswind, as such I ended up working hard for all six laps – not ideal for a good run leg.
In towards transition again, Lake shoes swiftly off, a running dismount past the ‘bike in’ line and back to my racking position. Bike racked, helmet off, running shoes on and out of transition I hit my stride comfortably. I started hard and after a kilometre I felt like I was motoring, I hit the run turn and my posture felt great, a result of months of strength work at Pure Sports Medicine. Back towards transition nobody was gaining on me but I decided to keep the pace up just in case. Round the turn point and onto lap two I was feeling better, almost ashame it wasn’t 10k. Head down again, around the far turn I dug deep for the final stretch. Past transition and into the finish straight, I crossed the line confident in my performance, I thought I had won but had to wait about an hour to have this confirmed.
Prize giving began and it was eventually confirmed, another successful race. Not a great time (a minute and half spare sounds good to me; Ed) but definitely a step towards the racing form I expect. Next up, the Marlow Olympic Triathlon. Time for more training, more coffee and some well earned sleep.
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