Bala Podium Climb

Bala middle distance triathlon is a regular favorite with the TORQ tri team – a great race and really good value for money. It is usually attended by some fast triathletes due to the prize money offered and this year was no exception. Dave Mawhinney often gets a podium at the race and this year was no different as he demonstrated a great consistency to his racing as he always strives to improve…

It’s been 2 years since I last took part in the Bala Middle Distance Triathlon. The well run event is organized by Wrecsam Triathlon Club. In the past, I had used the race to gauge my fitness levels going into an Ironman distance race later in the summer and this time I wanted to do exactly the same. It is always a relief to get to Bala and to be greeted with sunny calm conditions, but as usual the westerly wind got up before the swim start, which would make the outward swim leg difficult.

I was in the second wave and thankfully the water wasn’t too cold. It was tough swimming out into the wind, but once you reached the turn around point it was really fast swimming back to shore. After a good transition I was soon out on the bike.

The bike course is really hilly which makes it tough to stay on the tribars and to get a rhythm to be able to push hard with so much climbing. One of the advantages of being in the second wave is that there are plenty of people in front of you to aim for which spurs you on, so I pushed as hard as I could whilst keeping out of the ‘red zone’ and making sure I took enough nutrition on board. After the turn around, it was good to have the wind behind you when heading for home.

Into T2 and I set off on the run feeling strong and soon settled into a good run pace. Like the bike leg, the run section was very undulating and sapped the legs, but at the turn around point I still felt strong, so decided to push it more, but with 3 miles to go my legs started to feel heavy and it was a relief to get to the finish line!

At Bala, the age group classification is based on 10 year groups so as I am 55 and in the middle of the 50 to 59 age group I was really pleased to find out I had come 3rd in my age group. It is now a case of getting the last few weeks of peak training sorted and a fine tuning my form before Ironman UK at Bolton in July.

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