Bala Triathlon

Let me introduce our latest recruit to the triathlon team, Dave Mawhinney. I have raced alongside Dave since 2004 and we even did our first Ironman together in Nice, France. Whilst I like to race all triathlon distances, Dave has concentrated on Ironman racing and accomplished his long term goal of racing the world championships at the ironman distance in Hawaii last year. Not content with completing Hawaii last year, he managed to qualify again this year by winning his age group at Ironman UK (to put this in perspective, a recent article in triathlete’s world stated that 80,000 triathletes try to qualify for this iconic race). This is his first race report for TORQ and we hope you enjoy it.

Bala Olympic distance triathlon, 12th September 2010

“There can be fewer places that are more scenic to hold a triathlon than Bala Lake in Wales, but in past years it has been subject to the extremes of the weather including fog delayed starts or shortened swim due to strong winds causing white horses on the water. However this year it was perfect conditions; sunny with only a slight breeze. The race was once again a European championship qualifying event and attracted a large quality field of over 800 athletes. The race involved a 1500m swim, followed by an out and back 37.5 km bike on closed roads and then an out and back run along part of the bike course.

We started on time with 4 waves; male seniors up to 39 years; females; males 40 to 49 years; and finally the over 50s (my wave) starting 10 minutes apart.

For the first time I used a two piece tri suit supplied by my sponsors; Torq, which I found very comfortable and ideal for a wet suited swim.

Being in the peak phase of my Ironman training for the world championships in Kona, Hawaii, I didn’t know how to treat the race; whether to push myself or not. But as soon as the race was underway, I got my racing head on.

I had a clear, but slower swim than I would have liked (27mins). Maybe this was due to the level of the lake being lower than normal, which made getting out of the water more difficult due to the shallow stony exit. After a fast transition I was out onto the bike after just over a minute.

As cycling is my strongest event there is a big advantage for me going in the last wave. I basically have slower athletes to chase down and pass throughout the bike leg. I got back to T2 in under an hour (just 59mins and 59 sec). After another good transition I was on to the run.

For the first 4 miles of the run I kept pace with a person in my age group which spurred me on and after 4 miles I was able to pull away.  With the finish in sight I managed to increase my pace to just finish under 2 hours 10 minutes (2hrs, 9mins & 57secs) for a new PB, finishing 4th in my age group and 73rd overall.

A special thank you must go to Stuart Steele for providing the excellent photographs shown in this race report. Stuart also provided the timing chip system for the triathlon and you could to see your results as soon as you had finished. Please take a look at his web site covering all things triathlon and running.”


Dave Mawhinney

With thanks to our sponsors:

Bikes: Quintana Roo
Wheels: Fast Forward
Power: Saris
Cycle shoes: Lake
Delicious, natural and healthy nutrition: