Chris performed outstandingly with incredible self-discipline keeping to his onerous premeditated splits/heart rate zones. I think he even surprised himself with his first experience of going long…
‘With preparation going well a month before the race, I was really looking forward to my first middle distance race ‘The Beaver’ in Lincolnshire. Four weeks out though, my bike training was suffering as a result of the weather. Just two weeks out, a major bout of toothache resulted in further loss of training leaving me unsure of form (funny how life throws everything at you at the wrong time – JE).
90 minutes to the start, I arrived at Belvoir Castle to glorious sunshine accompanied by breezy conditions. I made my way to transition with everything I needed inside my specially designed triathlon bag (Amphibia); middle distance really does require lots of kit. Bike racked, helmet and number belt tactfully placed, Lake shoes clipped in, TORQ bottles & gels onto the bike, racing flats talcum powdered, heart rate monitor, running hat and socks! Check.
Briefing out of the way and it was time to get into my wetsuit and head down to the swim start, only 10 minutes until departure left me barely enough time to goggle up, jump in the lake and make it to the start line. Just level with the buoys the hooter sounded – bring it on!
I motored towards the first turn buoy about 350 metres away keeping the pace high. Working with another swimmer, we rounded the buoy uneventfully and had opened a small gap on the chasing athletes. Continuing on we matched each other’s pace and navigated the subsequent buoys in an M shape bringing us onto a second lap. The pace felt comfortable, so I continued onwards catching the back markers of wave 2 and after some careful manoeuvring I was on the home stretch to swim out. A brief loss of direction allowed my swimming companion to exit the water about 3 seconds ahead of me – no dramas though as it was a long run back to transition.
My wetsuit slipped off in a matter of seconds, I tactfully placed it over my shoulders for the long run back to transition constantly gaining on the lead athlete and exited transition in first place.
However, I immediately hit a bump just as I was getting down onto the aerobars that launched both bottles out of a poorly fitted saddle carrier (my fault), ARGH! I stopped and unclipped to recover both bottles, stuffed the one down the front of my Tri top and the other into the questionable rear carrier. During this debacle an athlete went flying by, putting me into second place. I remounted and chased after him keeping an eye on my heart rate to ensure I didn’t overcook it. For the remainder of the first lap we kept consistent gaps, but after each bottle removal and replace I lost time. Half way through the second lap, 1st and 2nd place athletes were now out of sight and it was time to pick off back markers.
Onto the 3rd lap, I was passed again and now down to 4th place, I dropped the bottle out of my rear carrier (a blessing in disguise as this allowed me to remove the bottle from my Tri top and place it in the carrier). Focus and TT position resumed, I was motoring once again The 3rd lap flew by, so now it was time to see how the run legs were?
The first mile was feeling really hard, but then I remembered I can’t set off at Olympic distance pace. Up an unexpected horrendous hill and round the turn point, I was several minutes down on the top 3 athletes, but knew they may not be as wise with regards to pacing.
Onto the 2nd lap and my trusty running legs had arrived. I sustained the same heart rate for each lap and began to reel them in. I whizzed by 4th place and onto the 3rd lap I could now see 2nd still running strong, but I eventually caught him and passed him; great job legs just 3.25 miles to go! Up the hill, hard work this time; I told myself to man up and keep running.
Down the finish straight, I had kept my 2nd place overall, but was 1st in age group. Amazing, I had stunned myself. What an experience, tougher mentally than short course racing and I think I might be on to a winner here. Time for a sit down, cup of tea and some planning for my next race.
As always thanks to all our sponsors, we always say it but your help is invaluable and helps us achieve all you see here. Chapeau!’
Take a look at the tri247.com video, Chris can be seen at 12.14. www.tri247.com
www.wilier.it – Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com – Aero Wheels
www.ritcheylogic.com – Aerobars, Saddles and Finishing Kit
www.cycleops.com – Power Meters
www.racezone3.com – Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk – Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.scott-sports.com – Running Footwear
www.shimano.com – Groupsets
www.triathlonspecific.com/Sable/Sable.html – Swim Goggles (Sable Water Optic)
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk – Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com – Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com – Pumps, Tools and Bottle Cages
www.champ-sys.com – Custom Trisuits and Cycle Wear