Birmingham Tri is quite a popular race in the Midlands, this year is was completely dominated by the British Champion. Alex lead the swim out, put time into people on the bike and then cruised the run in 32mins.
Ahhh Birmingham………well not quite, as it was actually more like Tamworth and we had a nice little Water Sports Centre as the base for the Birmingham Running and Triathlon (BRAT) Annual event. It wasn’t a race I’d done before, nor was it any sort of Championship event, but I’d been looking for another race in between the British champs at the end of July and Helvellyn at the start of September. The race fell nicely in the calendar and also gave me the chance to make the biannual pilgrimage to my home town of Malvern (although I questioned this decision when I got stuck in the motorway traffic – rather than being on the bike on what was a lovely Saturday afternoon).
Having had a relatively easy week (after the British Champs), the race fell at the end of a normal week of training, so I felt fit but not particularly sharp. As I had also planned on getting in a good ride on the Malvern Hills at some point over the weekend, I didn’t want to push it too hard either.
The swim went well and I was happy to be in a group of 3-4 after the first 400m or so. As usual, a couple of people had gone out hard then tailed off, so I was soon quite happily leading from the front. And being the 1st out the water made a nice change to the typical race for me.
Although I normally find it quite easy to go out fast from the off on the bike, it wasn’t until the 2nd lap where my legs seemed to wake up and the average speed really start to pick up a bit. By the second lap, some of the later waves had made it onto the bike course, and, as always, I found that having people to “pick off” really helped to keep the pace high.
I held my position on the bike and was glad to be similarly heading out onto the run in 1st place – which also meant I did not have to push things too hard either. The 4 lapped course helped make sure you were never too far away from the spectators’ encouragement and included a nice short, sharp hill to keep things interesting. As I had still hoped to get that long bike ride in on the hills the following day, I settled down to a decent pace, and ensured I did not attempt anything that would ruin the legs.
A win’s a win and I appreciated everyone, and one day age will catch up with me and I’ll only be able to look back with rose tinted glasses and claim that I used to do ok at these things when I was younger. It wasn’t too many years ago that I wrote down a goal of ‘winning a triathlon’. That was it, not a National or British Championship event, any would have done.
This race served its purpose, and taking all into consideration, I was very happy with the split times (although the bike course may have been slightly short). I’m already looking forward to the next big one, Helvellyn Triathlon on the 6th September.
A big thank you to our Sponsors for making it happen:
FFWD Wheels – Race Wheels
Huub – Wetsuits
Schwalbe – Cycle Tyres
ISM – Saddles
Lezyne – Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
Altura – Triathlon and Cycle Apparel
Fenwicks – Lubrication
Camelbak – Bottles
Tifosi – Sunglasses
Limar – Helmets
Lake – Cycling Footwear
Jagwire – Cables & Housing
Swans – goggles
Shimano – Groupsets
Amphibia – Transition Bags
Stages – Power Meters
Race Ware Direct – Custom Garmin Mounts
Zero Point Compression – Compression wear