Blustery Bosworth!

Hamish went into battle at Bosworth – the historic venue where the last of the major Wars of the Roses took place. He certainly won this fight and finished an excellent second overall and took the Age Group win at the Olympic Distance race…

My first race of 2015 was the Bosworth Standard Distance Triathlon. It was a 1500m lake swim, 42k bike and a 10k run. The race information stated that the run was to be 4 laps long and on a hard trail, with 200m per lap on grass. Later this turned out not to be the case!

The weather was typically British. Throughout the race, I was certainly wondering when the Summer may finally arrive! It was 11 degrees, windy and there was a constant drizzle. I got in the lake for a brief warm up and noted that the lake was actually warmer than the air temperature!

A few minutes later, the race started. I surged away from the start, to get clear water and soon found myself in plenty of space. I settled into a good rhythm and the swim soon passed. I exited the swim with the fastest Male swim of the day and ran across the 300m to transition. The swim seemed a little longer than 1500m, but that didn’t bother me at all!

As I mounted the bike for the 42K, the rain was really starting to fall quite heavily. The roads were wet, with lots of standing water – not to mention the blustery wind, which made the bike section rather treacherous. The course was two laps in length, with a few undulations and some very fast sections. The first lap went by quite quickly, as I whizzed past the lake to start the second lap, I was still holding the lead with no one in sight behind.

The second lap seemed more of a struggle, with the wind on one uphill section in particular. Nevertheless, I stayed as aero as I could and ploughed on, occasionally checking for competitors behind.  As I turned to transition to dismount for the run, there was still no one in view. I pride myself on my quick transitions and today was no different. I had the equal fastest T1 and the fastest T2 out of everyone.

Onto the run and I soon discovered that the pre-race information was incorrect. All of the run was on wet grass, which in places was very uneven. Not good for a flat tarmac lover! During the first lap, my quads began to cramp and I had to ease off a little to prevent it from getting worse. I often get quad cramp in the first race of the year, even with a good number of hard brick sessions done, when in training, nothing can quite recreate a true race situation.

On each lap there was a dead turn, this allowed me to see where my competitors were. At about 400m after the turn, another athlete ran the other way. I figured I had around a 2 minute 30 lead. I tried not to show my discomfort (from my cramping quads), as he went the other way. At the end of each lap, I had support from my rather loud family members – which did help to speed me along. The question was, would I be able to hold off the closing currently 2nd placed athlete?

With each kilometer covered, 2nd place was creeping closer. I was finally caught with only 2k to go. I tried to respond, but my legs had no more speed to give. I continued on and managed to increase my speed a little in the last few hundred metres – crossing the line 2nd Overall and taking the Age Group Victory.

On the whole, I was pleased with my first Tri of 2015. Plenty to take away for the next race of the year.

Thanks to Martin Landy and Kirsten Shaw for the photos.

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