BRAT Birmingham Triathlon

Open water swim events aren’t generally allowed to take place until May, so I kicked off my season opener at the Birmingham triathlon run by the BRAT triathlon club. The event was held around the West Midlands water sports lakes, with the Bike section around the surrounding villages and countryside.

7.52am bang, we’re off, but my goggles have already steamed up, not the perfect scenario for an open water swim, requiring sighting a buoy 375m in the distance. I could not get them to clear so decided to go ‘old school’ and swim without them. I came out the water in 6th, quite good considering the issues with the goggles. Not the perfect swim but at least the 2XU wetsuit was living up to the hype, with a good fit and great efficiency through the water.

On exiting the swim I removed my wetsuit immediately as transition was a short run away (it is easier to remove with water between you and the suit. I later heard of one guy that got stuck in his and had to ask for help!).

Out onto the bike I got rolling and started passing people immediately, my bike felt wonderful and really came into its own, with a few heavy wind gusts to keep me focused. I managed to claw myself up to 2nd (fastest bike split of the day)

Back at the water park I saw the race leader (Mark Hirsch) and he had a good lead so I decided to run with even splits instead of running above my ability and blowing. This was especially prudent with 3 other guys chasing me down. One guy (James Turner) did just that but I managed to keep everybody else behind. So a podium spot and 2nd in age group despite a few issues with the swim, a good start to the open water triathlon season with a few lessons learnt!

The race was covered in Birmingham local news, click the link for more information:

Full results can be found on the BRAT website, including event photographs:

With thanks to our great sponsors, making the TORQ triathlon team the envy of our fellow competitors:

Delicious, natural and healthy nutrition:  
Frames – Merida:  
Cycle Shoes – Lake:  
Helmets – Limar:  
Cables – Jagwire:  
Aerobars – USE:  
Wetsuits – 2XU:  
Wheels – Fast Forward:  
Powermeters – Powertap:

All photographs c/o Joe Sheenan Photography