Not content with watching the race, Iain Robertson grasped the opportunity to add another win to his name. What a great venue and an even better result…
Castle Howard was an unexpected race for me in my calendar. I was scheduled to have a free weekend, to get some training in between my races, in what has been a busy month of racing. My main current preparation being the Alpe d’huez Triathlon (short). My partner Becky also races and the Castle Howard event was one she had really wanted to do. I find it hard to spectate at races; so a week before I decided to enter.
I had heard good things about the Castle Series and the stunning settings to race in. When we arrived, we had a good look round and recced the course. It certainly looked pretty stunning, however, as the course was long and had plenty of undulating terrain, I knew it was going to be a tough race.
On the morning of the race it was a cold start, but the conditions were good. It was my first race in my Huub Archimedes II wetsuit, I hoped I could do it justice! I got away well in the swim and looked for some feet to draft off. There was a pack of about 8 who had got away and I was left swimming on my own for the majority of the race. I felt like I was losing quite a bit of time to this group, which wasn’t helped by missing a buoy and having to detour back round it. As I got out the water, I knew I had some work to do. The run to the transition was about 400m up hill, so I thought I could catch a bit of time up here. The bike course was undulating, with a few steep climbs, I steadily passed people throughout the bike leg, but had no idea where I was overall. I came into T2 and someone shouted that I was only 40 seconds down.
The run was all off road, which I prefer and I set about catching the person in front. I wasn’t closing the gap very quickly, but after about 6km, I reeled him in, I thought I would put a burst in at this point – to hopefully get a gap. I then came across another competitor, which made me doubt the position I was in. With about a km to go, I asked a Marshall where I was and he said I was leading! I knew from here I would be able to hold on. However, the last km seemed endless and as we ran through the grounds of Castle Howard, the finish seemed to be just up another hill and round another corner.
I crossed the line and was delighted that I had won this race. Becky had also had a good race and finished 2nd lady, so a good weekend all round for us.
A few days on, I am hoping I will be able to recover in time for Alpe d’huez Tri, it is a bit of a one off event, so it will be an experience regardless of the result.
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