Chris general races draft legal races as an elite triathlete. However he decided to mix it up a bit by doing a non-drafting race at the Marlow Olympic Triathlon. So whilst his expertise is a strong swim, chasing down breaks during the bike and having an extremely fast run leg, this time he would be purely against the clock…
Race Report – Marlow Olympic Triathlon
This would be my first Olympic distance race in a non-drafting field for almost 2 years so I was looking forward to seeing how things would unfold. What better place to compete than in the lovely surroundings of Marlow. We weren’t blessed with the warmest day but at least the rain wasn’t falling, as it did later on.
The swim took place downstream from Windsor so I had a good idea of how conditions would be. Confident in my swimming I knew this would give me a buffer as I would probably lose some on the bike to some strong age group cyclists. In the water for the swim start I decided to start hard and see what happened. The horn sounded and we were under way.
I made a good start getting a gap over most of the field, although one athlete was alongside until just under half way through. Safely round the far turn buoy, I navigated my way back to shore whilst maintaining a consistent pace. I sighted the swim out and gave a few leg kicks before hitting dry land, another successful swim for my 2XU wetsuit, onwards to transition. Zip down, wetsuit around the waist I reached my racking and put my Limar helmet on. Out of transition and onto the bike, Lake Shoes strapped up it was time to don my gilet due to colder conditions. As I was zipping it up, the bottom zip failed causing the lower aspect to flap around like a parachute. After a few efforts of trying to fix it I decided to get my mind back onto the bike and set into a rhythm that I could hold for the 38k.
About 15k I was passed by a couple of chase athletes, despite my best efforts all I could do was limit my losses as their pace was much greater. I dug deep and continued on with my riding remaining confident my running legs were working well. Back into transition the lead athlete was just heading out, only time would tell whether it would be possible to catch him.
I arrived at my racking position just as the second placed athlete was just heading out, I had to move fast. Bike stowed and running shoes on it was time to chase him down, I could see he was only 20 seconds ahead and the gap was shrinking. About a kilometre in and the gap was under 10 seconds, great, unfortunately I needed an emergency pee stop. Following this, the gap had opened to about 35 seconds. Back to it I resumed running and proceeded to chase down 2nd place, catching and passing him around the 4k mark. I couldn’t see the leader Sam Gardner due to the course and decided instead just to aim for a good run split.
Onto the second lap the Kilometres flew by but I still hadn’t seen Sam. I worked hard for the remainder of the run and crossed the line in 2:01.06 in 2nd place, only 13 seconds behind. I could excuse the emergency loo stop for costing me the race but instead blame my lack of time trialling ability and gilet faffing. Work to be done but another step in the right direction, watch this space.
With thanks to our sponsors:
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Helmets – Limar: www.limarhelmets.com
Glasses – Limar: www.limarhelmets.com
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Wheels – Fast Forward: www.ffwdwheels.com
Powermeters – Powertap: www.cycleops.com
Photograph c/o SussexSportPhotography.com