James has completed this race on and off since 2005, having won the event twice and having always being on the podium, he had high hopes of a good result. Well, the field was particularly strong this year and although he didn’t win it, he came away with a satisfying 3rd overall…
James Emery: I started in the last wave and was lapped on the swim (not a good start). My competitors must have been swimming at mid 4 minute per 400metres pace, but I didn’t let it worry me as I knew the bike course was extremely challenging. On exiting the swim in last place in my wave (fastest swim wave), I promptly made one spot up before the end of transition. I then made another spot up within 50metres of the bike start. That left one fella out in front!
Eventually I got within sight of him, but then he looked back and made a surge. About a third of the way through the bike course there was a steep downhill with a hairpin bend on a small narrow B-road, where I took my chance and outbraked him and then thundered down the hill to drop him, ensuring I started building a time cushion for the run (Jordan Stamp is a British Triathlon development athlete!).
So that left competitors within other waves to contend with. I’d picked up the majority of the previous wave, however one competitor was eluding me – Tom Garbett.
Flying into transition 2, racking the awesome Cento1SR and grabbing my running shoes, 3 laps of playing fields awaited. On the run course, you can see your competitors, which works well with running on the limit as it constantly scares you! On the 2nd lap, everybody was out running, Tom was just behind me and then eventually in front (well there goes 1st place). Jordan was running hard, but I had a ¼ lap advantage, could I hold on?
Over the top of the final hill and in view of the finishing chute, I was sprinting for all I was worth, crossing the line in 3rd, holding on by 9seconds. 2nd place went to an athlete in another wave. Everybody was quite pleased that Tom won. He has been through the junior program with the event organising club and has been growing in strength yearly. We hope he is destined for great things…
As ever, thanks to the help of all our fantastic sponsors:
www.huubdesign.com – Wetsuits
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk – Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.shimano.com – Groupsets
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk – Team PR
www.amphibia-sport.com – Transition Bags
www.schwalbe.com – Tyres
www.lezyne.com – Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
www.juicelubes.co.uk – Lubrication