Silver at the Castle

Eleanor continues her podium luck with a silver spot at the popular Castle Series…

July has seen so much excitement, firstly with the Tour de France coming to my home town Harrogate in Yorkshire. I’d barely recovered from that, when the Commonwealth Games arrived in my former home town (for eight years), Glasgow. I was lucky to have triathlon tickets and enjoyed a couple of days of “top spectating” in the heat wave, watching both the athletes and my Glasgow Tri Club friends playing key roles in the organising of the race.  

All fired up, the next morning I high-tailed it back down the road to face my own race at Castle Howard. Having raced here last year over the standard distance, I had previously struggled with the tough trail run, and now questioned my opting for at a longer distance? I had chosen to race a Middle Distance, but wasn’t sure how smart this would be! However, the well organised Castle Series races offer fantastic prize money, so I could hardly resist the opportunity so close to home.

A small overnight rain shower had reverted the race back to being a wetsuit swim. For me this was initially a shame, as I’ve always fancied a go at non-wetsuit. However, there were plenty of weeds and the protection of a wetsuit turned out to be comforting. After my mid-season break, I have struggled to get going again with swimming and it translated into a rather lackluster time from me, coming out some six minutes down on the leader – not the best start!

Onto the revised bike course, my legs felt good and I got stuck in, trying to make up ground on the leaders. I passed one girl on the rolling climbs, but no sign of the leader, Hannah Drewett. It was her first Middle Distance, so I suppose I hoped she’d overcook it at some point, and give me the chance to come past? However, no such luck! Onto the trail run, again a revised loop which thankfully didn’t involve going over the steepest bridge I’ve ever seen! I tried to find a rhythm and take care with my footing to avoid re-spraining my dodgy ankle. I felt better on the second lap and my times showed I even-paced it. Despite taking a minute out of Hannah on the bike and two on the run, to give me the fastest female run split, the damage had been done in the swim and I had to settle for second. I was pretty pleased with how the legs felt, though, and I am now looking forward to my next half distance race, at Monster Middle in Ely in August.

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