Two big races in 6 days is tough, especially when they are both Championship events. Alex lead from the gun at the North West Champs & sesured a great win, which was hugely impressive – he continued to push even with such a cushion of a 32.27 run split. Indeed an outstanding course record. Goals achieved, Alex then headed for the National Olympic Champs & came 2nd overall and received an age group win – A quality result from such a distinguished field…
Southport Marine Lake / North West Olympic Champs
I had not originally planned to take part in this race (due to it falling the weekend before the National Champs), but after the DNF at the North West Duathlon champs, I wanted to try and win at least one of the titles.
The swim was a new experience, in that I was soon leading & built a decent gap, which meant I was 1st out of the water. So who do I try and chase down on the bike now? Well, no one was the answer, but the 2 x 20k along the sea front loops, meant I could always gauge if I was increasing the gap and as the course filled up there was always someone in front to focus on.
Heading out onto the run in the lead was a great position to be in, but I still wanted to try and run as fast a 10k as possible and so finished the final leg with a 32:27 split.
The conditions were good and made for a fast time and a new course record! The icing on the North West title cake!
National OLY Championships / Dambuster
Two Olympic distance races in 6 days were required if I wanted to do the NW and National champs, and it was a perfect sunny, calm day for the Dambuster.
The Race was on the Saturday (weekends would be so much better if all the races were on the Saturday) and luckily I was able to join other tri’ers Rob Bridge and Emily Newton & stay over the night before with a friend (and man tri member Stu Moore, who was also racing) who lives not far from the venue.
On race morning something didn’t feel quite, was I too tired from last weekend? Was it a normal bit of pre-race anticipation? Or maybe even the hastily defrosted chicken from the previous night?
No chance for a warm up, so it was straight in at the sharp end for the swim and by the 1st buoy, a small pack of us had formed, but already a good distance behind the leaders. This time last year, I probably would’ve sat in on someone’s feet, but I felt better as the swim went on and made the right decision by swimming off the front and gaining an extra 20-30s going out onto the bike.
Compared to last year when it seemed to drag on for ages, the 42km seemed to fly past and I’d been continually making up places so came into T2 in 3rd place, just 10 seconds or so behind 2nd.
I moved up into second, but at 1k my calves were already starting to feel like they do at 8 or 9k. Swimming and biking 6 days after a race is one thing but running hard again 6 days later is a bit harder and I could really feel the effects of last weekend (as well as the last 80 minutes or racing).
So how far ahead was 1st? Well, quite a long way I realised as he came back on the return 5k. The quality in age group racing can be quite dramatic depending on the race, and sometimes you come up against some real “quality athletes.” Carl Shaw is one of them and despite making up 2 minutes on the run, the 3 minutes he made up on the bike were just too big, whether I’d raced last weekend or not.
All in all though a very good result and another AG title, although it’s the 2nd overall I’m happier about.
As ever, thanks to the help of all our fantastic sponsors:
www.wilier.it – Triathlon Frames
www.ffwdwheels.com – Race Wheels
www.huubdesign.com – Wetsuits
www.zyro.co.uk/altura – Triathlon and Cycle Apparel
www.ismseat.com – Saddles
www.invisciddesign.com – Speedfil Hydration Systems
www.schwalbe.com – Cycle Tyres
www.limarhelmets.com – Helmets & Glasses
www.lakecycling.co.uk – Cycling Footwear
www.jagwireusa.com – Cables & Housing
www.amphibia-sport.com – Transition Bags
www.lezyne.com – Pumps, Tools, Bottle Cages
www.fenwicks.info – Lubrication
www.kapz.co.uk – Custom Headset Caps
www.racewaredirect.co.uk – Custom Garmin Mounts
www.shimano.com – Groupsets
www.camelbak.com – Bottles
www.max-mediagroup.co.uk – Team PR
www.joolzedymond.com – Photography