2015 Mid - Season Catch Up!
Well what a whirl wind of a few months it has been! Since the success of the Duathlon, racing it has been rather like a game of snakes and ladders; having its ups and downs.
Wales – Euro Qualifier
My first triathlon of the season came in the form of the Junior Elite European Qualifier in Wales. I had a great start to the race, a good swim put me in touch with second pack. Unfortunately poor tactical judgement on one of the three dead turns on the second lap, I was spat out the pack of the pack. Failing to get back on it was now a game of damage limitation and I was soon swept up by the third pack. I was inevitably left pretty disappointed with my performance and frustrated that I made such a simple error. Finish Position – 32nd
British Aquathon Champs
Four weeks later came the British Aquathon Championships in Hyde Park, London. With this event being part of the WTS London weekend there is naturally so much hype and excitement to be racing on the same course as some of the world’s greatest triathlon mega stars.
After my good swim in Wales just four weeks before I was looking to be coming out mid to front of the race but a dodgy pontoon start and beaten up a fair bit in the swim was no recipe for a fast start to my race. However hitting the run course was good. I Fought hard to hold it together mentally and physically – finished a pretty sour 29th – I guess that’s racing.
Blenheim Palace Triathlon
So moving on to Blenheim, the course is the toughest course on the national super series. Nothing more than HILLS, HILLS, HILLS!! If I’m totally honest I am far from being a fan of hills but I accept the challenge every year and do what I can to prepare for racing with seniors on the hills. Some pretty accurate sighting in the swim gained me around 10 places on the single turn buoy setting me up for a great run in to T1. Now it was make or break time for me. Settled in to the second pack, mainly full of seniors pushing the pace. I put my descending skills to good use; I was first to hit the hill. An attack was made half way up the hill. At which point is was giving it everything to stay with these seniors climbing ability. I could see the top, I was so close but 5 metres opened up and that’s it they were gone! Just like that! Not even using my weight advantage and descending abilities could claw them back. So it was now a time trail until the next pack came along. They caught me on the final lap so it was good to be able to sit in before the run. The run is very much like the bike; two laps of a hilly run course. Blenheim really does test your body and mind to the max. Finish position 23rd Junior.
Mixing it up with some non-drafting
So at this point in the season I had about 6-7weeks of no racing. So I thought I’d mix it up a little with a low key non-drafting event at the Media Trust Triathlon at Dorney Lake, Eton. This event was so my thing – big brands like Google, Yahoo, Daily Mail all getting involved with loads of people making videos of the event. Those who know me will know that I’m not one to shy away from a camera! Anyway the swim was an optional wetsuit swim with the water temperature being 20°C but as the air temperature was a toasty 25°C I opted for the non wetsuit. I had a great swim leading out the water around a minute ahead of the rest of the field. Judging by the large amount of extremely expensive time trail bikes I couldn’t let up when I hit the road. Much to my surprise I came in off the bike 2 minutes ahead of the next competitor. The flat and fast course is perfect for me! All I needed to do heading out on to the run was focus on my form and run hard. I was pleased to take the win holding my lead from the bike! Happy days.
National Elite Triathlon Champs – Liverpool
So that brings us to Liverpool National Sprint Championships, 26th July. It was a top quality field with both seniors and juniors racing together. It included seniors that regularly racing on the ITU circuit, those who have raced at Glasgow 2014 Commies and former national champions.
The swim was fast; the high quality field meant that there were over 50 of us guys trying to exit the water and up a flight of stairs in just the space of 20 seconds. It was chaos!! Transition wasn’t exactly the widest so it was very crowded and manic. Typically my T1’s are really good but taking an extra couple of seconds to get my helmet done up meant that I had lost the lost the pack that I was so nearly on.
As the bike went on the there were more and more people dropping off the pack ahead. My pack grew from 3-4 guys to around 10-12 people by the end of the bike. Coming in to T2 I made a short break way to get some space in the narrow dismount area. T2 was a lot better than T1.
I hit the run course feeling really good. The pack a head on the bike came in to T2 around 30-40 ahead of mine so I was really happy to run some of the pack down. I had the best run off the bike I have had all season. I may not be a 15 minute 5km runner but my technique is improving constantly and it can only lead to better things. I was happy to finish 15th In the Junior Elite Champs, however a little frustrated at the possibility that it could have been a top 10.
Next Up for me is The London Triathlon, a junior only race will be great and I am aiming for good things to come from this race!! I can’t believe it is august already not long left of the season so I will want to climb as high as I can in the National Super Series Rankings.