Sunday, April 17, 2011

Skipton Tri (Boring) race report

I really enjoyed the Skipton Tri but my race report is quite dull. I think this is because the event was so well organised it really did feel like a time trial. So many people racing at all different times and different levels it was impossible to know how well I was doing until two days after the race ended. Of course I have my times but I haven't a clue who the people around me are.

The great thing about getting competent at swimming is you get a later start time. I left home at 9am to get to Skipton at
1015 , 2 hours before my start time. Lunch at 1015 never goes down too well but sitting in the sunshine in shorts helped.

Tyres pumped up I headed over the hill to registration and to rack the bike, returning for a second trip with my box of kit. Note to anyone considering this race to allow loads of time pre race or bring a helper.

I suddenly realised that 2 hours to go had become 20 minutes and I was still on the wrong side of the race area and none of my bottles had fluid in.

I grabbed my swim cap and goggles and dropped my sandals poolside. I bumped into my friend from cyclocross, Claire Crabtree and pleaded with her to fetch me some water. I frantically explained where my kit was, happy to be ditching the race plan to swallow as much water as possible during the swim to keep me going through the day.

Poolside I had enough time for a chat with a woman still bouncing from receiving her Glastonbury tickets this morning, then trying to calm herself down for the race. I felt positively serene.

We couldn't help wondering at three women amongst 32 men in the pool. My red hat meant I was starting first in my lane with 3 men starting at 5 second intervals behind me. Talk about pressure.

Within a lap, swimmer 2 was touching my feet, usually a sign that someone wishes to pass but at every lap when I paused to let him go, he was still swimming up. I do a massive push-off the side of the pool so every lap I dropped him at the turn around. Eventually he found the speed to pass and to my joy, there was a gap before the next competitor so I set off in his wake and hung on as long as I could. Not long but I stayed reassuringly ahead of the other swimmers. We'd started in the deep end of the pool and as I finished my lap I faced up to the worry that I wouldn't be able to get out of the pool. I'd just done what felt like the swim of my life and could visualise myself peeling backwards off the side of the pool into some other swimmers behind me, causing chaos and looking like a muppet. Somehow my aching arms just managed to hold on and propel me out of the water.

I passed another competitor who seemed to think sauntering out of the pool was an option. Over the mats, shoes on and I sprinted up the hill, glad I'd taken the action against the tarmac of leaving my teva sandals outside the pool. Transition seemed to go well but it's hard to tell because the run from swim to transition was so far. The run up the field with the bike was as arduous but a smiling TSK was sitting on the wall like a little pixie to cheer me on.

Finally on to the bike which was a gentle climb followed by some steeper climbs, some downhills and an extra valley thrown in just for good measure. I tried to recall bits of the ride for posterity. It was sunny I passed folk. I thought the number 49 bus came close but a truck came closer and ran me over the rumble strip to keep control. This is all I really remember.

I span back into the driveway to the transition field. Usual flying dismount past TSK then another long run around the field. Surprisingly, the shoe change went well and I remembered to take my gloves off for the run.

The first lap was tough but I kept my stomach under control and took my advantages where I could - on grassy banks and downhill stretches, fell running doing the trick. The second lap was harder and a tried to collect high fives as much as possible but to no avail. I was passed by two I think. A man wheezed past me. I sprinted for the line for the hell of it. I'd post a photo here but the finishline photographer seems to have got bored of waiting for the late starters and gone for a cup of tea.

Once I'd calmed down after my sprint finish, I realised I'd still got energy left. Great, quite a relief since the Half Ironman is only two months away and this race was just a fraction of the distance. I didn't quite have enough energy left to go back over the hill to get my results though. A two day wait for those.


Swim:8:44 (341/617) W(64/157) Cat (47/108)
T1: 4:03
Bike:48:10 (325/617) W(38/1570 Cat(29/108)
Run:25:47 (385/611) W(49/157) Cat (36/108)

Overall: 373/617
Women: 48/157
Cat: 37/108

Breaking the scurge of being in the las 2/3 of the field.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I am doing the Skipton triathlon for the first time this year and found this really useful.