I surprised myself a little bit at the weekend with my performance at the Galashiels Sprint Triathlon. Triathlon is not my main focus this year with me concentrating on ultra marathons and I have therefore been neglecting both the swimming and the cycling. I could be said that I have become a bit of a fair weather cyclist as I have not been on the road bike all winter. The bike came out with the warm days we had in March.
Over the last few weeks I did put a bit more swim sessions into the plan as to not embarrass myself in the pool.
The swim was a pool based swim and I was due to be off in heat 4 of 5 (testament on the lack of depth in the field). My estimated swim time was somewhat out as I did get lapped in the swim. Luckily I didn’t have to let everyone pass me early on in the swim as I was last off in our lane. I did have a bit of a changing of places with my other half who was in the same lane as me but in the end a bit of a sprint around half way meant I could open a gap. I exited the pool in just over 14 min for 750m swim (testament to the lack of swim practice).
T1 was uneventful except that I decided I didn’t need an extra layer to keep warm as the weather looked much more friendly than it had done earlier on. The bike course is great fun although it does start with a bit of a killer climb. The bonus of being towards the back end of my heat out of the pool meant I could spend time over taking other competitors on the bike which I duly did especially up the climbs. Me and a couple of others did go wrong at the only crucial point where the race organisers omitted to have a marshal. We basically used the wrong exit off a roundabout but only lost 10-15 seconds. From there on the course undulates with some short climbs and some fast descents. I had a good tete-a-tete with another guy who would overtake me on the flats/descents and I would then overtake him back on the climbs. I narrowly beat him into T2. We excited T2 together but running then clearly wasn’t his strength.
I had a relatively good run and overtook a few more guys but was also overtaken by a couple of guys who I had passed on the bike. My legs felt remarkably heavy which I put down to the fact that I worked the bike pretty hard. The run course is a 2 lap affair grass and trails and with the recent rain it was a bit slippery in places which didn’t help as my Brooks T7s race flats have no grip on mud.
I finished 14th overall and 10th male senior which is a pleasing result considering my lack of triathlon specific training.