Monday, June 3, 2013

London Calling ! 2nd in Age at Deva Tri

Qualified for the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in London this September by finishing 2nd in my Age Category at Deva Triathlon, Chester.  A little disappointed with 2nd as I thought I'd won it - but then when you are racing in multiple waves it is difficult to tell just where you are.

I was worried the river was going to be freezing - it was cold but two swim caps and a rash vest proved a good combination.  Starting with just athletes of my own wave was very civilised - not much bumping and barging on the front row.  I slotted in behind the lead swimmers and came out of a swim that seemed to go on for an eternity in third place. Pleased with that - nothing conceeded, but could I have gone faster ? Overtook one of the guys running up to transition and then out onto the bike course.

Kept my head up and watched the other guy - from Farnham, and passed him pretty soon.  So I'm in the lead - I worked steadily at it, and only after about 15k was I caught by one rider #828.  Lifted my tempo to keep him in sight and although he crept away a little in the last 10k he probably got no more than thirty seconds ahead. Dismount and run into T2 was interesting - feet like blocks of ice still - felt like running on stilts.

I'm fairly certain no one else came past on the bike - one guy I overtook from previous wave, re-took me and then I went back past him and I think he stayed fairly close behind.  So after heading out onto the run I came out of T2 with #828.  Measured my pace initially and then once going over the bridge I decided he wasn't going fast enough so I pressed on.  I think I'm in the lead - no one will catch me on the run.  But not running so great - did I leave too much out on the bike course?  Took my last gel after 3k and pressed on - nagging headwind on the gravel path was not the best sensation.

Gravel in my right shoe: migrating ball of foot, middle of foot, heel of foot and back again like a record on an endless loop.  Stopped on second lap to remove it before it shredded my foot.  Second lap felt a bit better - pushed on a bit more and finish line approached. A modest clenched fist salute - as I thought I'd won (I feel silly now).  Picked up my printed result ticket - What ! 2nd place?!?

Had to wait for full results and it seems the winner - Pete Egglestone of Tri Force swam a minute slower than me, biked 2 mins faster, and ran a bit slower than me too - to beat me by about 30 seconds.  Still don't know where he came past, which by rights should have been half way round the bike course.

Not such good luck for Jon Greenfield who punctured 30k into the bike course and that effectively ended his hopes of getting 2014 Commonwealth Games qualifying points.  Ian Le Pelley though had a solid race finishing 16th overall and 5th in his age.