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.