Always great to go back to the first triathlon that I did in 2008, I had missed it last year so was keen to see how much faster I could go.
So far the weather has been awful this summer the UK has definitely lived up to its image that most Americans have of it, the wettest June in history followed by what is looking like the wettest July.
However for the first time this month we had a day that the rain stayed away.
The race was a sprint triathlon, 400m pool swim followed by 19km bike and 5 km run, it has a rolling start so the early starters were almost finishing by the time my son and I arrived.
Swim, I decided to race in a two piece suit so swam in my tri shorts, which I found far more comfortable than a tri suit. My swim was fine and I felt really strong and could easily have gone faster but decided to keep it sensible. Time (as I ran out of the door 7.10) 50m around the pool building to official time mat 7:42.
T1, was pretty terrible, first from my mini wave into transition and last out, need to practice more using a separate tri top as I really struggled with the zip. Time 1:07.
Bike, I was feeling good with my cycling, the 24 miles a day commute has been pretty useful for building up the millage. Within a few hundred meters I had caught and passed all of my mini wave and felt really strong, the bike course is reasonably flat and fast but has two small towns to go through, which seemed to have every Sunday driver visiting them all at once. I passed at least 20 people on the bike and could have gone faster but once again kept it sensible as my run is my Achilles heel and I wanted to run strong. Need to get better with the Garmin as I forgot to press the start button so I did not record my bike leg but official time, 31:16.
T2, great dismount followed by a fast rack of the bike and get rid of helmet and put on running shoes only to run off to the bike exit. Thankfully a Marshall shouted to me " Hey Army your going the wrong way" what a muppet managed to gain an extra 50 meters. T2 :47 seconds.
Run, I am traditionally a poor runner but have worked hard on this over the last couple of years so I set out at a decent pace and hoped that I could hang in there. When I run I hate to look at any info from the garmin (unless training) I will look at my overall stop watch to see where I am. After the first km I felt good and started to close on a small group ahead of me, however I was nearly taken out by a dog that was running free from its owner, it didn't know which way to turn when it realized I was there and panicked, a quick bit of foot work and I was safe. Could have been worse, dog walkers please use common sense and put your dogs on a leash if there are people racing on the trail that you are on. By the turn around I still felt strong and was passed for the first time. The run back felt good and I kept a decent pace passed a few more runners and was passed by one more. Run 21:46.
Overall 1:02:41, 33rd out of 286 finishers, 4th in age group 45 - 49 (If I was 40 - 44 I would have been second)
2010 time 1:08:58
2008 time 1.22:32
Lessons learnt: You can get faster as you get older. I need to loose a couple more Kilos as I am still carrying too much weight. Practice using a two piece suit. Sort out my Garmin Drills.
Overall - Very happy to make the first page and be up there with some decent triathletes and not to get "Chicked" (Sorry Ladies but all guys think this). Aim to go there next year and go under the hour, we shall see.