Today was the British Age Group Championships in Shropshire, standard distance (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run). Last year I was the U20 British Champ in Sprint Distance, though today I travelled to see how I would fair an age category up (20-24), in standard distance.
The swim part of Triathlon has proved a struggle over the last year I have been doing Tri. It was the weakest discipline for me in Modern Pentathlon, but has slowly been progzessing and coming together. Blenheim was a breakthrough, swimming 9 36 for 750m, so today my aim was a sub 21 for 1500m. The water was cold, 14 degrees, all the women were wishing for a quick start before we lost all feeling in our hands and toes. I exited the water in 3rd position, with a split of 20.14 which I was delighted with. T1 led us out onto a rolling 40km one lap bike course. As an age group race, it was non drafting, so the work is all individual (and much harder!). 40km seemed to go on forever! After competing in only sprint distance all year it did drag!!!
The weather was dry and mild, then about 10km into the bike it poured. Heavy rain for short but aggressive stages, requiring increased concentration around the traffic, descents and cornering. A few women overtook me on lavish TT bikes, which is always a given, but me and bike Billie kept pumping away, determined to enter T2 with a good time, and not far off the leaders. When we entered T2, the ground was churned and muddy, as we slipped our muddy wet feet into our run shoes sock-less (every second counts!), the gruelling hilly 10km run began.
|On the podium, wearing kit kindly provided by www.thetriathlonshop.co.uk|
All in all it was a well organised race, though the courses were not very spectator friendly, most of it being in the rural countryside, without spectator support, good practice I suppose though felt like a bl**dy hard training session rather than a race!!!
Couple of weeks off now, before Bristol Harbourside triathlon on July the 15th where I will be attempting to defend last year's title! However the race this year(is a World Championship qualifier for age group athletes, so the competition will be significantly tougher!