Monday, 20 August 2012

England Standard Distance Championships

I am now the 20-24 English Standard Distance Champion! :D Approached this race hoping to have a podium finish, so I was delighted to be stood on the top at the end of a hot race in the middle of a tiring weekend! Matt and I got the train to Milton Keynes on Saturday, where we stayed overnight ready for a very early start (4am for Matt's 7am and my 7.30am start). We cycled from the hotel to the race venue at 5am on Sunday morning, 15km to the venue, a good warm up and one puncture later we arrived. 

The swim was a bendy 1500m, when we arrived, it was wetsuit optional, bordering on 21 degrees celcius, however 30minutes before race start, they announced it was wetsuit compulsory. The swim was weedy, getting caught round our legs and in our goggles.  I exited the water in 4th place. T1 went well, helmet on, switched the garmin on ready for the run, grabbed the bike and left. The bike course was great, rolling and undulating, enough rolls to keep those on the TT bikes working and gaps to be decreased! I was back on Billie, my Cannondale CAAD8, we put in a good effort against the snazzy TT bikes and aero helmets that kept whizzing past, always a given, but I guess you have to grin and bear it, and realise that a solid bike on a road bike will benefit more in elite draft legal racing. The sun was coming out, expected to reach 29 degrees celcius by midday. Better get a move on!

The run was a three lap course around the lake we swum in, 6 water stations each of them much appreciated by every athlete. Into the finishing straight, burnt from the sun, wet from the drinks and hearing the beep as the chip on your ankle flies over the line. A finishing medal, banana and drink, time to cool off and sit down. We sat in the sun for an hour or two, soaking up the atmosphere and supporting the athletes still coming in. Presentation started midday, prizes for each age category and overall men and women.

Congratulatoins to Chantal Cummings who came 2nd, &  Emma Stevens in 3rd.
 I recieved a large medal for winning the age cat, and a silver plate, wine and various energy gels and bars for overall 5th woman. Matt led the swim, and exited T1 first, however a broken valve on his back wheel meant he rode the 40km on 40PSI (instead of 140PSI to give you an idea!! - meaning that any power put in was not being returned by the bike resulting in a loss of 10-15minutes over a course of that length), essentially putting an end to his hopes of the podium. We have both however been accepted to race in London Elites, so the focus of training has now turned to that. 

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