Last weekend saw my season opener at local event, 7oaks Tri. For me this was a C race going into it straight from a hard training block with no rest or taper.
Weather wise the day was perfect racing conditions, with a staggered start I was off quite late so it was great to be able to cheer some of my fellow Ocean Lake Tri team mates as they started their first race of the season too.
It really was a turn up and let's see what happens kind of race. As I am currently preparing for the ITU World Long Course champs which distances are 4k swim, 120k bike and 30k run, I am not at peak Sprint distance speed!
As I started the 400m pool swim I felt good, I have spent every day over the winter working on my weakest discipline and its starting to pay off. Getting a swim time of sub 6 minutes is a massive improvement from where I started off last year with my swim.
Jumping out of the pool to a massive cheer from Team OLT, I headed outside to transition clocking a swim and run to T1 of 6-22 this meant I'd had the 9th fastest swim of the day.
In less than 50 seconds I was out of T1 heading onto the hilly bike course.
The bike course would be safer on a mountain bike as the road conditions are the worst I have ever seen, it made using a time trial bike quite difficult at times, the plan was to try and stick above TH for the 24km route but with some big descents and lots of pot holes this was easier said than done.
I finished the bike in 42-52 giving me the 2nd fastest bike split of the day....
Another quick transition and it was out on to the run, a gruelling 8k of undulating Knole Park in fact the first half is all uphill with most of the second half back down until the final few hundred metres which is a very steep foot path. The last stretch up the hill was a killer, think the HR was on the max pushing to the finish line!
I've not been focusing my running towards speed these past six months so I knew the run was going to hurt, the only advice I had was go hard from start to finish if its hurting hurt some more..... Thanks Ben sounds words I guess you should know being a 7Oaks winner and runner up yourself.
My run split was 31-59 giving me the 3rd fastest run of the day something I'm very pleased with.
I crossed the line with a time of 1-22, which got me 2nd overall narrowly missing first by just
Yeah so 11 seconds was abit gutting, you ask yourself could I have found it, and the answer was no I gave it my all out on the course. Had the winner been in front then it may be a different story, but when it's a staggered race you have no idea where you are against your competitors until the last athlete crosses the line.
Stepping back and evaluating the race I am happy with the result, especially it not being the distance I am training for.
For the club it was a fantastic day, with team members getting race PBs and some completing their first Tri. We also had a full club support crew on the sidelines which was probably the largest of all clubs represented, showing what a brilliant club Ocean Lake Tri are rapidly becoming.
For me, with only a month until the world champs, it's straight back in to a hard training block and preparing for Bon voyage across the channel for my first race as a GB athlete.