Cambridge Triathlon 2004

Time: 1.57.04

Swim (include T1) 22.03

Bike (~37km) 57.01

Run (include T2) 38.00

Following last years rave reviews of this event from Gaelle and Derek several Tri Londoners got up very early to get to Cambridge for the 6am registration opening time. All probably had fingers crossed that it would be worth there while. It was rumoured to be a fast course (due to flat and short bike section) so most would be aiming for a PB … I certainly was.

This was to be my last race of the season and had gone as far as doing a proper taper for it ! I even continued my theme of the season of having a stupid accident the night before a race. This time I managed to chop off a chunk of my thumb whilst chopping a pepper.

The race briefing only served to confuse the already complicated (ish) ‘M’ shaped swim. Thank god I wasn’t in the first wave. The water was beautiful ( 21c and crystal clear), this combined with small waves (~60 in each) made for a fantastic swim.

I got a good start and found myself leading a group about 15m down on the lead pair. I decided to push it and managed to bridge the gap to get on the 2nd place guys feet. I had a comfortable tow to the next turn buoy when I decided he was too slow and I went by him. I exited the swim in 2nd. The helpers at the exit were awesome they literally lifted straight out and onto my feet.

T1 went smoothly and then I got into my rhythm on the bike. It was going well and the people I caught I passed so quickly I assumed they had to be from the previous wave. Thus coming into T2 I didn’t realise I was actually leading my wave. I looked at my watch and realised all I needed was a sub 40 min 10k to go sub 2hours.

I hit the run and felt good ( other than the fact that my thumb was bleeding again ). I was running well, feeling alot smoother than even a week ago. At about 2km I looked back to see if there was anyone coming up that looked like they may be in my wave – there was one guy. He caught me at about 3km, I listened to his breathing as he went by and he sounded to be working alot harder than me. He also was a big built bloke so I thought you’ve gotta be able to sort him out on the run. I stuck with him for the next 1.5km but he was running the legs off me and I started to get dropped. He then passed a guy going fairly well who stuck with him. I thought this must be the leader so I picked up my pace as best I could to try and catch him. Then at the turn point for the second loop this guy turned and I realised I must be in second.

I couldn’t make any inroads on the leader and finished about 40 seconds behind him in 1.57.04. I’d done a sub 37 minute (just) 10k split which I can’t complain about so I was well pleased. Turned out he was my age group so I was second in my age group. No other wave managed to go sub 2 hours so I was also second overall. (3rd place was also in my age group and the only other person to go under 2 hours).

Yet another 2nd place – it’s been a season of second places, every race I’ve been 2nd other than last week (smile creeps across face…. National Champions … sorry … getting sidetracked).

I think most Tri Londoners were happy with the race. Matt found it tough after ‘bonking’ a few KM into the run. The Ginger Bullet was well pleased to be leading after the bike and only got passed some 7km into the run ending in 2nd in his age. His kind heartedness had got the better of him – the only reason the guy that beat him was in the race is because John offered him John Poynters place at the last minute. From now on he must be much more hard nosed and selective about who he helps to enter a race.

The results aren’t posted yet (I will post the Tri Londoners results when they are available). My splits for those that are interested:

Swim (include T1) 22.03

Bike (~37km) 57.01

Run (include T2) 38.00

I think the general view was that the swim and run were pretty much bang on distance but the bike was 3km short. It’s ashame they couldn’t extend the loop a little cause this would be a fast course even if the bike was a full 40km.

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