Monday, 25 August 2014

August 9th - Eirias Standard + Triathlon

I'll start by saying that this is a good, well run event and sadly was impacted in numbers due to the Championship race at Liverpool that was on the day after.

My weekend started with a ridiculous 4 hour drive to get to our caravan in Prestatyn.  A lorry had downed some power cables across a dual carriageway just off the M56 and the subsequent diversion was a bloody nightmare.  I had intended to register the night before and go for a bus tour of the bike route, but was that tired and stressed from the drive I knocked that on the head and just relaxed.

So it was an early start on Saturday morning, but there was little stress on arrival as registration was quick and easy housed in the Eiris watersports centre.  I should state that in the Standard + (the + being a longer than normal bike course) had only 30 entrants and by the end several had dropped out so it was a small field.  The Middle Distance had about 85 entries.

The swim was a simple out and back 2 lap affair following a line of bouys out into the bay and an angle from the beach.  It was choppy, but not to severe and generally I enjoyed the swim, mind you there were a couple of occasions that I nearly hit the bouys I was holding such a tight line.  I managed to find a pair of feet to draft and it worked well for a change.  Time to the timing mat was 28:50 so pretty happy and subsequent

check of data I had the swim as 1800m on the Garmin so there is a good chance that it was long.
Through to T1 and I was moving quickly, sadly I made an error that even now I am somewhat dumbfounded by.  It wasn't a case of not doing the helmet up before I removed the bike.  I didn't actually put the helmet at all!!!!  Being stopped at the exit of transition it didn't even register at first that I hadn't got a helmet on.  I can only surmise that because it had been knocked off my handlebars and was on the floor along with other peoples gear that I hadn't seen it.  So it was that I had to run back to get it and then set off properly.  Over the mount line I was doing the flying start again and it went well.  I exited the car park before thinking about putting my feet in the shoes properly.

The first 10k of the course basically climbs it's way up and whilst not steep is a good slog.
I'd passed a couple of guys early on and then sat in and span my way as best I could up the climb.
Once to the top of the ridge the course evened out and it was a nice ride across the ridge line before dropping nicely down into the valley below for a nice fast section of riding.
There were a couple more climbs on the course though nothing to serious, the major issue on the back end of the course was the headwinds that were whipping in from the Irish Sea.  The only annoying aspect to the ride was coming back into the centre for transition to find several cars trying to park that were effectively blocking the route to the dismount line.  Safely negotiated it was a good flying exit from the bike and I surprisingly felt good running into T2.  Bike time 1:51:14

Again a nice quick transition and a sprightly jump off a set of steps onto the promenade and the run course I was feeling bouyant.  It's fair to say that at this stage I had no idea where I was with regard to the others in the race so as I trundled down the run course it was around 2.5k in that the 1st place triathlete passed me on his way to the finish, I clapped him past in recognition of his efforts.  The heat of the day was building but I kept slogging away, becoming more bemused why no one else was in sight behind 1st place.  It was some time before 2nd and 3rd appeared and it also at this point became apparent to me that I was actually a reasonable way up the field.  It was inevitable that I would be passed on the run at some point and indeed not far out from the turnaround point I was passed by a guy I had taken on the bike.  What I subsequently worked out was that as he came passed following the turnaround was that I was in 6th place!!!

Could I possibly hold onto my place?  It was 5k back the heat was up, there was a head wind and a couple of small climbs to negotiate.  The heart rate was gradually climbing as the average pace went down and the last 1k was a hard effort.

I think the pic shows how hard I had been working and I was across the line in 53:08 and a final time of 3:15:20.

It was a great event and I will highly recommend it to anyone.
Next year they intend to move the date to September to try and boost numbers and all being well there is a good chance I will be back.

The most disappointing thing....................I won my age group and wasn't there to claim my prize.  It never occurred to me that I would have won a prize.  What a doughnut.

Results can be found here :-

Next up is a 10M TT and then the Rubicon Middle Distance at the end of August (in what will be 2 years since I started back on my triathlon journey).

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