For July, Saturdays weather was really unseasonal, it was cold, very wet and gale force winds as I registered at Hayle swimming pool just after 5pm – what no water! The pond, where we were supposed to be swimming in the morning was empty – it was a good high tide tonight so hopefully nothing will go wrong and they’ll be able to lock the water in for the early morning 8am start. Helmet checked, goody bag in hand, timing chip safe in my pocket, one number? And back home, sitting watching then usual dross on the telly I considered pulling out – I can’t do that, but I’m not riding my race bike! So at 10pm I was out in my garage fitting tri bars, removing longflaps and checking over my heavier (not even carbon forks!) Giant training bike, there’s only an 8 speed cassette on this machine so I knew that I would ‘run out’ of gears on some of the down hills – but my lovely race wheels and Specialised frame would be safe (I haven’t got a good track record staying upright on bikes)
What a poor nights sleep, the wind and the rain beating against the window and it didn’t seem 5 minutes that the alarm went off at 5am. I was due to collect Jer at 6 so definitely wanted my porridge this morning. The weather had improved but it was still raining as I loaded my bike into the car and off I go to pick up Jer bang on time.
The roads are wet and there is so much crap blown, washed or just appeared on the roads – why does most of it end up in the cycle lane? I’m glad in some ways I had brought my training bike, but how much time would it cost me? We arrive at Hayle Harbour and we blag our £1 ticket without voucher and wander over to transition. Lots of water thank heavens and Cris says it’s 3 bikes per rack, loads of room for a change.
It’s now I decide to do something I don’t usually do – I’m gonna wear my old cycling shoes, socks (I usually go bare footed), and cycling top (usually just tri suit) – I usually clip shoes on bike and away – so transition will be longer, but it’s bloody cold!
Brooksy turns up limping and informs us he’s pulled out due to injurying his back, Dan L, swimmer for a team with Kyles brother Blaine (cyclist) and lifeguard Toby (runner) their team name says it all ‘we all wanted to do the swim’! I understand Dan had been all over Cornwall to get his wetsuit repaired, so after all that he had to be the swimmer didn’t he!?
One by one we all turn up, rack our bikes and have the obligatory photo taken – (Brooksy has it on his camera) So we have Kyle, Shay, Don, me, Mark W, Jer M, Helen, Grace, Dan (in his team) and Neil (racing for VOTWO) There’s also Jason W who’s not a member, but I’m working on him – Tim D turned out to support also.
First time at this distance for Mark W, Jer and Grace – so very well done.
A race brief – 2 laps for the swim, bike – mind the debris on the road and run to the Turnpike and back – water and SIS at the turnaround point.
The water is bloody freezing! The hooter sounds and 121 athletes start splashing away – I really enjoyed the swim, but longer than 1500m more like 1800m I think, a little congested around the bouys but nothing like last week at Bude, unusually Neil is 2 minutes (24.24) behind the first athlete out the swim, I come out in around 31 minutes (26.06 last year) in about 20th. Socks on, cycling shoes on, top on, gloves on, glasses on, helmet on – off we go 1.55 not bad! It was really windy going towards Penzance, Matt Pullen was coming the other way and had pulled out for some reason?!
The crap on the roads is amazing a mixture of Saturday nights revellers, broken bottles, KFC and Maccy D boxes, leaves, twigs, stones washed on from the previous nights rain, even a load of cow shit before Leedstown! – drafting is prevalent again, as the motorbike draft buster zooms past they all drop back! I steadily move up the field, but my god this bike is heavy, hill climbing is hard and as I thought I hadn’t enough gears to go fast enough down hill – but I reckon I make up about 5 places, I eventually catch Shay, who took a good 6 minutes out of me from the swim, I get near the end going down towards Foundry Square and a pelaton of about 6 riders go past – where’s the draft buster when you need him? Into transition, feet out of shoes, bike racked, jacket off and off we go. Final bike time pretty good all things considered, and only a minute down on last years time on the race bike and super wheels. The riders who had passed me a moment before were long gone into the distance, it was hard and hot, I just couldn’t get any rhythm – Neil runs towards me just as he comes out of the lane on the way back, looking strong and determined, there’s no one else in sight – I reach the top of the rise, managing to overtake a couple and down into the lane and up towards The Turnpike, Kyle is the next one I see also going strong. Adam from PTC says hello – what’s he doing in front? He’s supposed to be unfit and injured – Turn around point and this is the bit that I don’t like – you get to see who is closing you down as you come back towards the finish – Those you don’t know you try and guess how old they are and if they’re in your age group – Jeremy S is close behind, Shay, Don, Mark, they’re all coming!! PANIC I try and pick the pace up but I’m knackered, I get to almost Lidls and Steve H from PTC comes past, Tom D is next and we chat for a while before he zooms off – that bloke is 55! He is amazing! The finishing straight was painful wondering when Jeremy S, Don or anyone else would come past – I hear footsteps behind and a chap from Exeter tri passes me about 50 metres from the finish – he looks in my age group! Shit a sprint finish – I start to speed up and good old Mrs G shouts out ‘come on Ian you can ‘ave him’ He turns sees me coming and manages to out sprint me to the line! 20th overall – quite pleased but a massive 9 minutes down on last year. Was the bike different also as my run time was virtually identical?
Neil E – 2.08.32 – 1st
Kyle K – 2.15.29 – 3rd
Dans team – 2.22.11 – 8th overall
Ian – 2.27.29 – 20th
Shay – 2.30.26 – 27th
Don – 2.31.19 – 32nd
Mark – 2.33.01 – 40th
Jeremy – 2.47.31 – 78th
Helen – 2.54.54 – 94thoverall and 11th woman
Grace – 3.22.47 – 111th overall and 20th woman
We lost out on the team prize to Plymouth Tri Club, but we have won it the last 3 years running – at one point I did have my hands on the 3rd placed 40-44 male but gave it back as I reckon they got the results wrong – Dans team did get first relay team though. There was a problem with the timing system?!? A little disappointed that there was no medals and also the prizes for the AG winners seemed a little skimpy considering the price of entry – I know you got a T shirt and a small Lidl goody bag but 121 athletes (that’s how many raced NOT how many entered) that’s £3993 even if they were all BTA members – just my two penny worth, when I think of what we do at our events and how much we give back to the athletes.
Next up? Oh a super fast 4 mile Turkey Trot this Wednesday evening!