Jeremy the ‘fish’ completes first ‘open water’ tri…

A few things worthy of mention happened the day before the race. Firstly, I watched highlights of the Salford triathlon, in particular Tim Don flying around the course. I was looking for pointers on tactics, technique and style. Secondly, the use of certain consumables in the two jays household increased with the normal pre-race nerves. After all the events I’ve entered I should be getting less nervous, but I seem to be getting worse!!! Thirdly, I went along to Hayle to pre-register in the light and airy office used for registration (back of Yvonne’s car). Had a brief chat to Gus and Ian who were also registering at the same time. I must say the T-shirt is good quality.

On the day I was up at 6:15am eating my porridge with a good dollop of honey on top and packing my bike and crate of goodies into the wagon. I made my way over to Hayle and set my bike and other bits ‘n’ bobs up in transition. Had a chat with fellow competitors and joined the unusually long queue for the gents lavvy.

After the race brief we all donned very fetching yellow helmets and made our way down the slip into the pond for the 0.5mile swim. Actually, let’s say the 750m swim because it sounds further! The water temperature was a pleasant 19’C and the conditions for the race were perfect; sunshine and no wind.

Now salt water seems to debilitate me. In the swimming pool my swimming is reasonable but when I get into the salt water it is equivalent to swimming in treacle! Not sure what I’m doing wrong but any advice would be gratefully received.

I took Shay’s pre-race advice and stayed away from the main pack to avoid loosing goggles, being kicked and punched and possibly drowned! I think I may have stayed out too wide, about 10m or so all the way around, thus having to swim further…that’s my excuse anyway for the 18m 58s swim!

Once back to the slip I found my feet and ran along the gravel carpet to the bike, which fortunately was racked quite close by. My initial thought was where are all the bikes??? Looking through the results later, revealed that I was in 110th position after the swim!!!

I felt very dizzy…it was more like I’d had a skinful and just come from the Cornubia Inn rather than a 750m swim!!! This meant getting out of the wetsuit was more of a challenge. I dried my feet and realised I had left my socks in the car. With thoughts of impending blisters I stuck my cycling shoes on and set off out of transition.

I felt really good on the bike and being way back in the field gave me a continual supply of targets to pull me along. The cycle route had a good mix of  flat sections and hills…up as well as down and apart from coming back down into Hayle it was traffic free. My only complaint was the lack of marshal at the roundabout by the viaduct. I had to skid to a halt as a car heading towards Penzance came across the roundabout. It was his right of way, but I thought his journey time would not have been delayed by more than 10s if he had bothered to stop.

I had my gel as I was approaching transition, something I didn’t bother with at Helston tri, even though it was taped to the bike. It was a fairly fast transition and I felt strong as I set out on the run, overtaking the two cyclists that had finished just ahead of me. I knew the run was largely flat as it is the same route as the Hayle 4 mile run with the exception of the hill up past Lidls. (By the way look out for running socks in Lidls, they’re cheap and great if you remember them!). The section of run before the turning point is good because you can see the competitors ahead of you looping back. Unfortunately Scott, Don and Shawn were too far ahead to catch.

However I continued to pass people on the run and felt really strong. I would say that running is my strongest discipline but I had a really bad run at the Helston tri and at one point was forced to stop and walk. I put the improvement down to more than just consuming the gel. Instead I have been focusing on brick sessions. The format has been run 3 miles, cycle 6 miles, run 3 miles, cycle 9 miles and run 3 miles. I’d recommend it because when I looked at the results later I had passed 43 competitors and only 1 had passed me. This elevated me from 110th after the swim to 67th overall with a time of 1h 20m 47s and surprisingly no blisters.

I really enjoyed the mass start as opposed to wave. When starting in waves you are often racing in isolation whilst on the cycle and run, which makes it harder to push yourself.

Well done to all other MBH competitors, especially the four that secured the silverware and of course thanks to the race organisers and to all the marshals without which we wouldn’t be able to have these events.

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