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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Winchester Sprint Triathlon

This morning at 7:45am I did my first triathlon of the year at Winchester. It was still dark when I got up at 5am to have my breakfast in time before the race. Driving down there it was misty in places and only 10c. The race itself was quite a learning experience.

I had decided to have my cycle shoes clipped in to my pedals to help reduce my transition time. I decided to clip them on my hand rather than push them on using my muscles in my leg. While doing this the bike slipped and ripped my track bottoms and grazed my leg on the chain ring!! This was even before I started the race.

For the swim they said leave some footware next to the pool, as there was some gravel sections to T1. I left a pair of socks and my trainers next to the pool, this was a good decision.

The swim was 400m and I only had 2 other people in my lane. Which I over took them once and I think I completed in 9 minutes which was quicker than expected. The only slight difficulty was getting out of the pool as it was 3.4m deep, luckily there was a ledge on the side of the pool about 1.5m down that you could use to help get some force to pull yourself out.
I then put my socks on and trainers and made my way down the wet stairs. At the end was about a 200m run to the transition area which half of it was on gravel track, I was glad I put my trainers on.

In T1 I think I was quicker than normal. I only had to take my shoes of and put another pair of socks on top of the other, due to the temperature on those were quite wet. I put a long sleeve cycle top and a short sleeve top on as well, as they warned us in the race brief that some of the exposed sections on the cycle can get quite cold due to the wind.

It was about 100m run from transitions to the cycle mount line across some gravel paths, so my decision to have the shoes clipped was not a great one. Once I got my shoes on I just about managing to pedal, the cycle course was an out and back course of 10m (16 km) each way. It was very undulating with about 1,000 ft of undulations (from my GPS) with the highest climb being about 300 ft. A bit of concern was before the turn around point was the welcome to Basingstoke sign!! At this point I was closer to home than the race HQ.

During the ride I noticed that I had also forgot to turn my GPS device facing the other side of the arm plus my cadence sensor was not working.

Once back I changed to the run gear with my T1 and T2 being the quickest I think I have done. Once I was out on the run I only realised I had forgot my sports drink back in T2 with the only drinks at the finish line!! Luckily I had a large bottle of drink on the bike plus a jaffa cake bar and a gel, with just one gel remaining for the run.

The run was also undulating, although managed to maintain my pace at slightly under 9 minute/mile pace. This was quite good due to the course and the cycle beforehand. I think the 5 mile was more hilly than the half marathon next weekend.

I think I completed it in about 2:10, I had forgot to stop my stopwatch until I got back to my car and I did not start my GPS watch until T1. Apart from that I quite enjoyed it.

This afternoon I had some sausage and chips, as I felt I had deserved it after this mornings events.

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