Adam Kudryl gives his view on this race run by our friends at Dunmow Tri.
I could sum this race up in five words:
1. Cold, 2. Mud, 3. Gravel, 4. Mud, 5. Smile
It was about 2 degrees when I left the house on Saturday morning. Unfortunately I only realised this from the car’s temperature gauge as we were 10 minutes down the road towards the race, already late! I was feeling desperately under-dressed in my tri suit with a compression shirt underneath and cycling arm and leg warmers and gloves. Apart from numb extremities, my kit choice turned out to be spot on.
Shortly after arrival, we racked our bikes in the transition area. The surface was best described as ‘sludge’ (a real sort of deep sticky mud) that had about as much under foot traction as banana-soled trainers running on wet fish. Once wheeled in to transition, my once sparkling Slice with my deep section Dura Ace wheels looked more like that of a Paris-Roubaix finisher, and we hadn’t even started.
We lined up on the start line for the first leg of the race, a muddy cross country 5km through Hatfield Forest. This was my first cross country since school 20 years ago, but it was superb fun dodging in and out of deep muddy puddles leaping on and off the forest trails- fun but taxing!
First leg over and I was in 23rd place and could still just about see the leaders! I nearly wet my tri suit with excitement!
As was apparent from the drive in to the forest start line, the route out of the forest to the road cycle course was going to be hairy- the road was strewn with gravel and pot-holed which was even causing Range Rovers to choose their line carefully.
Under race conditions this road was great fun, if a little dicey!! All adds to the race adrenaline and I was soon bunny hopping over pot holes and sliding over cattle grids, mud spitting off my front wheel in to my face.
The cycle leg was cold, but a nice undulating route made up of entirely left turns except for one turn- it was therefore pretty quick and I was soon back in the…
… yes back in the mud of transition. I pushed hard on the bike and looking at the race times, my cycle time was 16th fastest which had taken me up to 18 place overall.
Unfortunately, my inexperience shone through. Having pushed so hard on the bike I stumbled in to transition very light-headed with numb fingers and feet. At first I couldn’t find my pit box, despite standing and looking all around me for what seemed like minutes. Then it appeared, 3 feet away from where I was standing- it was right under my nose.
Pulling trainers with numb fingers on to numb feet in no easy feat! Something I must confess I had never thought of practicing before. Coaches, any ideas on this one other than sitting in the cold until sufficiently numb???
Fortunately I didn’t lose as much time as I had thought as, emerging from T2 still in 18th place.
As I got out on to the second run, I had to smile. There I was limping along with thighs of lead (clearly more, OK some, brick sessions required!), on two stumps where my feet had once been, at what seemed to be the pace of my dear old nan on her zimmer frame. Not only that, the 3 or 4 runners around appeared to be in a very similar predicament!
The second run was tough. The course had firmed up a lot after having been trodden by 250 competitors, but my legs just didn’t want to work. Having done the sums, my overall rank in the second run was 57th- good job I has worked so hard on the first run and bike. My second run was almost 3 minutes slower than my first.
The next smile came when I punched my race number in to the race computer and discovered I had positioned 29th overall and 2nd in my age category! Just the feeling this gave me will keep me on the training rails and keep me working on those areas needing improvement.
First place overall arrived home 15 minutes faster than me. OK so he was in the 19-20 age category so that is well out of my league and I know it, but first in age group would only need a 1m45s improvement and I know that is obtainable! Something to aim for!
The event itself was very well organised and I think the conditions are not to everyone’s taste, especially the muddy transition and gravelly and pot-holed forest roads, but if you are not too anal about your kit and like something out of the ordinary, this is a great fun early season event!
So what’s it like to race for your country and take part in a world championship. For most of us this is a dream but club coach Wendy Martin has done it and here she describes her rise in the sport which led to this momentus moment.
Hello, my name is Wendy Martin and I’m a triathlete. I think I may be addicted! I was not born a triathlete, and certainly if you told me 5 years ago I would be competing for my country at Standard distance triathlons my response would have been unrepeatable here! But here I am. It’s been two weeks since I returned from Budapest as a member of Team GB. How did I get there? Not sure, but one thing I do know if that it’s taken a lot of hard work and determination.
It all started in August 2004 when, my partner, Stuart, and I went up to the Excel centre to watch the London triathlon. It was the first time I had ever seen a triathlon in full flow and it looked like something I wouldn’t mind having a go at. I had swam for my local swimming club as a child, but not been in the water for nearly 15 years. We were members of our local running club, so that shouldn’t be a problem. But then there was the bike…. all we had were old mountain bikes, so we spruced these up and put on some slick tyres and got training. I got round the London Tri the next year, can’t remember the time, but I do remember the feeling of sheer exhilaration that I had successfully completed my first triathlon… and that I wasn’t last!
That was it – I was hooked. Since then Continue Reading…
Mark Harman casts his expert race organiser and experienced competitor eye over this event and this is his report:
This is a really friendly well organised race put on by our neighbours at Dunmow Tri. The first running in 2009 was a good fun event and a large group of Born2Tri racers had signed up for 2010. For a multitude of reasons including work, illness, injury and even pregnancy we lost a few racers in the final weeks, but some of the places were taken up by other club members which would go on to affect the final results.
After a week of poor weather, race day dawned dry and bright, fifteen Born2Tri racers joined the much improved registration process and awaited their start time. The event was based on the green either side of the access road to the school and leisure centre. This created an excellent event village, with plenty to keep the waiting athletes and spectators amused. I had run some familiarisation bike run sessions on the race course, so most of the Born2Tri athletes knew what was ahead of them. As the morning progressed the Continue Reading…
Paul Haxell takes on his first middle distance event and here are his impressions of the race:
Entering was so easy, click the links & bend the credit card, not realising what I might need to be doingover the next 6 months to be ready! It’s a very popular triathlon so the on line entries closed in about two days.
The morning of the event dawned very misty. The night of camping went well but some early risers started moving about ay 4.00 a.m. so much for my leisurely start of getting up at about 5:45. nevertheless it meant more time for tea, porridge and to check over the bike which I had racked the previous evening. With around 800 competitors, transition is split into two parallel areas and worked well without incident.
During the race briefing the mist closed in such that Continue Reading…
Born2Tri coach and Ironman finisher, Pete Bryan describes this well organised race:
The Nottingham Triathlon is held at the Holmes Pierrepoint – National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham. It is an open water Sprint distance event of 750m swim, 20k bike and a 5k run.
Held at the same location, but the following day, as the National Relay Championships.
The organising company, 1 Step Beyond, making available a very professional event, centred at the Rowing Lake. The pavilion providing seating and facilities for spectators and supporters, provided with a good view of the swim, multi lap bike and a good deal of the run lap.
Due to limit width of perimeter track, two transitions areas are provided, one area being ‘swim to bike’ with the second being ‘bike to run’.
The swim starts at the bottom end of the 2500m lake. The swim course of 750m forms an out, across and back to exit by the pavilion to enter transition 1.
The field was split into waves, with two male waves starting at 09.00a.m. and the female and Para triathlete waves going off at 11.30a.m.
The weather was good, making a pleasant change from Continue Reading…
Regular Born2Tri racer and one of our BTF qualified coaches, Stuart Mills, travelled to Berkshire for this race, this is what he thought of it:
Saturday 21st August saw the F3 Events Orca standard distance triathlon take place at Dorney Lake, Eton. The venue offers a very good racing environment. The swim is two laps in the rowing lake with a mass start. The water is very clear (in contrast to our usual training lake) and is well served with safety boats and canoes.
The bike is 8 laps around the lake on closed paths. It’s a little repetitive but is very quick and almost completely flat. The run is two laps along one of the long sides of the lake and back. Again it’s a little repetitive but it is very motivating to be able to see all the other athletes out on the run.
All in all it was a very good event with good organisation to go with the safe and beginner friendly course. The event would be ideal for anyone looking to do their first standard distance race.
On to the racing and it was a battle between me and Wendy Martin. Both of us posted PB’s with Stuart taking the most narrow (less than 50 seconds) of victories. Stuart just made it into the top 30. Wendy had a much more impressive performance by finishing as second lady against a high quality field (the first lady finished 6th overall!).
There was a sprint event in the afternoon which would also offer a good racing experience.
Mark Harman shows the value of 8 seconds in Gosfield and some rather unsporting behaviour from the second place competitors.
The club relays only began in 2009 put on by Born2Tri after the idea was proposed by Tri England. It was a success, attracting 88 teams. With some excellent performances and a bit of home advantage Born2Tri took the open male and open female awards.
Twelve months on and we returned to Gosfield Lake for the 2010 edition. This time Born2Tri was just supporting the organisation and we were able to enter eight teams in an effort to defend the titles. We had some strong teams who had been training on the course but as the entries flowed in it was clear many other clubs we seeking to show they were the best in the region.
The race day dawned (I did see it as I was putting up the signs!) sunny and warm, perfect racing conditions. Born2Tri had claimed their team gathering point in the venue the previous day, our nearest neighbours were Continue Reading…
Alan Reade joins the Born2Tri Hall of Ironman Fame at this race in Frankfurt and finishes in an impressive time. Here’s how he found it and his recommendations for movements!
Let me start with a the race itself, as you would expect from the Germans, the race is superbly organised and although it is not cheap to enter, you can see where the money goes and I think this is what makes the IM branded races a cut above the rest. I would definitely recommend this race, but it is probably better suited to those that enjoy racing in warmer conditions and you have to be quick as it sells out in 1 day and the 2011 race is already full!
Friday morning was an easy 25 minute swim in the hotel pool followed by a 10 minute walk to the race finish line to register. On seeing the finish area taking shape, a fresh jolt of Continue Reading…