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With vague ideas of doing a longer triathlon later on this year, including an open water swim, this was a nice introduction to 2015’s swim, bike, run season. My first triathlon was last September. I entered it on a whim, buying the cheapest road bike I could find, a swim hat and goggles. How hard could it be? I thought… I went for a couple of bike rides the week before and visited a swimming pool for the first time in 18 years. Did the race, splashed through the swim, relaxed in the ride and enjoyed going back to what I know in the run. Not very spectacular but really good to have done it.
So this year, I kept my eyes open for another tri and saw the Mad March, by the ever brilliant ‘Results Triathlon’…
Having kept up with swimming at least once a week most weeks since the last tri, and borrowed a half decent road bike (Specialized Allez Sport) I felt a little more comfortable going into this race. Plus, the first time it was all a big worry-filled mystery to me – transitions?? Aghhh!
So this time I was able to enjoy it! Also, in my head the whole time was a quote from the Brownlee Brother’s autobiography. To paraphrase:
“Swim hard, ride hard, run hard and be capable of doing all three of those things”
Sounds obvious, but it’s very tempting in a triathlon to decide to hold off a bit in the swim, or save yourself on the bike for the run. No, do all three as fast you can!
The swim went very quickly.Too quickly! No disrespect to the other two swimmers in my lane but I got held up a lot and ended up over taking one of them twice. Lesson learned.
Out of the pool and a very short run to the bike which was racked in the school playground. My T1 is terrible as I like to get nice and dry, put my top on, then my tri-belt, then my socks and shoes… etc. After my leisurely change I put my helmet on (don’t touch your bike before putting on your helmet), grabbed my bike and ran to the mount line.
The bike route was along winding country lanes. It was a fast ride with a lot of downhill and flats and just a small sting in its tail, with an uphill section at the end.
In my previous triathlon I marvelled at the guys on shiny looking bikes bikes whizzing past me and became frustrated that no matter how hard and fast I pedalled I could not keep up, or stop from getting overtaken. On the new bike today it was a different story as the extra gears and larger wheels allowed me to cruise along, overtaking rather than being overtaken!
After 10 miles on the bike we were directed back into the school gates to T2 and the 5k run.
This was the loneliest run in a race setting I’ve ever done! After going past a couple of people at the very start, I then spent the next 2k wondering if I was still on course. Following the beginning part of the bike route, I was relieved to see a sign directing runners back towards the school and finish. Fortunately the run contained the final hill section of the bike ride so I was able to pass a few people here, before (relatively) sprinting the final 1k to the finish.
All done by 8:45am on a Sunday morning and home by 9!
Swim: 250m in 6:14
Bike: 10 miles in 31:47
Run: 5k in 19:54
Full results for the Mad March Triathlon are here