west suffolk tri - 25.09.16

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west suffolk tri - 25.09.16

Postby ris » 26 Sep 2016 14:27

Where: stowmarket - mid-suffolk
When: 25.09.16
Organiser: west suffolk wheelers
Course details: shortened pool sprint
Distance(s): 300m swim, 18km bike, 5km run. not a ris-friendly course
Marshalling: loads, enthusiastic
Facilities: swimming pool for changing, poolside cafe
Technical: Chip timing, water station on the run
Freebies: nice medal, bottle of water.

end of season blast, set in the wondrous gently rolling countryside of mid-suffolk, and set in the market down i grew up in. this was entered mostly as an excuse to take my daughter to the town and show her that market towns don't vary much from place to place, and that where she is growing up is much like where i did, but with a different accent. she got to see the schools i went to, the house i grew up in, the local pubs and the pool where i learned to swim. all the great highlights for the average 9yo with a peculiar interest in family history.

i entered this very late, mainly because i've had some ongoing issues with my back still (originating in my hip-flexors according to my physio) and also because i've barely trained and didn't want to waste my time if i was going to go and not enjoy it. work in particular has put a dent in my cycling (lots of meetings out of the office), running has been affected a bit by this but also my back as i don't want to load it too much, and swimming has been a bit of a shambles. i didn't go into this with any form at all.

pre-race information was limited to registration and racking open at 8 and close at 9. first racer off at 9.30, last one should be done by noon. we stayed in cambridge and got up with the lark to get to stow for 8 and then saw the start sheet - i was off at 11.25. this went down like a lead balloon with my bleary-eyed support crew, but at least there was a cafe in the sports centre and somewhere to do homework while muttering about bloody silly races.

free-for-all racking, so i shoved my bike in somewhere not too awful, pumped up tyres and laid out all the usual shoes and hats and gels. hung about until the start.

12 laps of the pool, zig-zag style under the ropes - another first as all my previous pool swims have just been in one lane. all went fine, a bit slower than i'd like but then i'm ragged at the moment and have a glass back. swimmers were set off about 30s apart, and i was about 10 racers from the final starter.

t1 was fine, a bit sloppy, but then it's been 3months since i last raced.

the bike course was a single loop of about 18km, and apart from two mandatory foot-down stops for right turns and a mid-course greater-than-90 left hander it was pretty straightforward. it wasn't all that flat, though, or fast. mid-suffolk is a bit rolling (we're not talking wilts rolling, but still there), and there were plenty of short draggy ups that kept the speed down. quite a few corners and small technical bits, too, and not a lot of head-down smashy. i caught up with my 30s-man from the pool and pace-lined him for most of it, letting him guide me through the corners. i took plenty of other racers but wasn't overtaken. took a gel at about half way.

the only drama was on the second-to-last corner, a 90-left, where as i turned in the front of the bike simultaneously slid sideways and then dug in. luckily i was up on the brakes and was able to stop before i stacked it into the marshal, but the reason was soon evident as my front tyre went completely flat. as i was under a km from the finish i rode on the flat to the stop line, meaning i lost a bit of time (probably 30s or so). lots of swearing, too.

t2 was fairly easy, apart from my running shoes being scattered by a neighbouring racer.

i wasn't looking forward to the run - not done any of any sort, let along proper speed or race-work - and i knew it was on grass and trail. i caught the 30s-man again, and a leading woman racer and ran with them for a while before we eventually dropped him, and then i dropped her at the first draggy climb about a mile in. on my own after that i just did my best to keep it uncomfortable enough to know i was trying hard, but my pace was 30s+/mile down on earlier in the year and that is all about a lack of training. there was a bit of something left for the finish, but not much.

at the finish i had a delighted daughter hand me my medal and then got my overall time back - i was provisionally 10th o/a and 3rd in cat. it took until early monday for the final splits to come in and i was bumped up a place for both.. i'm glad i went and did it, but know i could do better with some proper training. with any luck things will settle down at work, and physically, so that next year i can do myself justice - which i think i was doing at the start of the season.

swim - 4:53 (11)
t1 - 0:55 (48)
bike - 32:11 (12)
t2 - 0:34 (38)
run - 23:08 (25)

overall - 1:01:41 (9th overall, 2nd in 40-44)

onwards, to 2016!
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Re: west suffolk tri - 25.09.16

Postby Jack Hughes » 27 Sep 2016 06:43

Well done!

Surely 2017 is when you hand over the baton to V? ;)
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Re: west suffolk tri - 25.09.16

Postby ris » 27 Sep 2016 14:38

thanks jack :)

she did one in 2015, came near last (that's my kid :D) and said that it was very hard and she would take a year off, perhaps doing one in 2017. i i think it might be a permanent retirement from the sport.... :lol:

checked the pnucture on the front wheel and it's a proper snake-bite pinch-flat. no idea how i got it - the front had reasonable pressure in it before i topped it up in the morning and i don't remember whacking a pothole hard enough to potentially flat it (it happened earlier in the summer on my commute and it would have needed a hit hard enough to move the aerobars, and that definitely didn't happen).

all i can think of is that i got a slow air release through the valve (again, had it happen before) and i hit a pothole or something after it had reached a level of flatness. annoying, but not really a race-changing event. rims look ok on close inspection, no big dents or anything,
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Re: west suffolk tri - 25.09.16

Postby King Sad » 06 Oct 2016 06:34

Well done that man on several counts:
1. Bonding with daughter :D
2. Handling flat so well
3. Getting podium
Well done indeed :D
It seemed like a good idea at the time :? .

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