Last weekend I was down near Milton Keynes for the Cowman Triathlon; the British Middle Distance Triathlon Championships. Middle distance, or half ironman, comprises of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. Whatever happens, it’s a tough day out.
Anyway, it was an event that I’d had in the diary for a while; my brother and I sent our entries off together after a few beers at Christmas. Six months had passed and it was now time to put aside any doubts of not training enough and just get on with the job. It would also be my first event in the Go Lower Team Tiree kit; flying the colours for Tiree.
Sunday morning dawned at Emberton Country park; there was mist rising from the lake and the leaves on the trees were still. It looked like a great day for a race. We gathered our kit together and walked round to transition to set up.
About 800 bikes stood ready in transition and people were milling around in various states of preparation. The 6:30am start seemed a long way off but time passes very quickly and the queue for the porta loos is always very long.
6:30am came and the gun sounded and it was off around the 2 lap swim. Chaos at the first mark with the whole field bottle necked into a gap of about 10 metres. As time went on the field strung out and I settled into a steady pace without any problems. I came out of the swim in 33 minutes which was a few mins slower that I hoped for but glad to get out without having any problems.
A quick transition and out on the bike. More familiar ground now and felt totally up for it. It’s hard not to just burn it on the bike, the legs felt fresh and it’s tempting to go for it. The course was excellent with a few short climbs but otherwise very fast.
I finished the bike in 2hrs22 and managed to average 24mph which I’m really pleased with. My brother Henry was on a brand new bike and doing well a bit further back. He’d had a good swim and was steadily getting through the bike keeping the pace high.
Back into transition and on to the run. 4 laps of about 5km so looking at about 20 mins per lap. First lap felt dreadful, but managed 19mins which gave me a boost and I started to feel better and better as the run progressed. I came in to finish the run in 1hr20 which is a pb for me for the half marathon so delighted to do that in a triathlon. 4hrs22 overall and 5th in my age group. Henry came in not too long after and managed a total time for the day of under 5 hours.
So a great event and fantastic to share it with my brother who is now keen to get another middle distance under the belt and although he doesn’t know it yet I’m sure there’s an Ironman in the future for him too.
Next event: Scottish Cross Tri Champs down in the Borders at the end of July.