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Swashbuckler Half IM

Swashbuckler Half IM

Its 03:00 pitch black and raining and I am trying to eat porridge... Have I gone mad or am I in a nightmare? No Claire talked me into doing Swashbuckler half IM with a start time 05:15 in all my years I have never checked the start time of a race when booking. That has changed now.


 

04:00 racking bikes.

Its pitch black and still raining, there's no flood lights and we don't have a torch so we leave the bikes in transition and go back to the car for a power nap. 04:30 Dawn back to transition (still raining) and set up, things are better now.


 

05;15 (apparently it has to be this early to get the slack water)

A deep water start with a very nice wide start and the water is lovely. Unfortunately no slack water but the current is not too strong. Two loops up and down stream, people were moaning after about the strength of the current but I did not notice it , I was about a minute slower than expected but I did find some feet to draft off so that helped, apparently the current got stronger the more time that went on. Feel sorry for the Ladies then as they started 5-10 mins behind the men.

 

Out of the water in a little over 30mins and a 400m uphill slog to T2. Biked out all going well. The bike route is great, although there was a mighty head wind, flat and fast with the obstacles of deer, cows and horses to keep you alert. Uneventful ride except being distracted by the foals playing and having to slalom my way through a herd of cows which was fun.


 

2hrs 28mins as the bike was only 50 miles but that's my day done this was only ever going to be a aquabike for me. There is a great sense of relief when you know you don't have to go out on the run.


 

I change and realise it's only 08:30 and on to join Kay and Tim in supporting Claire and a friend of mine from the midlands who I talked into doing this race.

Overall I really liked this race stunning surroundings and what can be a quick course so don't let the start time put you off.

 


Claire's thoughts:

I thought that on reflection ....as it didn't continue to rain and that there were some bright skies later on that its good to still be friends.... which is asking a lot when it was a 3 'clock start to the day, a power nap of ten minutes in the car after a quick drop off of bike in the wet dark un lit transition. The race itself went well'ish I made lots of silly mistakes that included getting lost as we racked up in the dark and then i ran the wrong way out of T2 and had to run down the hill and back up. I did a pb of 37 minutes - but it was a battle of being very tired after the sprint the week before and an Olympic with two week training camp at club la Santa... anyway its all done and dusted and now i only have to panic about the IM in 6 weeks.

 


Photos are in the photo section

The Marshman middle distance tri race report

Realizing I'll need to get up at 3.00am to get to Lydd for the 5.00am registration was a schock.

Getting there at 5.30am would have been enough. Started at 7.00am in the first swim wave.

 

Only 200 competitors overall in 3 waves. Thought I started at the very back, still got swum over twice. Not nice.

 

When I registered for this one last year had to give my 1000m pool time,

I was a better swimmer then but just started out with cycling. They put me into the first wave.

 

I got slower in the pool since then, because I cycle instead.

Everybody dashed off from the start as expected, there were some under 30 minutes times.

 

Couldn't stay on good feet, just swum on my own. Hence the slow time, 36.15. It was still a comfortable, pleasant swim.

 

I need some work on transitions, for sure. This was my first tri,  6.15 and 6.52 still seems very slow.

I felt soooo organised. The only glitch was I forgot to remove the rain coat from my cycling top,

run back when realized it was bouncing too much. 

There really wasn't too much distance to cover, it was all me.

Heavy rain was the forecast but it was dry and ideal conditions if a bit windy. I guess it's the location.

 

Bike was uneventful and pancake flat. There were only signs if the route went off the main road, I felt bad because of it several times but didn't go astray.

 

3.32 is actually a good time for me, I'm so weak on the bike. Can't even put my bottle back without stopping and putting the feet actually down though I'm practicing this a lot. Fast course, ideal for tri bars, which I've got but can't use, it feels so unsafe for me. It still holds one of my bottle, very useful, see above.

 

The run was on a nice course, very bad signage here. I think it was a problem even last year, I can't understand how could they not fix this. The event is in it's third year, btw. Actually run through two marshalls busy talking, then realized a minute later I've gone astray, turned back, asked them which way, also why didn't they told me earlier.

 

They told me they haven't thought I was in the race. Huhhh.

2.29 was what I expected. 6.50.44 overall, not dead last but very close.

 

I've only had two short runs in the last month, and around 20 runs overall in this year. This included a half, a 20miler and a full, the rest were short runs/bricks. You can't run much better than you've trained for.

 

Last year I've run much more, this year I've injured my knee several times from cycling with too low cadence. I've sorted this out a little bit late (last month) for my IM in July, let's hope not too late...

 

Had a good stretch and a dip afterwards in the lake (icebath), I believe this is why I feel so well today. Muscle soreness only in biceps, well, I think I must be a bit outstretched on my 56" bike.

 

Tried out planned  IM nutrition, ate solids and generally more on the bike than would have been needed for the half. Seemed OK.

 

All in all a reasonable event , very fast course with some bad signage.

Lack of hills is good if you're after a PB, not so if you're in training for a hilly IM. 

We hadn't got a number to call in case of mechanical problems.

There were marshalls on mopeds and  marshalls at roundabouts.

Registration, transition, start and finish went smoothly.

 

Kate Walch