MSTC welcome Leicester Tri as Sun Shines
46 athletes in total took part in the second MSTC Olympic Race, including 11 guests from Leicester Tri Club. It was a glorious day, probably about as perfect as it could be to race any triathlon. The lake was beautiful, the bike route challenging and the run route wet and muddy, so something for everyone!!
Setting everything up from scratch only caused a small delay and the race got underway about 7.45am, but not before the race briefing. Martin Shoesmith was very pleased he attended as he discovered the new relay rules might affect him. To keep everything fair the relay swimmer had to completely remove their wetsuit in T1 before tagging the cyclist. Unfortunately Martin likes that nice feel of rubber against his skin, and has recently been swimming 'commando' - luckily he had to time to rectify the situation without being DQ'd for being 'tackle out in transition!!!'
The standard at the front of the swim is almost unbelievable these days. Dave Gorley from Leicester was out in 22.43, almost 2 minutes ahead of Neil who was just seconds ahead of Phil Couch, Mat Record and Mark Jordan (who found Mat's feet and tickled them all the way round - so excellent drafting!) in 24.35 and all 39 starters were out of the lake in under 40 minutes. Fastest lady out of the water was Hazel in 27.25, with Rachel about a minute behind.
Most people got through T1 without incident, except Dave Lashbrook who lost his footing as he was running out with his bike and fell quite heavily. Remarkably he just got up, dusted himself down and carried on.
On the bike route 2 people punctured. Martin Sanwell was at least prepared and had all the kit with him. He lost a lot of time but still continued to race. Nick Deakin from Leicester punctured quite early, along Sunte Avenue, but did not have any kit with him. Fortunately a Good Samaritan was on hand in the form of Tim Cresswell, who gave him a spare tube and got him back on his way.
As any regular readers of my reports will know there are 2 things that are usually open to mocking and ridicule. One is way too long transitions (I can't criticize anyone today as we can't have transition splits) and the other is avoidable mechanical issues (usually Ant!). Ant was very quick to point out that he passed someone at the side of the road (as did about 10 others) in a black aero helmet trying to fix his Cervelo. Yes, that was me, and to make matters worse it was pretty much the same problem I had last year on the same circuit!! All I can say is that at least I had the problem this week so things should be fine for the big race next weekend - but it was still avoidable!!
As usual James had the fastest bike split, but he was only 23 seconds faster than Neil, and Dave Jones only one minute back, so both Neil and Dave kept ahead of James into T2, with Dave Gorley of Leicester just behind. Rachel overhauled Hazel to take the lead in the ladies race with Emma Tilbury from Leicester maintaining her 3rd place.
T2 was fairly uneventful and again we cannot have the time splits. The run however was quite interesting considering it is a fairly flat, accurately measured 10km. It was remarkably muddy which certainly slowed down the fast runners, although Neil still managed to break 40 minutes and 10 runners broke 45 minutes. The route was fairly straightforward - with 2 arrows and a giant yellow blob on the ground marking the turn point. Mike Jaffe did manage to miss all of this and carried on to check out the scenery round the next corner before he realized his mistake. He got it right on the second lap however! The deep mud pulled off one of Loz's shoes, but Rachel went one better by losing both.
In the end Neil won comfortably in 2.15.05 nearly 4 minutes clear of Dave Jones, who was a further 3 minutes clear of Dave Gorley, with James just seconds behind. Rachel had a comfortable win in the ladies race in spite of losing her shoes and finished about 4 minutes ahead of Hazel who was well clear of Lucy in 3rd.
Toby wrote a nice piece about his race so I have included it - thanks Toby
Hi Steve - here's some of my thoughts from the rear...
With two late night social events on both Friday and Saturday, hauling myself out of bed at 5.45 Sunday morning felt like a major challenge in itself. Ardingly reservoir, was stunning in the early morning light, mist hanging over the water, geese flying overhead and the rising sun glinting off an intimidating array of bikes which made the Tour de France look positively stone age. It was reassuring to chat with a couple of other relative newbies and find them equally daunted by the task ahead. But the relaxed briefing and friendly vibe helped steady the nerves and soon enough we're in the water and off.
I had a bit of a panicky moment during an open water swim recently, and have learnt to take it slow and steady, concentrating on my stroke, conserving energy and making sure I don't get out of breath. This works well except for the minor problem that it means I end up going rather slowly. I'm one of the last out the water. Never mind I am feeling good and have only lost a few minutes...I can catch up on the bike. I set off in a group of four, all fairly close together. But fairly quickly the other three start to move away from me. Bugger. I know the first part of the bike route is mostly uphill, having ridden part of it recently in training. So I was happy to push fairly hard (for me), looking forward to the second part of the course, which I logically assumed would be mostly downhill. Oh dear. I don't really understand the physics involved but somehow the route managed to be mostly uphill all the way round. Luckily I managed to get myself into a nice little battle with another rider (sorry didn't get your name) which helped push me along. Unluckily this meant I hadn't conserved any energy for the final challenge (and my triathlon nemesis). The run.
I'm a crap enough runner at the best of times and even the (greatly appreciated) gentle encouragement of Alan and Margaret during Thursday night's winter training haven't turned me into anything more than a steady plodder. Never mind - it's a nice flat route isn't it? Oh dear again. Mud. The course (out and back twice) was nicely designed to let me see all the front runners sprinting impressively towards the finish, as I'm just setting out. Anybody I had managed to pass on the bike came past me fairly quickly on the run and I just had to revert to my usual triathlon run tactic. Try and keep moving, attempt to take on gels without throwing up and don't think about how far I still have to go. I had set some target times for myself, but with the hills and mud these were quickly out of the window and I was just aiming to finish! Special thanks to Steve Mcmenamin for telling me I was 'looking good' as I started my (fairly lonely by now) second lap. Obviously complete bollocks, I looked and felt like shit at that point, but it was said with a smile and every little bit helps! In the end I was quite a bit slower than I'd hoped, but hey, this is a long term project for me. Incremental improvement is my aim. Just wait and see what I can do in 2017...
Good to see my fellow newcomer Julie coming in behind me to complete her first Olympic distance. I suspect without the problem she'd had with her knee she may well have caught me on the run!
Thanks to Steve Alden and others that organized the event. I really enjoyed it. Mostly. It's great to be in a club that manages to mix friendly encouragement for the part timers like me with some very serious, competitive and inspirational performances from the front runners.
Once the race was over we had a glorious day to enjoy a BBQ with all the team from Leicester. The new Inter Club Challenge was won comfortably by MSTC - although I don't think anyone apart from Steve Mac knew there was a trophy! It was great to make friends with other triathletes and hopefully this may form a pattern for the future.
|Andy Jenkins Pete Harris Fiona Bussell||00:29:40||01:17:08||00:43:42||23||02:30:30||T1|
|Martin Shoesmith & Steve Crocker||00:29:27||01:22:21||00:45:33||33||02:37:21||T2|
|Mark Jordan & Callum Murray||00:24:35||02:08:58||00:48:36||5||03:22:09||T3|
|Julie Williams Tim Cresswell Kay MacMenamin||00:35:33||01:55:19||01:00:58||9||03:31:50||T4|
|Vicky and Elly||00:28:57||02:05:19||00:00:00||30||00:00:00|