Sunday saw me take on the Marshman Middle Distance Triathlon based down in the Romney Marshes around Lydd in Kent. Set up as a staging event for those doing a summer IM it is almost exactly 8 weeks before IMA which is ideal if you follow the Friel 30 week IM plan (not that I do). Still it is a good event and a perfect run out to see how my training is going. I did it last year and it was a bit basic and more like an old school race and none to bad for that.
So i rocked up at 06:00 to register and found that my race registration had gone missing..... seems like I forgot to do it! No worries they had a few late withdrawals and I was given a slot in the third wave of the race.
The Race Director had heated the water in the watersports lake to a balmy 17 degrees compared to the chilly 12 of last year, and with minimal fuss we were off. I sprinted the first 20 strokes as normal expecting a bit of bumping but soon realised that the groups had been seeded (effectively) by swim time. So for the first time ever I lead the swim!! After about 600m I started catching some slower swimmers from the group ahead (who perhaps had been more aspirational in the expected swim times). The swim went steady and in the final third I started to catch up with the middle of the pack of the field ahead. Most of them seemed a bit surprised to have me cruising past but it gave me great motivation in the last few 100 metres; Time was 31.06 (32) slower than last year but I think the swim was longer.
T1 was a mess, I was not at all prepared and it showed. Mind you I felt calm and when I realised i had lost my racing chip I spent a good minute looking for and finding it among the mess of my wetsuit.
Out onto the Bike which is Flat Fast and Windy. I was soon passing riders at regular intervals and reeling them all in. I was not passed the whole ride and picked up a few pacers who hung onto me with varying degrees of success. I felt strong most of the way but lacked a bit in the the third quarter of the bike, but picked up in the last quarter. Time was 2.29.41 (17) new pb.
T2 was a bit more successful but still managed to lose about 200 yds on a Belgian guy who had been pacing with me during the bike... annoying and again I think I was a bit dazed but none to bad really.
Out on the run I had my Belgian mate to chase down, and was motivated by his comment as he passed me in transition, "Now we see how well you can run".
It took me about a mile and a half to close the 200 yards, my HR was way up but my runs always start so no surprise there. when I caught up with this guy I had a quick chat, noted his Im gear and established we are both doing IMA this year. After a minute or so I started to chase the next runner and so on. It felt too easy but I had the speed and I was not gonna waste it.
The only person in the race to pass me came by at mile 10, he went on to run a 1.27 HM but I hung with him for a mile or so then backed of cause it was hurting too much. I told myself that if this was my A race I could have stayed with him for the last 3 miles, not sure it was true but this was not the day to use up those mental reserves.. and probably I went a it far into the red as the run was quite hard for the last mile or so but my pace did not drop dramatically.
I finished by passing one more runner with 200 metres to go. Time was 1.33.22 (new pb) for the run and a finish of 4.39.36 also a new pb. Confident I had at least 2 minutes to shave of my transitions (and clearly something to focus on) all in all a very satisfying day out. Overall I was 19th and first Veteran home (over 40 and first in my AG.
Nex event will help to sort out my bike which will see me doing the Tour of Wessex whilst I boost my run volume to try and keep the speed for the more challenging IM marathons to come.