The first race is in the bag! It was good to get that out of the way, and great fun on a sunny day in Gloucestershire.
The TTG Gloucester Tri is a sprint distance race starting athletes off in a 25m pool at 1 minute intervals, so it feels like a time trial. It was a bit more like a time trial for me as I put the wrong predicted swim time down (clicking drop down boxes on the online entry thing) and started a little earlier than I normally would. Last year I fell in the pool at the start and lost a shoe from my bike running into transition, so this was a minor error in comparison.
The swim was fine. I started just as the slower swimmer in the lane came towards my end, and then had clear water for the full 400m. Stroke was fine, and I came out of the water under 5:40 without belting it. The transition run was fine, mount was clean and steady, and I got settled on the bike. High cadence, feel the effort, push the upslopes a little harder, and the second lap was a touch faster and harder than the first lap. The main short climb up Churchdown felt ridiculously easy this year, and I rode most of it in an aero position. I wondered after if I was a little too easy on the bike. My pacing tends to improve as the racing season progresses and I develop confidence in my fitness and feel. I got held up by a couple of cars (but no hay hauling tractor this year) and spent my laps overtaking cyclists.
T2 was also clean. I had a little bit of road furniture to get around in transition for both T1 and T2 but it was no buggy. Out of transition I went to grab a drink but the little girl only had empty cups! I started the run a wee bit too hard, aiming to run the 6km hard and to take advantage of the downhill section at the start. It was too hard because I stitched up my right side badly, and lost time even though I drove through it. Not much fun, but I only lost enough time to take me a little away from my target and not to affect the overall result.
When the stitch lifted after the first 1500m or so I felt pretty nice, and found my pace. The roads around Cheltenham & Gloucester are awful right now, so it was great to find that the run section was on some freshly laid tarmac. Smooth. The second lap was faster and I lifted my pace for the last 5 minutes to crash through the line and into the gate behind. A big effort.
It was enough for 2nd place overall, dropping down 1 place from last year. Good fun.
I’ve been doing this race for a few years so it’s also good to see continual progression. My times have been:
1:10:36, 1:10:02, 1:09:00, and (this year) 1:08:06.
That in itself is very satisfying.
Tri Team Glos – Gloucester Triathlon 2013