Monday, 22 April 2013

Pendle Tri

Pendle triathlon on Sunday was my first UK triathlon of 2013. The weather forecast was terrible, 7°C, heavy rain and strong winds. Luckily this turned out to be inaccurate and it was really more like light rain and moderate winds. Even so, I laid out my bike jersey and gloves in transition- after Skipton, Wetherby and London triathlons last year I didn’t want to do another triathlon where I couldn’t feel my hands and feet.

The swim was a 750m pool swim, a bit unusual as normally sprint distance tri pool swims are only 400m but it suited me, as normally in an age group triathlon the swim ends up being my strongest discipline. There was a bit of a run up to transition, round the building, up a hill and round another building and my transition took a bit longer than normal as I put on my helmet, bike jersey, race belt and gloves!

Onto the bike and I was so glad to have my extra layers on, especially for the down-hills. The bike course was good, two laps of a hilly loop with marshals all the way around. I’m always reassured to see marshals in a non-drafting race as it makes it much fairer for everyone, discouraging some people from drafting. It was also reassuring to know I was going the right way.

The run course was also nice and very well marshalled. It was more like a cross country race than a normal triathlon run though as we ran through fields, over stiles, up hills, along farm tracks and along a canal towpath. The last kilometre felt much longer than a kilometre, so I was happy to see the finish line and collect my finisher’s Mars bar!

After a warm down jog, shower and change the presentations took place. I was 1st woman and 5th overall in 1.13.50, a time I was quite pleased with given the nature of the course. I was disappointed however that the men and women were given different prizes. Only the 1st woman won a prize while the top 3 men got prizes and only the 1st man and 1st local man won large shields.

Overall this was a great triathlon though, very well organised with interesting bike and run courses, especially if you like the hills!

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Endurancelife Coastal Trail Series: Sussex '10km'

Trying not to get stuck in the mud

On the 23rd March, along with a few friends (all past members of Durham University Athletics Club), I took part in the Sussex Coastal Trail Series ‘10km’. Well, it was called a 10km, but according to my Garmin it was 12.6km and I don't think I went too far off course!

Staying in a cottage in Rye for the weekend we decided to do something a bit active and enter a nearby race. Caroline, Lorna and I entered the '10km' while Andy was a bit braver and entered the half marathon. The race location, near Beachy Head, actually took us quite a while to get to travelling along the windy country roads. But we arrived just in time to register, hear half of the race briefing and do a quick warm up jog. Thanks to Lorna for taking my clothes back to the tent so I could get a good position on the start line! 

The course was great, very pretty scenery out along the coast, good running through some fields inland and then out and back along the coast in the opposite direction. I imagine it would look even nicer in the sunshine too!

I went into the lead after about 100m and managed to stay out in front all the way around. I was able to follow the route OK looking out for the red and white tape. The only negative was that when I reached the final checkpoint (where runners had to place an orienteering style chip into a dock before continuing) the marshal wasn’t ready for me. She didn’t have the docking station ready and she didn’t know which way to direct me home! I lost a bit of time here which was a bit frustrating as I could see a couple of men starting to catch me. Luckily I managed to get away before they caught me and held them off all the way to the finish line. It was quite a nice feeling to have beaten all the men. It was also great to find out that Andy had also won- in the half marathon.

On the way home
Following a warm down along the beach we enjoyed tea and scones at a wee cafĂ© down the road. We then headed back to the event for the prize giving. Unfortunately, just before the prizes were given out, Andy found out that he’d been disqualified for not carrying the correct equipment!

Past DUAC members: Caroline, Lorna, Seonaid & Andy
All in all though, we enjoyed the event and would love to go back to the area, especially when the sun’s shining. Interestingly, speaking to my parents later on I found out that Beachy Head was one of their favourite places to run when they lived in Eastbourne when I was a baby, so a nice coincidence that I had the chance to revisit.
Prize giving