Haverhill Sprint Triathlon – Sunday 4th October by Simon

I packed everything in the car on Saturday night, ready for a 7.15am departure on Sunday morning. Arrive at Haverhill, find parking space, register, and then walk back to car. It’s not far from Sports Hall to car, but far enough for me to start thinking “Where’s my helmet?”. Confirmed – no helmet. Back to registration and Paula Tappin (wife of race director) says that she has a spare helmet at home and that someone could get it for me. Blag my way into transition without a helmet, where I’m told that they’re hiring helmets outside the front of the sports hall. Secure a helmet (phew) and back into transition – everything ready now. Thank you to Aero Cycles for supplying the fool with a helmet (I think I was the only one).

Swim went well, after the obligatory 1 1/4 hr wait, though having been called, the lane manager didn’t know which lane to put me in. I then swam the first 200m front crawl, having overtaken the two other people in my lane fairly early on, and then 200m breaststroke to finish. I was about to climb out when the lane counter said “2 to go”. My watch said 9 minutes, and 400m swum – I was convinced I’d done 16 lengths. But if I got out, would he flag up that 111 hadn’t done 16 lengths? Just get on with it, and swim two more – what’s 1 minute in the grand scheme of things? I also beached-whale out of the pool – that’s a very big lip on the Haverhill pool.

Arrive in transition after a nice call of “Well done Simon” from Liz W. Shortly after I arrive, so does 109, who incidentally was in the same lane as me in the pool. Mention to him that I thought I’d done 2 extra lengths, and he said that he felt he’d done that too! Clearly a dodgy lane counter.

Anyway, off onto bike, misjudge exit out of car park because my Garmin isn’t showing the right thing and my right foot won’t clip in to pedal properly, so go over the “spikes”, but tires survive. Finally get Garmin doing the right thing and am most of the way up the first hill before I at last get my foot clipped in properly. Up the second hill and Trevor zooms past (he who kept complaining when I mentioned it was hilly). I just didn’t seem to have the strength on the hills – disappointing. At one downhill followed by right turn I saw someone who looked a bit like Trevor with his bike upside down fixing a puncture, but clearly wasn’t since he (Trevor) was on the run before me. Reasonably happy with bike, but would have liked to have been a bit faster – not sure how I managed two laps last year!

Onto run, and 109 comes into transition shortly after me, and we leave again in that order. He had warned me before the start of the swim that the run was his strongest suit, and after I pick up some water he disappears into the distance and finishes with a run of about 21 minutes! I pause for a moment to drink some water, then am determined to set off and keep going. I meet Trevor and Steve before the first turnround point, and Josh just afterwards. I meet Trevor just before his finish again, and Steve a bit later, and then Josh after the second turnround point. Finally Josh manages to get past me and I try and keep up for a bit, but can’t quite manage it. Then it’s down the slope into the finish gate and Trevor is there amongst others cheering me on. Sprint finish and I’m done.

The support from team MTC was great, thank you. There was one other chap that was particularly friendly to me, offering encouragement, and he was just a youngster, competing in a grown-up event, and finishing 13th (sorry Josh). Curiously, I had noticed him earlier, as he was wearing a Walden Tri Jr suit on, and my friend’s children race for them too. I spoke to him afterwards (and his Dad), and he races against Charlie Stanton-Stock on a regular basis (in same age group).

Summary of results: Swim – 69th fastest, Bike – 68th fastest, Run – 73rd fastest, overall 71st. So fairly consistent across the disciplines, though would have been faster in the swim if I’d done 16 lengths, not 18. Run time was <30 minutes, so probably my fastest 5k in a triathlon, which I’m very happy with. I’ll probably be back next year as it’s a good way to end the season, and not very far.

Comments are closed.