Haverhill Sprint Triathlon – Sunday 4th October by Trevor

Good start, managed to get up in good time and have breakfast! Taxi service arrived on time and we picked up Josh en route. Briefing stipulated we had to be out of transition by 8:45, which was fine but being a pool swim, meant we had to then wait an age for the individual start, in my case about an hour and a half and longer for the faster swimmers. Three to a lane, which I felt worked pretty well, toe tapping, pass at end etc. Exit was in the deep end with a significant raised lip to get out. I obviously hadn’t given this any thought, so rather ungainly managed to launch myself up and then belly flop onto the side, think David Attenborough wildlife programme with seals landing on the ice/rocks. Quickly regained my composure and walkout pool side, then run circa 100m into transition. Gated AstroTurf pitch, but sand was a bit of an issue and there was a material advantage for those on the front rack. As usual I put on a top, but T1 less than a minute, so pretty good for me.

Another reasonable run (clip clopping) before the bike mount and then out onto the roads. Simon had warned me, and the route map confirmed it, it was hilly. The map profile made it look worse than it really was, but I had memorised big hill to 2k, then a bit downhill, then another big hill to 5k…….then just undulating with some decent downhills. Number 118 passed me on the first hill…..bugger…..I’ll have him later. Passed Simon (resplendent in his green shorts) on the second hill and once topped out, tried to push on with the rest. Number 118 just kept about 50m ahead but I couldn’t seem to close him down. Joined the main road and started getting caught in traffic, both bikes and cars…….no 118 did some sneaky drafting behind a car, that was not on, so a bit of extra effort and I finally overtook him as we came close to Haverhill at about 20k. Couple of roundabouts and although I didn’t look round I’m pretty sure no 118 was now drafting me!

Back into transition and the Josh fan club was in full swing, including cow bells! Managed to try to go “in” the “out”, but welcome “encouragement” from David corrected my error. Bike racked, T2 in less than a minute.

Very short incline to join the old railway line and then off for 1.5k out and back and then a further 1k out and then back to the finish. No 118 must have overtaken me in transition, but quickly hauled in and he was finally history! Railway lines are flat, right? Well, not this one, nasty little hill at about 3.5k, really not a hill, more of an incline (think the Iron Bridge Hill at Wimpole Parkrun) but nevertheless very unwelcome! Crossed paths at various points with Simon, Steve and Josh, which created a bit of team spirit. Back to the finish with vocal support from MTC.

Overall, enjoyed the event. MTC team spirit was great and definitely made it more enjoyable. Wait pre swim was a pain, bike route was ok, a number of right turns and roundabouts, and although ultimately it is clearly my responsibility, it would have been nice to have a few shouts of “clear” etc before/as we went round or turned. Run route was a little uninteresting, but made bearable by seeing other MTC competitors.

Oh, and not forgetting Steve came first in the over 51’s and Josh was fastest swimmer.

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