ITU Leeds Standard Distance – 12th June 2016 by Alice

Well, I think you probably all gathered that the event wasn’t the best run event:

Very late athlete guides coming out.
The split transition (4.6km apart), which required 2 different bags plus another bag for non-racing kit.
The non-delivery of the athlete’s bag and T1 bag back to the start for some athletes.
The long (1km) total T1 run distance.
Bike mount at the bottom of a hill.
The muddy T1.
The rough T2.
The poor signage on the route and for transition in/outs.
The lack of loos.
The lack of shuttle buses and the extra cost of these.
The poor exit at the finish across the run route.
The 5 lap run route.

However, there were positives….
Meridian athletes negotiating the pre-race faff together
Anna and her selfie stick!
Simon’s Sunday hat
Good food
Great company
Lovely lake swim
Good race weather
Good support and cheering

A group of us from the club went and tackled the half-day required for set-up and registration together and had a laugh doing so. We had a lovely meal together the evening before and lots of laughs. The support around the course (bike and run) was fantastic – a great atmosphere. Seeing the elites was the icing on the cake (I want to run like them).

The lake swim was lovely and a great setting for a triathlon. Waves went off 3 minutes apart , so we did catch up with the slower swimmers from the first wave and then at the end some of the faster swimmers from the wave behind us caught up with me but it wasn’t a rough swim at all. Not so keen on the 400-500m run up a hill to T1. Thank goodness we were in an early wave so that T1 wasn’t too muddy for us. Normally I have shoes on the bike but due to having to start the bike at the bottom of the hill I thought it better to have shoes on already, so…bike and shoes out of T1 bag and put them on. Wetsuit and goggles into T1 bag.

Run with bag an13443026_10157003741935471_1458911252397298523_od bike downhill for at least 500m (in cleated shoes). Onto bike, straight up a sharp hill and then onto a mainly downhill first section. Once in town, turnaround and back up the same hills you’ve just hurtled down at 50kmph and then turnaround again and back downhill to T2. I enjoyed the bike section as it was fast and quite technical. T2 was a unmade car park, so very rough ground with stones and goodness what else. Rack bike and take run kit out of T2 bag, put bike kit into bag. Off to the run. Note: toes have been replaced with ice cubes.

A 5 lap route round the city centre. Up and down hills and tight turnarounds. At around 3km I think there’s something in right shoe – take it off and check – no, just cold toes (lose some time there). At 4.6km I could feel pain in my right knee, stop and stretch. A little later I feel sharp pains in left toes, like stones or glass digging in – left shoe off – no, just cold toes (lose more time). Knee pain gone but calf cramping – stop and stretch – at water stop pour water on calf to see if that helps. Consider stopping but decide to manage the pain! Final lap started and there is light at the end of the tunnel – in pain and knackered but limp to the finish line and thank God that it’s over!

Pleased with swim, pleased with bike, not happy with run but overall can’t complain. There is work to be done on the run. Must also learn to either put up with cold toes or put socks on for longer races (bet you never thought you’d hear me say that!).

Would I do it again? Not at Leeds but if it goes back to Hyde Park then yes.

Finish time: 2:42:07


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