Newmarket Triathlon – 15th May 2016 by Caroline

Race Report for Newmarket Triathlon 2016

This was the second year that I had entered this event so it was a good opportunity to compare my times to last year and see how I was getting on with all the training I have been doing. It is a pool swim (300m), 22K cycle and 4K run so a nice short distance to enjoy.

As usual, I forgot that there is no traffic at 5.45 in the morning so got to the Leisure Centre early whilst they were still setting up. Saying that, I much prefer being early than flapping at being late (been there..done that) so it gave me a chance to check out the pool, pick up bag and sort out transition. Last year I managed to run straight past my bike even though it was right outside the door from the swimming pool so this time I decided to rack near the bike exit/entrance which worked much better.

Other club members arrived and it was so good to have other people round that you know and can chat to before the event. The time passed quickly and before we knew it, it was the race briefing followed by swimmers starting at 8am. Unlike Saffron Walden, there was no waiting around as they run the swim differently. 12 lengths where you enter at the shallow end and swim up and back, then under the lane dividers and carry on across the pool. Each swimmer is set off at 30 seconds apart with the slowest going first.

I had put down 7:40 as my swim time – this was based on last year’s time of 7:49. As the day approached I realised that I was capable of faster but didn’t really considering contacting them to change my entry time. On reflection – maybe I should of as when I was waiting to go I realised that the ladies ahead of me were probably going to be a fair bit slower (not being disrespectable – one was doing head up breastroke and the other woman told me beforehand “oh..I over estimated my swim time by a lot so you will have to pass me!”)

Anyway, my heart was banging away as usual but once I started swimming it was OK and I settled down. I caught up 2 ladies by length 4 I think it was, thankfully they were both already at one end so I got past with no issues. I then caught up another lady with about quarter of a length until I could get past her at the end. Saying that, I then had the last three lengths to myself it seemed and before I knew it I was out and out of the door.

Swim time – last year:- 7:49, this year :- 7:20. Horray! All that practice is working…but I know I can get a lot closer to 7 in training so work to be done.

T1: last year: 1:07, this year: – 0:44 – BOOM! How did that happen? I even got 1st in my age group for it! OK…would be much better to get that position in the swim, bike or run but hey…a girl will take any 1st place she can!

Then onto the bike – my favourite bit! The route is bike heaven in some respects…long straight roads and today there was no wind so a perfect opportunity to use the newly installed tri bars. And what fun it was! I noticed that after I settled onto them my breathing settled down despite going at a speedy (for me) pace. I was determined to beat my time from last year so kept an eye on the average pace which needed to be over 16.8mph (think I ended up with 17.6mph) Passed a chap doing frantic bike repair with a marshal (later saw the same bloke running with his bike towards transition on his clip clop shoes – he was not having a good day). I was very lucky that I didn’t get stuck at any of the foot down points – there was a fair bit of traffic around but it wasn’t a problem.

Heading back towards the leisure centre, I got my feet out of the shoes. Did it a bit early to be honest and faffed around a bit so still need practice on that but it worked well.

Bike: last year:- 00:49:01 this year:- 00:46:18. ROOOOAAARRRR!

T2: last year: 0:54, this year: 0:44

Finally onto the run – I knew this wouldn’t be as good as last year as I am not quite up to the speed I was a year ago. Had a good run though and it was so great hearing support from the club members who had cycled to support – made a big difference as I headed off for the second lap. Managed a sprint finish and it was all done!

Run: last year:- 22:16 this year:- 23:15. So work to be done on that front…which is why I have joined Royston Runners!

Overall: last year:- 01:21:06 this year:- 01:18:22. A good chunk off such a short race I think.

Very pleased with my progress and pleased that my training is paying off (you do start to wonder after a while if it is!). It was a great event blessed with good weather. Very well organized and a lovely atmosphere for new comers through to more experienced triathletes. I’ll be back next year!

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