Newmarket Triathlon – 15th May 2016 by Simon

13320821_10154201036288698_6289367850469707827_oThe day started well, as I didn’t need to scrape the ice off the car this time. Rhyan later tells me that they did, and my car thermometer says 1°C as I’m driving. But I’m listening to the Wombles for inspiration, so all is well, with one line sticking in my mind, “I may be fat but I’m going to be big some day!” – but maybe I will need to employ David’s tactic and just grow old.

Check in, to find transition still being built, but Caroline has also turned up. Not much later Rhyan and Katherine appear with Hannah and Oliver plus some parents to do the child minding. Brave kids for getting up that early – mine weren’t prepared to! Soon transition is open and everyone starts racking their bikes. No numbered slots again, so take your pick. I end up near Caroline, and other MTC people are well spread out. Katherine looks me up and down and says “I assume that you will transform into a triathlete at some stage”, but I was quite happy in my jumper and trousers – still quite chilly.

And then it’s race brief and very soon they’re off. And unlike Walden there isn’t hours to wait, just 30 minutes – just enough time to cheer Frida and David on for their swim and very soon it’s my turn, with Kevin starting 1 minute before me, and Rhyan and Steve M 30s and 1m behind me I felt under some pressure. But the swim went well and no-one overtook me. As I entered transition the PA said “and here’s Simon Brown, number 78, from Meridian Triathlon Club, and here’s 80 – Steve Merchant, also Meridian – I think there’s some sort of competition here, and 79 Rhyan Probert, ALSO Meridian…”

I had two firsts this time in transition, 1) no socks, and 2) no shirt. Made transition much faster, but nowhere near Caroline’s times. I also squirted a gel in as I had none on my bike. Quickly onto bike and got into my rhythm fairly quickly only to get some evil hill. Having survived that managed to get back into a good rhythm and was very happy with my speed. Rhyan passed me on the first lap, and Steve on the second, but still good. I see David and Katherine as the end of the bike course overlaps with the run course and give them a cheer. And Kevin too. Then I get a huge “come on” from Trevor and encouragement from Liz during transition.

Finally onto the run, and my legs felt like lead. My feet felt so flat and I felt very ploddy, but kept going. A little burst of speed when Graham roars my name and soon lap 1 was over and lap 2 went much better. Got passed by someone near the end and I almost caught her with my sprint.
A lovely course, lots of friendly faces, lots of support and perfect weather. Very enjoyable. The no socks seemed to work but toes got a bit cold on the bike. No shirt was fine too, but I need to sort my gels out if I don’t have my cycling shirt.

As for time – I was a bit ambivalent at the finish, hadn’t done this before and so nothing to compare. Also my run time was 21:45 which seemed slow. But on the drive home I worked out that 4km in my usual 6min/km would be 24 minutes, so actually very happy that I did better than 5:30/km.
6:29 for swim was exactly what I predicted, and 47:05 for bike was good. Total of 1:18:06 put me 101st overall. Shame I wasn’t on the front page of results but very happy nonetheless.

Two more appropriate quotes from Wombles lyrics to close: “Just look at the Womble lifeguard as he flexes his physique.” and “Up in the morning for a 5 mile run, down to the river for a swim…exercise is good for you, laziness is not” – so they did duathlons!

The only question that remains is whether to repeat it in September.

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