Race Report - Halesowen Sprint 2017
The Start of the race season
The Halesowen Triathlon has been my season opener for the past four years, a nice local sprint race, organised and run by the Halesowen Triathlon Club.
Again this year, I was joined by fellow Triathlete Scott, who has been seriously training and might just take away my unbeaten record!
Learning from past races
Last year there was a cock up with the race pack which meant that I ended up doing a different, longer and hillier bike route!
Again this year, there was no race briefing, which is very odd, but the race pack seemed to be clearer this year. The only change from last years race, was that the swim starts and ends from the shallow end of the pool, which means that there is a long slow walk (you get disqualified if you run) from the pool exit, around the outside of the pool, then out the fire door to transition. I can only think they changed this because people may have had difficulty hauling themselves out of the deep end.
PREPARATION (or lack of)
Recently, my race preparation has been lacking. I haven't really swam since August and I have hardly done any real cycling, certainly nothing that any triathlete would consider as training.
Racking was a bit of a disaster too, I forgot to bring elastic bands for my shoes (luckily my wife pointed out I have spares in the van) I forgot to put my bike into a low gear (until Scott pointed it out) I need to sort myself out for my next race, I know this is supposed to be fun, but there is no excuse for this amount laziness.
never do anything new on race day
Wise words, shame I didn't follow them!
So, getting all my excuses in :p
- Racing in a new TriSuit (review coming soon).
- Not taking any food or drink during the race.
- No tech, no computers what-so-ever.
- New Stem on the bike with a much lower stack height.
So, with a general lack or preparation and motivation, on to the race!
the swim - 00:08:16
With a lack of training, the swim wasn't going to go well, but, its only 400m, so it can't be that bad! can it?
Ouch, it was bad, from lap one I was knackered! my arms and legs were all over the place and as expected, Scott sailed past me, he has come along way since last year.
I didn't push, but I don't think I could have made any difference in such a short swim anyway.
Flopped out the pool and shuffled out to T1.
00:08:16 this year, 00:07:24 last year :(
Out to transition with Scott nipping at my heels. Race number on, grab helmet and bugger! The visor isn't connected fully! Quickly fix that and grab the bike.
Running out of T1 to the mount line and the lack of preparation strikes again, I totally fluffed the mount.
the Cycle - 00:50:47
Unlike last year, I used my TT bike and for some reason I had decided to race Zipp 808's front and back, It was going to be an interesting ride.
Up the hill, round the first corner and I only managed to get one foot in my shoes, before I had to stop at the first set of traffic lights. I had to wait with my "wrong" foot on the floor and my shoe still clipped in. In hindsight, I should have uclipped my right shoe and used the time waiting to get my foot into my left shoe. At this point, I was already regretting not bringing a drink!
The rest of the ride was hard! Harder than it should have been, I had no speed and the 808's were really twitchy, sucking away any confidence of safely holding any speed. To make matters worse, my base bar was loose! so every bump or rough piece of road caused my handle bars to dip down at the front, not great at speed and I had to keep pulling it back straight. I've ordered some carbon joint compound.
I even had an argument with a woman on a horse, I crested a hill to see a wild horse that was all over the road, so I went to the opposite side of the road, as far as I could go, even peddling gently so that my rear wheel wasn't freewheeling and I could be as quiet as possible. But, I still got shouted at "SLOW DOWN PASSING HORSES" what? slow? that's all I've been on this ride.
Thankfully, the end of the ride was near, I rounded the finally corner to be confronted with two cars across the road! and to make matters worse, at this point, I was PASSED BY SCOTT!
2 - 00:00:37
Dismount disaster and I couldn't get my running shoes on, garrr...
the Run - 00:20:41
Onto the run! and with Scott ahead of me, this means he's one minute in the lead! Can I pull back one minute?
I pass him down the hill, conscious that I need to pace myself carefully, but, the lack of any brick sessions (or training) and I got cramp in both calves. At this point I was once again passed by Scott. For the rest of the run, we were together, occasionally swapping positions until the last few kilometres, when I thought I might as well push it on the down hill. I was in front, but still a minute down.
The last 100 meters is all up hill and half way up that hill, I heard the crowd starting to cheer, Scott was just behind me and had started to sprint! I tried to push, but it was too late. I was beaten!
Excuses aside, I was beaten fair and square and I was really pleased for both of us. I was happy for Scott, especially after all his injuries and my constant piss taking and I was both disappointed and pleased with my performance. Disappointed by my lack of commitment, but happy with the kick in the backside I needed.
With a total time of 01:20:30, it was actually quicker than last year!
I finished 16th overall and 6th in my age group out of 126 competitors
Not bad I suppose, but it could have been better.
The Worst pre race breakfast ever
thick slices of olive bread, cheese, chicken pate, pork, honey peanut butter, goat butter!
2 cups of coffee.
- 800ml water with hornet juice
- Zero during the race
- Ashmei TriSuit
- Zoggs Predator Flex
- Cervelo P3, Zipp 808 front and back
- Rudy Project Wing57 helmet
- Bodged Specialized bike shoes
- Newton TriRacer
- Blue Seventy race belt
Photos by Aniko Towers