|After swimming, riding and running come the hugs|
Once again this had been a 5am wake up call and the girls were half asleep when we got to Tonbridge school. Sonia and the girls usually stay in the car sleeping or watching a movie while I check-in so this was not different from any other race. I get the bike and gear out of the GL head out to the check in area. As I approach the school, I was really impressed by the facilities. OMG, these guys had a tarmac track and an amazing indoor swimming pool with incredible facilities. Great facilities which reminded me of my high school years in the USA.
After check-in I head out to the transition zone and we were already seeing some of the earlier start guys heading out of T1 with the bikes. Loads of Tri club jerseys mean there were supposed to be some fast people around. Oh well... I was there to have fun. I hit the water and did my lengths in 10 minutes, which was my best time at 10m:34s.
Out of the pool, T1, gel down and up on the bike... I was in for a big surprise on the course. As soon as I get out on the road and follow the signs I notice the incline ahead of me. These were probably the hardest 25kms I ever did on a bike. We had 34mph side winds and crazy inclines on the course. It was a mean course which felt long as hell due to the low number of participants, compared to thames turbo or Hever castle which have about 3 times as more participants.
I finally get back to T2 and I quickly (yeah right....2m:09s) get my running shoes on and sprint out to the course. It was a great course which was very easy on the knees due to the grass field. I chased about 4 people and got passed by two on the run, and as I entered the track course for the final two laps I could see my angels waving and waiting for me. "Go daddy, go daddy" was all I coud hear when I went by them and on the final sprint I had Sofia trying to chase me down the track. Both my angels gave me the biggest hug a daddy could wish for as I asked "who won the race? Who won it?", and they obviously said "You did daddy!" :)
Category Position: 74
Thames Turbo Race 1 - April 2011
I was barely able to get any sleep as this was my first triathlon of the year. I was up and out of the bed at 4:30 and I was hoping we could get out of the house by 5am. I had already placed all my gear in the car the night before so it was a matter of getting the girls out of bed and basically put them in the car as they were, pyjamas on and everything. We got out of the house at roughly 5:10am and go to the venue with about 10 minutes to spare before check-in closed at 6am.This was my second Thames Turbo so I was a bit more confident than last year and I was hoping for a faster time as well. I checked in fine and after the briefing I proceeded to rack my bike and get my transition zone ready. These triathlons are very well organised and this time around they even had port-a-loos outside the main entrance to avoid the huge lines we had last year. If you were there you must have seen the huuggggeee lines!
I hit the water hard and for the first 5 lenghts I did not stop, although I felt my lack of swimming shape from then onwards. I must have passed about 5 people and there were two guys who passed me before I finished. It was when I was going for my last couple of lanes that I heard Sonia and the girls shouting "go daddy, go daddy" which obviously gave me an additional boost for that final swim sprint.
I got out of the water and into T1 quite pumped and after I sucked my energy gel down I hit the bike course. I gave it my all and I was very pleased to see that within the first 5km I must have passed about 10 people who I had seen start before me on the swimming pool. I was very confident about my bike leg and gave it 150% all the way. So much so that only one of the pro guys passed me, unlike my first Thames Turbo race.
T2 was soon around the corner and on these races you have a 7 minute no racing time between a timer and bike dismount. During these 7 minutes we usually take a bit of a break but I was cramping so much that I was just trying to stand on my cramping leg to make it go away. I was in serious pain and did now know if I was going to me able to do the run.
After passing the bike dismount zone, I started feeling a bit better and on exiting T2 I decided to just push it for the final 5km. I took my gel and after a short spring out of T2 I get on the course trying to chase a couple of apparently slower runners ahead of me. I used them as a "target" and it helped me step up my pace, which I had set up on my 310XT as 4m:35s/Km.
As always, the final Km was the hardest and I just wanted it all to finish. I chased and passed about 5 people and got passed by 2 pros. As I reached the finish line I could see the crowd and I was obviously looking for my daughters and wife amongst the people. I saw my little angels once again cheering me on as I yelled my number for the final time station at the line. It had a been a great race and I was adamant I had shaved at least 10 minutes from last year's time.
Later that afternoon, after a lovely lunch and day out with Nick, Manjula, Gillian, Garreth and all the kids, I checked the website and to my disappointment I had only shaved 3 minutes...3 minutes from my previous participation. Not a good result, really as I was counting on close to 1:10 or 1:15. Oh well, I will have to come back and try to get under 1:15 next time. Let's wait and see when I can do that.
426m Swim: 13:03 Overall Rank: 363 Category Rank: 116
20Km Bike: 44:00 Overall Rank: 291 Category Rank: 101
5Km Run: 24:47 Overall Rank: 232 Category Rank: 89
Kingston Wholefoods 8 Mile Run - March 2011
Winter Ballbuster - November 2010
Hever Castle - September 2010
Thames Turbo Race 4 - August 2010