It seems ages since I last raced, and a funny thought that the last one was in fact the European Championships in Athlone! This really was only a race pace training session for me, but as always, i want to do well, even if that is not supposed to be the focus!
I have never been to Barton-Under-Needword before, or even done ‘chaserace’ race before so i had no idea what to expect.
I was so laid back on the days running up to this race, I kept thinking there was something wrong here! The night before, I had all my stuff laid out in a matter of minutes (with the help of my ‘race equipment list’ on the computer!) and route planned – it seemed i had to get up at 4.45am! eeek! So, race morning, up at dawn! Hubby says i always get to races FAR too early, so this time we planned to ‘time it just right’ and get there at 6.45am, for an 8am start.
Clear roads got us there at the predicted time, Barton Marina being very easy to find thanks to my trust TOMTOM IPhone app! There only seemed to be a handful of people here. This race was going to be MUCH smaller than i was used to. It will make a nice change. 🙂
I had a quick look about, checked the bike into transition, sussed the layout, and was JUST in time for race briefing. this ‘time it right’ malarkey seemed all a but last minute’ to me! No time to recce the bike route, so that will be a nice surprise in store! First time i have done a race without driving the route first! Oh well. There were only 2 waves, newbies in the 1st, then everyone else. this was a bit odd, i wasnt used to racing in the same wave as the men! i am used to womens waves, and know where i will usually expect to be position wise in the swim – back of the front pack. So this time, i had no idea how i was doing! I felt like i was MILES back, and hoped all the people in front were men!!
Funny little lake, floaty gloopy algae type stuff, but was ok once we got away from the shore. nice little swim under a bridge and back, then out to T1. At one point before hand, we were wondering if we had to get out and dive in on the other side like the pro’s. Phew!! Reasonably smooth through T1, clocking a time of 58 secs, a PB there for me I think, and the first one under a minute.
The bike course had a few cheeky surprises in store for me. Having not driven round it, I had no idea what was round the next corner! There were a few steep decents with chevroned corners, turned out to be not that sharp, so had I know i would have stayed down on the tribars for sure. What goes down must go up, but being from the ‘rolling hills’ of Northamptonshire, nothing that i hadnt seen before. 🙂
Apart from a hairy scary moment on my return (where a newbie triathlete in front decided to overtake as well as undertake a car in Barton – Kamikaze i recon!) it all went pretty smoothly. Hubby, marshalling on the last roundabout almost didnt recognise me with my new pointy helmet but managed to get this picture as i passed him! i’m not sure how much different an aero helmet makes TBH, all I can say is the bike leg turned out ot be an OKish speed, but felt easy, whether theres something in that who knows. perhaps it means i can push just that fraction more?
, (it seemed to take for ever but it was only 41 secs) and runing. I had a real dilemma over shoes for this race. Having only worn the orthotics once, and still nursing the blisters, i wasnt sure if my feet were ready to race in them bare foot. I also have been nursing an injury, so wasnt sure whether to risk racing flats. Oh, what the heck. it dont matter does it, its a ‘race pace training session’ remember, so racing flats it was. I took the run steady, didnt know how the foot would perform. It niggles now from time to time, but on the whole was ok, and i can still walk afterwards, which is better than after Athlone, where i could hardly walk a step! So, test race out of the way, foot held up, that means i had better NOT chicken out of the run coach training session this week i guess?
Overall, 2nd in Age group, 8th woman overall. About what i had predicted. Lovely little race, well run, nice setting, great weather, and I would recommend it. I’m not sure why it struggles for competitors, it would be a great race for a newbie open water triathlete to do. A fun sunday out was had by all. 🙂