There were a couple big races over the weekend. The most important being the Cotswold Classic Middle Distance Triathlon and the lesser of the two being the ITU World Championship Grand Final from Edmonton, Canada.
The elite women’s highlights from Edmonton…
It was an early start in the Cotswolds on Sunday with the LFTC crew all starting in wave one. We hit the water at 6:30am. I was lucky to get on the feet of a small group that knew where they were going because once I hit the water I realised the map of the swim course I had in my head was different to the course in the lake. I am pretty sure I caught a couple of glimpses of Parksy’s henna dyed beard as we made our way around the boats in perfect conditions. Guy was first out of the water from LFTC followed by me and then Parksy. We all hit T1 at the same time but Guy was very slick through transition and was off down the road in very quick time. Parksy and I took turns at the front and caught Guy about halfway through the first lap of the bike. James Ralph caught the three of us a little later on the first lap. He had done well to make up for a minute and a half deficit after the swim.
The four of us, along with three other athletes, stayed together for the remainder of the bike before getting separated slightly as we neared T2. Unfortunately I got a little held up and by the time I hit T2 Ralphy was already gone. Guy was squeezing himself into his shoes and unfortunately Parksy had to pull out due to an injury he had going into the race that would prevent him from running. He has bigger fish to fry with the ETU Middle Distance Triathlon Championships coming up in October. I had to stop for a pee that Austin Powers would have been proud of followed shortly by a vomit in the bushes while trying to maintain at least some forward momentum. I didn’t see Ralphy again, he finished in 4:18:31 to take 11th overall and 2nd in his age group.
I managed to catch up to Guy on the third lap of the run. At this stage I was feeling pretty low on gas as I had managed to only drink one of my bottles on the bike and had not been able to eat anything except a couple of gels on the first two laps of the run. With two miles to go Guy put the hammer down and the elastic broke. He gave me the perfect excuse to back off when he asked ‘Who are you going to be, Dave Scott or Mark Allen?’ I chose Dave Scott. The Macca style mind games worked! Actually I think Guy just wanted an epic battle to the end but unfortunately I took it differently. Guy finished 13th overall and 3rd in his age group with a solid 4:19:38. After cursing myself for not being tough enough to stay with Guy I tried to lift the pace a bit to the finish and crossed the line 15th, 2nd in my age group, in 4:20:23. On Monday, as I sat on the train back to London, I downloaded a book on mental toughness!
The elite men’s highlights from Edmonton…
Ruth Ashton was 10th female and 4th in her age group with a 4:52:21. Sarah Allen had a great swim and bike in only her second middle distance triathlon. Unfortunately a calf injury prevented her from finishing. Had Parksy and Sarah managed to get through the run I am pretty confident we would have had another two podium places. Congratulations to all those who took part, especially those of you racing over this distance for the first time, nice work!
See you in a few weeks, Tim (LFTC Coach).