Friday, 7 September 2012

Kinetica Gower Sprint Triathlon - Race Report

This is the first time I've swam down Port Eynon so I was looking forward to this race, even though it was another early start. It looked like the sun was going to come out and stay out for the race, so that was great to see, more fair weather racing for me.

After not registering the night before we had to stop on the route to get checked off and this is where I had missed something the night before when packing my race kit. I forgot my bloody race belt. Not to worry, I did ask other club members if they had a spare one, no one had one (I dont pack a spare)so I got on with pinning the numbers to my race kit.

Transition looked pretty empty when I turned up, I though the race attendance was going to be low, but by the time I was set up and finished bending over my bike doing the final checks, the on the rest of transition was full. Great to see so many Celtic tri racers in club colours too, there is a Olympic distance race later in the year, which I would of liked to do but I'm being a good husband and taking my wife away for the weekend. Talking about my wife she was racing today too, she was part of a relay team and she was going to do the swim leg. She's a great swimmer and puts me to shame, so I'll try and chase her down.

Wetsuit on, transition closed, a little stroll to the race briefing in front a welcoming tide. I slipped on a ZipVit Gel while the breafing was going and started to focus on the race ahead.

It was a mass start so I positioned myself in the middle to back of the field, as I feel more comfortable passing swimmers rather than being passed. I dont know why? but its something I started doing in races and it keeps my morale high knowing I'm passing people. It was a tough swim as you swam out toward the sun, so sighting was a tough, I was met with a head on collision with some swimmers who had turned at the wrong buoy and were on there way back. I wonder if the ref saw that one? but after I turned for home I picked up my pace as I could see the shore line and that drove me on, even though I knew it was a cheeky up hill to get out of Port Eynon.

As I ran towards transition from the swim, I thought "what a well supported race" there was a big crowd and it definitely helped me get out that steep climb, out the saddle, legs pumping I found my rhythm and off I went and I found myself passing a lot of people, this made me feel great and I peddled that little bit harder to try and chase some more people down. I hadn't cycled this route before and it had some technical corners and even a no overtaking zone.

I managed to gain at least 15 places on the first half of the bike, it was feeling good, I even had to slow down for a passing car. The bike felt great, after an average swim I had gained a large number of places on the bike and I had a technical run to come. I dislike running on sand at the best of times, but racing on it I had to man up and get on with it.

Off my bike and into transition, bike racked, and trainers on, and I'd like to add no socks were used for this race and it worked on the bike, but a different story with the run. I managed to get sand in my shoes the first 400 meters and that irritated my feet for the whole run. I finished with cuts on my feet but I think that is down to me re-lacing my shoes last week. My run tactic was to keep my legs turning over for the 1st lap of the run and then go flat out for the 2nd lap, That tactic worked, and worked well as I found myself in the same situation as on the bike passing people. Don't get me wrong I wasn't passing the racing snakes just passing people that looked older than me.

I finished the race in a decent time but I know I can do better, I'm carrying some excess weight that needs shifting before my last race of the season and I'm going to look at a new diet and see how it goes. Back to the race, its the first time I've done it and I would definitely recommend this race to any tri-athlete.

I was happy with the time, well sort off I know I can work harder and go quicker, but its a PB as I haven't raced this course before but I know for next year this is the benchmark and I have to beat it. Will it be on my Ironman plan, maybe?

I also need to work on my transition times, and my aim for next season is to learn how to put the shoes on and off on the bike, but that's for another day. Roll on Tuska!

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