This is a great event that is organised by my club Celtic Tri. But this is the first time that I've been able to enter it for a wide range of reasons (last year I marshaled at the run turnaround point, that was a long lonely morning)
This was going to be my first pool based triathlon for about 2 and a half years, and it felt a bit uneasy not packing a wetsuit and the usual faff that comes with it. The race was a very sensible 400m swim, 22km out and back bike and a 3km run; I set myself the arbitrary target time of 65 minutes.
My wave wasn't due in the pool until 10:38 and race briefing was at 6:50, so I took the organisers advice that it would be assumed that I would be at the briefing.
My usual race day breakfast is a bowl of porridge washed down with a cup of coffee, but due to the fact that I've being following a paleo (lite) diet, I hadn't noticed that the porridge was out of date. So a slight change of plan, but this being a sprint not too much to worry about.
I arrived at the Leisure Centre at about 8 o'clock, and obviously the first waves were already out on the course, I parked up and strolled across to registration, this took a while as I was constantly stopping to talk to the great and the good.
The weather forecast was given as cool, but dry early on with rain coming in later on. At about 9 o'clock the rain started to fall, and by 10 o'clock it was tipping down and the wind had picked up too.
As this was such a short race, my strategy was to have the bike as light as possible, no tools, no spares and not even a water bottle. However, due to the weather, I made one change to my minimalist setup; I decided that wearing arm-warmers would be wise.
The pool was setup in three lanes, with three competitors in each lane. We were travelling in a clockwise direction, and I would be first off. This meant I'd have clear water in front of me, and if I got caught, it wouldn't be a problem.
My swim was a steady 7:55, but was I was expecting something a little closer to the 7:30 mark. My position was 36 out 140 so not too shabby
Out of the pool and into transition, had to faff about a bit as my shoes and arm-warmers were soaked through. But I was off and out in 1:47
The course was an undulating out and back, and my theory was to go balls out. If I wasn't down on the aero-bars, I was out of my seat climbing whatever hills were there. And for the most part that is what I did.
The problem with wave based racing, there are only a few people who you can pass whilst you're on the road. As far as I can remember, I passed 5 whilst 2 passed me.
It was certainly a bit windy, but not too bad. But it was very, very wet; thankfully the nontechnical route meant that this did not cause any problems.
I returned to transition in a time of 43:18, which as a speed of over 30kph is reasonably pleasing, my position was 24/140
Had a bit of trouble in T2 with a combination of cold hands and wet shoes, but managed to get in and out in 52 seconds
The run is the part of the race where I normally pick up time; so with this in mind, I gave the run everything I had. Being only 3km, this gave me the opportunity to hit it hard from the off. It was a flat run over a mix of tarmac and trail path (no need for trail shoes Steve).
Whilst I really went for the run, I still wasn't retching when I crossed the line. My run split was 12:18 (17/140)
My overall time was 1:06:10, which meant I was just outside my target time of 65 minutes, but all in all I matched my expectations in all three disciplines. My position was 24th and I was 4th vet, so not a bad day at all.