The last time I did this event was in 2013 which was in my first season back in the sport having not raced since I was a junior in Perth, Australia, a long long time ago. When I originally signed up for this event I didn’t realise at the time that I would be racing 3 weekends back to back which wasn’t probably the best of planning for someone supposedly having a quieter season. I had set a personal objective of trying to improve on my run leg for this race as I didn’t have the best of time running wise at both Strathclyde and DEVA.
For most of you that have raced at Lochore the registration process was pretty straight forward and it was no different on Sunday from my experience. I was one of the first to arrive though so was straight through no issues. The old club house or building that used to be next to transition is now gone and instead is a building site so the organisers had portable toilets in operation as well as showers available at the activity centre 150 metres away from transition.
The sprint race was broken up into 3 waves of different category groups which I thought was quite good as it made it less congested. I was in the 2nd wave which kicked off just after 9:10am. As this was a running start into the lake we were all allowed 5 minutes before the start to jump in for a quick warm up which I opted to do to try and adapt to the water temperature which was around 15 degrees from memory.
With 1 minute to go everyone was ready behind the startline awaiting the starter’s horn to go off except for one keen athlete who wanted to get the most of his swim warm up and his late exit from the water delayed our start. This Fusion athlete shall remain nameless ha ha! We got a 30 second warning but to the surprise of most of the wave there was no horn or gun or any indication that the race had started. The only sign that most of us got was of the right and side of the pack all of a sudden peeling off into the water which was a bit annoying.
Once underway I had a pretty strong swim with no feet to tag onto this week so had to do all the work myself for a change. The swim course was pretty much in the shape of a box with basically 2 left hand turns before returning to shore 15 metres away from the startline. Once out of the water there was a right turn then a left turn and into transition….
Pretty uneventful although i did struggle to get my wetsuit off this week due to feeling the cold after the swim. Wetsuit off, race number belt on, bike shoes on (Ironman style again), then helmet and away……
The bike course had changed from the last time I raced this event from the old 24km route to the standard 20km which was a little disappointing as I quite liked the extra milage on the bike. To be honest though I couldn’t really remember what the old route was like to compare other than the distance change. I found the new route quite undulating with sections that did require a bit of gear shifting to negotiate some of the short climbs. But there were some really fast sections as well which made up for this but due to the wet roads we had to be quite cautious in places.
I had a great ride from my point of view as with only one cyclist from my wave passing me on the course and he ended up on the seniors podium at the end of the race. My legs were feeling strong and I felt like I could push for the first time in a race compared to the past few weeks. The 20km zipped by and before I knew it I was back in Lochgelly.
Dismount and into transition…..
Best one to date ha ha as I managed to not fumble about putting my running shoes on which don’t have elastic laces. Must remember to get some of these eventually. Helmet off, running shoes on and away we go…
Upon exiting transition I was greeted by my chief support crew (the Ironwidow), who in her no-nonsense Northern Irish way, shared some words of “encouragement”. (Think Liam Neeson in that famous scene from Taken and you’ll get the right threatening undertone) “Get a move on. No plodding and get on with it.”
Feeling very encouraged (and not at all threatened) I decided it was in my best interests to put the foot down and see how far I got before the wheels fell off! The run is a pretty straightforward 2.5km out and back along the loch side. To my surprise I managed to hold on pretty well in the run and came in with a PB for 5kms off the bike.
Finishing time: 1:09:51
A really enjoyable day out and we all made it to the finish line just in time before the heavens opened.
Now for a wee break before the Monikie Sprint Championships in July.
posted by Alisdair McLaren on