Knockburn Loch Sprint Tri – Natalie Stevenson
Over a full 12 months since I last raced an open water event… and only my third ever… Knockburn Loch sprint was the perfect way to remember just how much I (hate) love it!
I had a definite goal and purpose for the day – to practice and learn – and I got all the lessons in one go!
Setting up went pretty smoothly – except that my chain came off on route to transition, not the best sign as this is a regular occurrence that I thought we’d managed to fix…
We got into the water for our wave to start – I quickly started swimming about and wondered why everyone else was just bobbing up and down… maybe this gave me some false confidence about my ability as I found myself hearing John’s voice and getting up nearish the front (second row). The horn went and for a brief moment I was doing it – I was in the pack swimming (okay already a bit of an exaggeration as it wasn’t tightly packed and so was relatively gentle) – and then I was hit by reality… I should definitely not be doing the first 100m as fast as physically possible. My heart rate shot up to something stupid and all of a sudden my body decided we were drowning… It must have taken another 100m to calm down and again to get into a rhythm… just in time for me to get stuck and boxed in between a lady doing backstroke as we cornered the island and a guy going at ‘just the wrong speed’ and closing the gap on me, several times over… a little bit of frustration and my heart rate goes up through the roof and we are drowning again! Calm down, calm down, calm down… was mostly okay from here, normal amounts of pond water drunk and a sprinkling of negativity as looking around I realised I was probably near the back or last. (Turns out it was a pretty good time for me.)
T1 was slow as always – couldn’t get my feet in my shoes or get the twisty thing done up – it’s just not a movement my fingers can cope with after the swim.
I think the bike was a little windy in places but to be honest I didn’t really notice, I was focused on catching up as many places as possible… Loved it! Until about 10km when I dropped my chain and had that slow motion moment when I had to jump off the bike to get it back on. A couple of friendly shouts from people as they whizzed past. Another lesson, slow down to go fast, jumped back on, clipped in and promptly toppled over… luckily I don’t think anyone witnessed an utterly embarrassing moment!
The run was on grass and windy out the back. James had shouted I was 4th but it was so hard to figure out who was where… I passed a couple of ladies and just at the end of the first lap passed ‘Emma’ who I had mentally noted as ‘Ironman bike lady’. I got held up a little in the woods but decided to go steady and tuck in… if only I had known first place was just ahead… we both realised late and sprinted for the line, finishing one second apart. I just didn’t have enough to get there. That said I crossed the line with a huge smile… given my objectives for the race – if everything had gone to plan it wouldn’t have been such a success… it was a success *because* there were so many things to deal with. Now I can learn for next time.
Super happy looking at the results, biked my way up from 22nd to 3rd and delivered the fastest female bike and run times of the day to finish 2nd… ? Awesome course, awesome facilities, fantastic marshals and super well organised… would recommend it to everyone!
posted by Natalie Stevenson on