Race Update – Ambleside Sprint, July 2017

Ambling in the Lake District – Tom Hill

Normal couples go away for a long weekend to relax, enjoy each other’s company, perhaps a few cocktails and some fine dining.   I have faint memories of this pursuit.  This weekend, Heidi had entered Deva Divas on the Sunday so I looked for a race somewhere en route for the Saturday. Enter Ambleside Sprint.

Great location – Lake Windermere.  Swim was, well it was a swim.  Course looked flat (Note to self: look at these things on big screens, not a phone).  Run was similar.
On a wet Saturday morning, there were a lot of seriously fit, seriously serious people and none of the usual relaxed joviality, that I like about triathlon.  Oh great.  Time for a kicking.

There were two duathlons and two triathlons going on at the same time and the race brief was, at best, disjointed and chaotic.
My aim for the swim was just that.  Swim and hopefully without any of my recent goggle issues.  At the turn, after 400m, it became quite choppy and more difficult, than normal, to sight and swim straight.  That said, I thought I was doing ok and was aiming for about 17 minutes. 21:12 Hmmm, I really should try duathlon.
Anyway onto the bike.  I had redefined the flat course as quite lumpy and it was now very wet.
Well training in Scotland, especially my last brick session with JD, has mainly been in the pouring rain, windy with strong gusts; perfect race prep.
The route was on the A591, which is the main drag to Windermere.  Even early on a Saturday morning, it was very busy with traffic and I found myself overtaking cars that were stuck behind other cyclists.  Not a route for nervous or inexperienced cyclists.  The bike went well and the 2x14km laps gave me enough distance to pass at least half of the folk who were out the water before me.  This always cheers me up, no end.
Next the run.  Looking forward to this.  I have been feeling good lately and wanted to go as hard as I could.  Instead of being flat, (see note above) it was uphill for most of the first km, then turn back and repeat. I didn’t look at the time, but ran the specified two laps then back towards the finish.  Running back toward the finish, I am thinking this is too soon.  Either that or I am flying. 5km in just over 13 minutes.  Yeah in my dreams.  The distances were wrong. Turns out it was just over 3km.  Really unhappy about that, because I was hoping for sub 22 and I was getting stronger as the run went on.
Results were finally announced on Tuesday.  Four days after the event. It appears I was 30th out if 58 finishers and if the spreadsheet is to be believed, first vet50, albeit I can only see five others.  Anyway it is in black and white, now framed and I can retire.


posted by Tom Hill on