Castle Howard Gauntlet

Castle Howard 23/7/17 Half Ironman

This is my second race of the castle triathlon series and I was keen to see if this one was as good as chomondely was last year.

The Castle series seems to be a very well run set of races with regular email updates and txt messages, registration is a breeze and parking is nice and easy.

A great race day greeted us, warm and a little overcast so not too much sun to worry about. After setting up and having a quick look over transition it was off down to the swim start which was a fair walk away. I wasn’t looking forward to the run back. It was nice to see Natalie there I didn’t know there were going to be any fusion members there si it was an unexpected suprise.

Jumping in the lake was pleasantly surprising and I found myself wondering if I shouldn’t have bothered with the wetsuit. Only one out of the 200 odd racers had taken them up on the wetsuit being optional though.

The start was its usual fight but I stayed in the mix a bit longer than I was used to (I’m not normally fighting other people for space a the halfway mark!) In the end though the swim took me dead on 40 mins which is about the usual for me.

I felt good coming out of the water and was through T1 quick enough and of onto the bike course. The first 18K or so of the 45k bike loop seemed to be mostly uphill with a couple of nice steep climbs then a descent at 14% which made it a bit scary when I hit a pothole! Following that it seemed fairly flat until the last 5K when you start climbing all the way back to the start and then keep climbing into the second lap.For the whole cycle I played cat and mouse with a woman who had come over to race from dubai so she could decide if she wanted to do Iron man 70.3 out there. She was a beast on the hills!

Finished the cycle in 3:30 which was 3mins behind last years PB a good quick transition and I was away passing my nemesis in the first K.

Whoever came up with the run route at Castle Howard is a sadist. They seemed to have designed a run which consisted of only uphills and it hurt me, badly. In the end I crossed the line in 6:32 a broken man.

Losing 24 minutes in the run was hard and there was small consolation that there were a lot of people who looked like they had a tough time.

Castle Howard was a well run event with a nice swim, a tough bike and a trail run from hell. I would recommend it if you fancy a challenge and love hills both in the run and the cycle.

Congratulations to Natalie and Ali on their results, like I say its always nice to see a familiar face out on the course. Even if they are just flying past.

Will I be back. Maybe…

posted by Alan McHugh on