First race of the year was the Tranent sprint on the 29th April – delayed from the rubbish weather at the end of March.
Rolled out of bed on the Sunday morning to be greeted with 3 degrees outside and empty motorways so off I battered at 70mph officer along the M8 to a bit of Scotland I had never heard of previously. Slight hiccup on the morning not being able to find my sunglasses resulted in my packing my snazzy B&Q workshop goggles for use on the bike/run. That wasn’t too bad as the night before I’d been out on the bike doing a quick shakedown and realised half way round I wasn’t wearing a helmet and didn’t know it had fallen off or I had just not put it on. Vague memories of school teacher scolding my attention to detail floated about in my brain for 0.2 of a second before I started thinking about chocolate fudge cake.
Anyway off I strode like a bull into a large Spanish arena thinking this is going to be fun. Got my new Fusion Tri suit ready for its first outing and I looked cool. Registration was well run and simple – hardly any queue and a happy bunch of students doing a great job and clearly enjoying running the event. Got into transition and parked the bike. Small transition hit home this wasn’t a huge event and the race briefing outside beside transition was completed well by the race director and off we went to watch the first heats. The event was organised with the first two heats being the fasted with it then flipping to slowest onwards so it was interesting to watch the fast swimmers head off and then get to see them heading into T1 / 2 before I was up. Timed a few swimmers and was seeing a few 16 – 17 secs frantic first 25 metres so there was a few maniacs out there who then followed up fast swims with 30 odd minute 20k rides.
Now to my devious race plan – I have form over the last few years of my crap cycling skills bleeding into my run so last few months have been where applicable getting as much cycle time as possible in, mainly a cheeky wee Monday morning commute to Edinburgh from Kirkintilloch via some dodgy duel carriageway from Cumbernauld to Airdrie and then over the land that time forgot to Bathgate / Newbridge and Edinburgh. My two aims for this race and in general all races this year are 1) Come off the bike into the run with far more control than previously 2) Get to the end of the run with something left for a kick at 1k to go. Need to learn and apply some correct pacing, and forget about speed for now.
So the time came to get changed and I waddled up to pool side in a manner similar to a Derek Zoolander to find the human torpedo (more about this later) that is Alan Holmes looking just as cool in his also brand new Fusion Tri suit. Turns out we were in the same heat and the same lane with only one other dude so lane 1 heat 7 belonged to Fusion. Count came and we were off – I was second in the lane and lasted about 2 lengths before I was tapping the feed in front and shot off down the lane. Swim went as planned with sitting at the same pace for about 15 lengths and then speeding up slightly for the remainder. Jumped out of the lane first and down the stairs and out into the carpark.
T1 was fine – popped my helmet and safety goggles on, ran out transition and hopped onto the bike at mount point – to immediately be faced with a single lane road (from the cars parked on one side) with 3 cars all coming down the remaining lane at me. Used some of my motorcycle skills at this point, closing my eyes and accelerating, and they got out the way. So off on my merry way I went – the route was actually a little bit hillier than I was expecting with the first half of the 20k being a constant up or down and the latter half more or less flat. Only took 5k for the aforementioned human torpedo to come past, up a hill, smiling with one foot clipped in. I was suitably impressed by Alan’s cycling and it was reflected in his overall 6th position / fasted bike leg. Not jealous at all. Well.
Not long after I encountered the first of the traffic lights on the course – being on open roads we had a few obstacles – best being a double set of lights over a bridge where if they were red we had to mount the pavement for about 15 metres over the bridge and pop off the other side. Typically the lights were red when I arrived and there was a car waiting so I battered past the Nissan Micra and bunny hopped onto the pavement avoiding the railing, the bridge, the train going under and the local dial a bus on the other side. Loads of marshals present giving clear direction and warning traffic so it was entertaining and not as bad as I thought it might be. Second set of temporary traffic lights were about 2/3s round and again I arrived to find them at red. Had about 5 cars queuing with 4 competitors at the front waiting for the green so just filtered up the line and it went to green as I arrived. Bingo. Highlight of the ride was overtaking a numpty on a BMW motorbike sat behind some cars. He was not pleased. I was.
So arrived back into T2 and throughout the second half of the cycle I really started to feel the benefit of the cycle training I’d been doing – this gave me a little boost and I was able to dump the bike and shoot off into the run with a smile and feeling good. I was actually managing some form of pacing. This is different. The run route was out the back of the pool through a little housing estate with a 2-3k lap in the middle. Liked this as by this point it was sunny, the course was well marked out and marshalled so no confusion where there could easily have been loads. Run went well and was able to run at a decent pace rather than just hanging on, and the last 1k I was able to speed up.
Summary for me was
1) that was great fun, well organised event and I’d go back
2) achieved the aims I set myself which now unlocks some further aims for this week’s Bishy sprint.
• Swim: 13:41 (including 45 sec from pool to T1 entry)
• T1: 1:05
• Cycle: 41:55
• T2: 49secs
• Run: 24:40
• Total: 1:22.12
posted by Paul Anderson on