Race update – Monikie Sprint, Scottish Sprint Championships – Donna McHugh

Anyone who knows me knows I didn’t race much last year at all due to injury, well I raced once!  That race qualified me for the ETU Sprint champs in Strathclyde Park this August so I figured I’d better race more than once this year if possible.  So what better a warm up race than Scottish Sprint Champs

As the 2nd race of the year and only my 3rd race in two years I didn’t quite know what to expect or how many mistakes I might make lol.  Turns out I made quite a few!!  I was glad I took up the offer from M3 Tri Club to come through and take part in the bike and run recce they organised the weekend before the race because the race course is lovely.  There’s no way I noticed any of that scenery on race day.

The swim takes part in a very clean and clear reservoir and is a simple out-across-back route, the exit ramp is fairly steep but there are plenty of strong armed helpers to yank you out the water and up the hill.  Race day water temp was a toasty 21 degrees, some say this is wetsuit optional – they are funny people 🙂

It’s a very scenic bike course that takes you through the countryside on undulating roads, these roads felt way more friendly during the casual paced recce than they did on race day.  I encountered some issues on the bike with my bike bottle and as a result managed to drink approx 1 inch out of my bottle during the whole 20Km bike route in 28 degrees heat – queue the start of my demise….  A couple of bike mechanicals with a front derailleur refusing to go back up to the bike ring after being in the small one and I was hemorrhaging time alongside the will to live.

The run is one big lap of the 2 reservoirs then 1 smaller lap of the bigger of the 2 reservoirs.  A mixture of grass and stone chips it’s a challenge underfoot when undercarbed and dehydrated I tell ya!  It would be really lovely if you were feeling good and able to enjoy it, however I most definitely wasn’t.  I missed the drinks station coming out of transition and shuffled round the first lap.  Grabbed 2 cups at the drinks station on the way past the 2nd time and managed to get much needed water over my head to try to cool myself down, I felt better for a fleeting 30s I think!  I remember thinking on the run that if I made it to the end then it was over and there would be people to help me out, I was so glad to make it to the finish line.  Pretty much as soon as I crossed it I was held up by a couple friendly volunteers and taken under the caring wing of our Fusion club mates.  I definitely owe many people water, Haribo and gels as well as a huge thank you to Erin for stealing them all for me 🙂

Huge congrats to Ayrodynamics Lorna Todd for an age group win and to Sian Tovey for 2nd place.  Lorna is flying just now so I’m looking forward to seeing how she gets on at Europeans.  I’m as surprised as I am delighted to have taken 3rd place to these ladies under the circumstances.

I would definitely go back and do this race again, I made plenty of mistakes last Sunday but none that can’t be fixed.  So onwards to British Champs this weekend, no mistakes this time!!  Well – definitely not the same ones again, that would just be stupid.

See you next year at Monikie Sprint, I definitely recommend this event.  I hear there were good cakes and sandwiches at the end, maybe next year I will finish feeling less nauseous and get to see this legendary spread.

Photo credits to Iain MacIntosh at Imacimages