Staffordshire 70.3 Race Report
"you are not a true triathlete until you have done an ironman " I was told by the iron ladies in the club. So as I went up into the next age group this year it seemed like a good time to press the button! That done I was then told "well you had better do a half ironman in preparation for the full one"! So Debbie and I (Thelma and Louise) entered the new ironman 70.3 uk with a promise that it was flat and fast.... Not.
We arrived at our hotel booked for us by Nirvana.. The Ramada looked like it should have been in Dubai stunning views from our 9th floor of the M6 and plumbase and operation stack full of containers!! Best food we could find was all you can eat burger and unlimited fries unlimited coke so we stuck to Debbie's finest smoked salmon sandwiches, strawberries and Jane w's birthday cake frozen since Feb!
We checked out the swim section at Chasewater lake looked great and then registered all very easy but 17 miles between t1 And t2 meant lots of back and forth.
After a fight with a tough pillow(ask Debbie about this part) we woke on Friday to find the sun shining so we decided to recce ride the last 15 mles in Cannock chase. Very pretty and nice roads but hilly and 1 fast descent with a tight left hand turn!!! We imagined this to be the worst of it so were glad to have ridden this area. We then ran for 45 mins to check out the course round the beautiful Shugborough Estate and out across a thin bridge over the river to a village, then up a steep hill for about a mile but after that it was a nice mixed terrain run which we had to do three times.
Saturday it just rained all day so after a practice swim we had to rack bikes and fill blue bike bags, red run bags and white post race bags thanks to Debbie's expert knowledge we got this Done and headed to the country lanes in search of a heathy meal. This is when we found ourself on the now marked out bike route with a twisting 10 % hill off a steep narrow decline with pot holes everywhere. Narrow country lanes with standing water and gravel centre! Panic!
Race morning was bright and sunny,but chilly 13 degrees left hotel at 5 to park at race finish to be shuttled to race start, 11 buses 2100 athletes and 600ish supporters. Queues of cars getting to the estate meant the buses couldn't get through logistical disaster! The guys in the early waves were panicking and putting wetsuits on! we stood in line for an hour and eventually the buses made it through. We had allowed plenty of time thankfully and they kept transition open.
Thankfully Race went well for both of us apart from water bottle flying off on a pothole! We both had a great race and did very well in our age group 1st and 4th/15. Which we were both very pleased with and have got confidence to go the full distance in July and Debbie in August. Thanks to Tom for all the swim coaching we were out of the water 1st and 3rd too. Next report the full distance..... - not sure if I will be talking to those iron girls by then!!