After doing over 60 (mainly sprint) triathlons over the last 12 years, I thought that it might be safe to dip my toe into the murky waters (literally) of middle distance!
The criteria were that it should not take too much time away from home or cost too much. This lead me to the 'midnight man' up the road in the shadows of littlebrook power station, Dartford. Starting at 6pm, I wondered whether I could get back home to bed before midnight so that I didn't turn into a pumpkin?
Executive summary: Yes. Full results here: http://www.stuweb.co.uk/race/14Z
|Andrew EVANS||M||40-49||7oaks tri club||05:07:48|
|John Davie||M||40-49||7oaks tri club||05:13:58|
For those of you with an attention span longer than a goldfish, the swim was a contact sport for at least the first lap due to a mass start of 250 people in a small lake which made my swim a bit erratic! - there were various permutations of race starting at the same time.
I was quite pleased to get out on the bike on a flat course in sunny and calm conditions. The bike course would be very fast if it wasn't for the fact that there are 6 standstill hairpins per lap and we did 10 laps! It was difficult to see in places when the sun was on the horizon and I also managed to drop my 2nd (of 2) drinks bottle. It was quite eerie riding through sunset into darkness for the last two laps, by which time the back of my neck was really aching from holding the aero position and it was harder to judge the braking distances.
I was very pleased to give my neck a rest by getting off the bike to start the run - 4 laps of a flat course. My back was tensed and aching from the bike but this was overshadowed after a lap by very aching quads! I think pushing out of the turns 60 times on the bike took it's toll! The bike and run courses passed through a new housing development where local residents and boy racers had the look of "Have Martians landed?" and heccled incoherantly, I imagined along the lines of "Run forest!" but it may have been more anglo-saxon than that - to say we looked out of place was an understatement. Still, at least there was the faint aroma of barbeques and burning tyres to keep me sustained.
Seeing people still out on the bike course as the temperature dropped made me feel very glad that I was only doing the half and not the full distance! Managed to keep jogging (for my own safety) to the finish. John Setford and his team did an excellent job of organising the event. At the end John Davie and I were given a seat in a warm marquee and offered refreshments including beer! Which I tried but it wasn't going down very well! John D had a great race, taking about 1 hour off his previous best!