The Peak District Triathlon was the final GBR qualifying event for the 2017 ETU Sprint Distance European Championships in Dusseldorf. 

The first qualifier, in Nottingham was held on the same day as the 2016 European Sprint Champs were on in Lisbon and the second qualifier, in Strathclyde was the day before a Worlds qualifier, this meant a ridiculously strong field across all age groups with 50 men competing just in the 50-54 age group. The quality of the competition was evidenced by the amount of GBR kit on display (at one point I thought that I had taken a wrong turn out of T2 and wandered into Shaun Mullen’s wardrobe!)

The club was represented by Stephen Searby and myself in the 50-54 age group and Clive Bradburn in 65-69.

Race practicalities

Pre race
Saturday registration and wetsuit disinfectant dip was compulsory - there was some availability for early on Sunday but this was by exception. There was no bike racking allowed on Saturday however you could walk half of the run course and see how transition would be set up. It rained. A lot. 

Race day
Transition was open from 5.30 and was due to close for bike racking at 6.30 but due to problems getting all of the competitors into the grounds and parked this was extended by the organisers. With wave starts continuing until after 9am transition remained open throughout, which was good. However as usual there were 10 portaloos for hundreds of competitors which was not so good.
The swim was in the River Derwent, a deep water start and straightforward out and back course, followed by a long run into T1, mostly through a field of uncut grass and sheep poo. There was a similar experience from bike out to the mount line. The road that took competitors off of the estate for the bike leg was in poor condition and had not been swept. Several people punctured here. The bike course was essentially riding up a big hill and then down the other side of it. It featured a 4.5k climb at an average 5.3% gradient. From the dismount line there was another run through a waterlogged field to T2. The run course featured 112m of ascent in the first 2k (av 5.6% gradient), this was initially on a gravel/concrete trail which then gave way to mud. At the top you turned around and came back down.
It was a challenging course.

Of the three Sevenoaks members racing Clive had a brilliant race making the podium - finishing third in his age group to qualify for the Europeans. 
In a field where all of the top  GB 50-54 athletes were racing Stephen had a terrific race with the second fastest bike split he finished 8th and should qualify. 
I finished 27th and will not qualify.

Full results here