Cotswold Classic – Middle distance triathlon.
Changing plans – I arrived at the campsite about 500m from the lake to enjoy a BBQ 🍖 for Mrs D birthday. Realising that I had forgotten the bread rolls I stopped in Bassett for a supermarket sweep of bagels, baguettes, croissants & rolls. Still had that nagging feeling I’d forgotten something- as I drove in to the campsite I realised I’d left my running shoes behind !
Saturday was a quick dash home for running shoes, see the dogs & hubby who stated Good job it’s a local tri !, have a proper shower and return to register. The temps were rising so I was very conscious about keeping cool and hydrated, I’d be out long enough in the sun in Sunday.
Tonights pirates pre race tradition was fish & chips which seemed to take an age, when they arrived we found out that the usual chippy was over flowing with visitors for a tractor festival in the village, only in Wiltshire 🤣 so an alternative was found.
Time for bed and alarm set early, although not as early as the marshal who covered my 4am slot – cheers shipmate ☠️
Sunday was a clear day, we had a few misty mornings in race week and the June event was delayed. Breakfast forced down, more fluid taken in then off to transition.
I have swum & run in relay teams and marshalled this event for many years but this was my first time as a solo finisher of the Classic or 113 event.
Boy was it a hot one on course ☀️
Swim – I chose to wear my wetsuit and for the first time had a bit of a bun fight to the first two buoys. Sighting with the sun rising is difficult and I only hope the two swimmers either side of me who were alternating who bashed me were going the right way. The buoys were set well and we didn’t encounter any shallow areas or need to walk. Steady swim 38mins, way off my best on this course but seemed to swim an extra 400m. Interrogation in transition by club mates as why I was racing ?
Bike – cracking ride for me and only slowed for the loose freshly laid the day before gravel for about 5 miles, flying on my Felt and loved the speed and lack of traffic. 3:03 with loads Strava PR’s 🥇Kept hydrated and fuelled and pushed the pace averaging 17.9mph.
Run – well the wheels didn’t just fall off but they melted ! The first lap was steady & comfortable with a wee stop in one of the cleaned port-a-loo I have ever seen !
Then BBQ & track dust kicked up my cars parking around the chalk lakes set my asthma off at start of lap 2 which was when I discovered that I’d lost the canister 😳 💨 from my inhaler. I still had the blue case but not much use unless a snorkel for a cat. A friend ran to my tent to collect a spare as I looped around and I literally had my second wind. Although it was getting hotter and hotter now baking us in 30c temperatures. A kind local had a hose pipe shower on the far side of the course and was happy to drench us. If he was on a water meter then a very generous man as there for hours. My run target of sub 2:20 was melting away, crossing the line with 2:45
Finally 6:40:00 finish which was over half an hour faster than Lakesman on a very similar course earlier in the year. Better bike & swim but faded on the run.
In other news – I didn’t mess up my Garmin !! No operator error this time !
Met Steve who was doing his first ever triathlon and suffering with groin strain & knee pains ( ex rugby player) we agreed to help each other limp, gasp our way through last lap and a half to the finish. He realised black kit wasn’t his best choice of the day !
When the going gets tough the tough keep going…
Many people pulled out due to panic, illness, injury or heat exhaustion.
Full respect to all finishers & survivors in the 30c heat.
Good job the medals are waterproof ! As that post finish flop in the lake was the best !
Just a month to ironman Wales 🏴
Still plenty to do but getting back on track.
Cotswold Classic & 113 are amazing faces which are totally athlete focus, from Will to see everyone finish, enjoy themselves, safely and achieve their goals. The little extras like free race photos of us in our glory & pain add to the experience. The salty snacks on feed stations, the extra water station added for the heat and the shower were much appreciated. The marshals were ace, signage superb and what a beautiful location for a race. Why I haven’t done it in full before I’ll never know ?! But will balance that up with race one / marshal one each year from now.