I’d been excited to race Blenheim since I got the entry confirmation email. I was looking forward to getting some serious racing into the body and finding out where I am. It’s always difficult to know exactly what kind of shape you’re in when you haven’t raced in a few months. Even if the numbers in training are good there’s still a question mark there.
I flew into London on Friday and stayed with a friend(go on Mick) before traveling up to Oxford on the Saturday for Sunday mornings race. My usual routine would have me swim Friday after the flight and run Saturday AM before breakfast. I flipped that around before I left Gatwick as with delays it wasn’t gonna work. Routine is key but so is the ability to adapt.
A 9.25 start meant a 7am alarm call to get the breakfast in, stretching done and cycle to race venue. I have my race morning routine and from alarm clock to the starting horn its timed to the minute. Food in, last bits in bag, tunes on, spin to venue, register, set up transition, run warm up, swim warm up, GO!!!
A Sprint race with 80 guys on the starting line is always going to be extremely fast and extremely physical! I got a good start, on some feet early on and managed to avoid a lot of the fighting till about 100m’s from the 1st turn buoy when it all came together. Got an unbelievably hard kick in the face and was sure id a broken nose.(Post race check and nose fine, no black eyes and all my teeth in tack) The rest of the swim was uneventful. I exited the water and pushed hard up the hill(that hill) to T1.
On the bike a group of around 12 of us formed early on a few seconds behind the front pack. The guys worked hard and we made contact with the front of the race on the second lap. I wish I could say I helped us get across but I didn’t. Not by choice, the guys were smashing it and all I could do was hang on. The pack was big and with a mix of junior and seniors, narrow and wet roads it was a little dodgy but we all got to T2 safely. It was awesome to be entering T2 in the front pack and not chasing.
I made a few little mistakes in T2 and lost couple off seconds I usually wouldn’t. Race 1 of the year its to be expected. I struggled to get the legs going over the 1st KM of the run but the sharp downhill and a tactical vom kicked them into action and I set about reclaiming the lost few places. It’s a tough run course, constantly up or down and one I like. The harder and more technical the run course the better.
Crossed the line 15th senior and 21st overall. I knew I wasn’t in top 10 shape going over and had a top 15/20 on the plan. I’m really happy with the result, 21st mightn’t be top 20, but 30sec’s from 13th shows I was on it. I had a good race and put in a solid performance. I know where I am now and I’m currently planning my calendar for the rest of the summer.
I’ve been to London a lot over the last few years but there’s still plenty I have to see. Crossed The Shard off the list this time round.
Thanks again to my sponsors Westpark Fitness, Rotor, Amphibian King and my club Pulse Tri for their continued support.