Strathclyde Triathalon is a standard distance race (1.5km swim, 38km bike, 10km run) which takes place in Strathclyde Country Park. The Park is home to an amusement park. It would be cool if you could do a race in the amusement park. 1.5km of dodgems, 38km of rollercoaster riding followed by a 10km haunted house run.
This was my third race in three weeks. Due to a throat infection I hadn’t done any training during the week. This was the third infection in a month so I’ve done very little running in that time. I find if I don’t run regularly my running fitness disappears very quickly!
We were in the 2nd group racing today which didn’t start until 0920 but the race notes said transition would close at 07.35 so annoyingly we had to get there early. It was even more annoying that once we got there they said transition would reopen again later to allow the 2nd group to put their bikes in. In the few triathlon’s I’ve done I’ve allot of time is spent just hanging around waiting.
Swim (34min 27s)
I haven’t been in openwater since October so I was slightly nervous as I expected the water to be cold. Luckily it had been warm recently and the water temperature was 15C. I thought I’d try out some new socks, gloves and cap anyway as I’d brought them with me and seemed a shame not to give them a go.
We got into the water and had to head over to the start line. There wasn’t much time for a warm up and I felt I would have benefited from some extra time as it takes me a little while to adjust to the cold as my chest tends to constrict and I struggle to breathe properly.
The first lap was awful. Normally my chest clears quite quickly but today it was three quarters of the way round before I felt good. At the end of the lap I had to leave the water and then jump back in the pool. Luckily I’d done this before at Henley so knew to get the legs moving quickly before I get pulled out otherwise its a struggle to walk.
I didn’t dive in as I’m about as graceful as a fat ballerina. The man next to me did and had a huge belly flop. It sounded so painful that one of the volunteers and myself visibly winced.
The second lap was fine other than swimming towards the wrong bouy. My sighting is usally ok-ish but in this case I just screwed up and thought it was the right one.
Bike (1hr 24min 42s)
I felt good on the bike and was pleased when I spotted my brother and discovered I was about 3/4 of the course ahead of him. The sun was out and it was quite warm which made for a pleasant ride.
There was alot of very expensive tri bikes on the course and I quite like hearing the loud noise they make as they overtake even if I am secretly envious that my bike can;t go that fast!
Unluckily on lap 6 I got a puncture and lost all of my advantage over my brother!
Whilst fixing it another man stopped and asked if I’d fix his too. I took one look at his tyre and spotted it had a massive 3 inch hole in it. I advised that he was better off walking back as it was beyone my skill level to repair.
Run (53min 34s)
I managed to set off on the run just before my brother. My stomach was cramping quite badly so I took the first 5km very easily. On the second 5km I didn’t feel any better so I ran and walked it by counting in my head. A 100 count of running then 30 of walking.
We received a voucher for a free sandwich. The only one left was called “Just Ham” they weren’t kidding. It was just bread with ham. I congratulate anyone who managed to eat one as it was boggin!
I enjoyed the race but I think the combination of being ill and racing over the last few weeks had caught up with me. I had set out with the goal of doing it in less than 3hrs and beating my brother so I was happy to have achieved both but I also learnt allot so there’s plenty of room for improvement.
Now I’m looking forward to a weekend off racing!