Pulling on the GBR kit again – Nigel Watson

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Oct 122016

Challenge Walschee European Middle Distance age group championships  – 4th September 2016

This was my third  consecutive trip as an Age Group athlete with GBR and the experience gets better every year. Add to that the venue was the most stunning scenery I have ever competed at and it had all the markings of a good week ahead.

After a few recee’s to get a feeling for what lay ahead, race day arrived  and a contingent of 260 Brits  [dwarfing the Austrian and German entries] entered the water to represent GBR, finishing the day with 4 golds, 8 silvers, and 8 Bronze

Race day began with an eerie mist  on lake fed by fresh water from the mountains surrounding Walschee and saw a water temp of 21 degrees followed by a 34 degree ride and run so to say it was warm was an understatement.

For me personally I had a reasonable swim in 35:12, slower than my PB of 32:00  but happy with the time on the day.  Progressed to the bike and was overwhelmed by the number of spectators and particular the large number of Brits on the roadside which made the hairs stand up on your neck at times and made you proud to wear the badge J.

As every corner passed I was expecting to see Julie Andrews dance across a  field as the scenery was jaw dropping.  I managed a 2:54:49 ride on a typically hilly Austrian course with over a 1000 metres of climbing over the 56 miles including a couple of long leg sapping drags and an interesting series of downhill switchbacks that we covered twice.

Bike complete and onto what felt like a long and hard run in hot conditions, although it did cool down for the last of the 4 laps. Managed or should I say struggled to a 2:00:32 finished with a final time of  5:39:10.  My best time for my GBR squads but 7 mins down on a flatter Cotswold Classic two weeks earlier

So the outcome of my journey to the land of Edelweiss was  I have an ETU ranking at middle distance of 16th for my age group in Europe and  3rdin Britain.

Not a bad season, but could be better, bring on 2017 !!

A day at the Cotswolds Classic as a new Worcester Triathlon Club Member – Nigel Watson

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Oct 122016

Report 1 – Cotswold Classic Sunday 21st august 2016

Looking around for a practice race to get ready for a Middle Distance GBR Age Group event in Austria in September  I came across someone selling their entry for the Classic. Never done it, never crossed my mind doing it, but timing looked ok and had good reports from mates who had done it earlier in year.

Having suffered the same as everyone else with the aches and pains of a part time triathlete easing into ‘mature middle age’, this was always going to be a slow ‘training run’ to test the legs before Austria. However as a new club member I didn’t want to be too slow if I had Worcester Triathlon Club was against my name, because as they say your results are on the net for ever J.

Despite all the best intentions, the day arrived. Up at 4am, water side for 5:30am start at 7am  ….. and then the adrenalin kicked in. Forget the training bit, this is a race isn’t it ?.  Had a reasonable swim with the odd encounter with those still developing their ‘sighting skills’ and was flying on the bike [ well for me any way ] when a number of front wheel punctures brought me back down to earth with a bang or more of a hisssssss.

Having decided a decent time had now slipped by I pushed the remainder of the bike averaging a respectable 20mph, felt ok and set off for what I knew would be a ‘trying’ run with the old knees feeling the length of the day’s events.  Managed a 2:02 run which wasn’t exactly Alistair Brownlee but felt ok and after a massage headed off home having finished 37 / 95 in 113’s medal category for over 50’s, which as a 60 year old made me feel like an elder statesman J

Confidence restored.  On the route home I got a message from a mate who informed me I had actually had a decent race and had come 1st in the BTF category for my age group [60 -64] which has secured me a qualifying spot for next year’s GBR age group squad at Challenge Denmark in the European championships and for the World championships where the venue is still to be announced

So all in all a great day, good prep for Austria and proud to have hopefully done the club proud in my first club event