Race date: 16/6/13 Distance: 1.9/90/21
The Cotswold Middle Distance Triathlon has gone all metric with its distances so you can interpret the 113 as a 70.3 half Iron distance. Leaving Worcester at 4 am it certainly felt like there was a long day ahead, though entering transition at 5am it felt more like morning rush hour, only everyone had very very nice bikes and silly helmets.
The weather was threatening to dampen the race but luckily the rain never really broke through and the wind was modest. I spent most of the bike leg second guessing whether the wind was a help or a hindrance and only got rained on when I sat down to a bacon and egg sandwich at the end.
In the swim all hell broke loose and not being a strong swimmer, I was caught in the carnage of the main pack as we raced around the lake. It was a miracle that my goggles stayed on and as I left the water in 32:49, a whole 159 places down, I was relieved to have survived. The bike leg was a slog, 2 laps around a very flat course with only a small ‘lump’ of a hill for amusement as aerobars and disc wheels lost any meaning for a short period of time. The route was scenic and the double back and loop out made spectating great, even if it muddled up the pack as all the waves jumbled together.
A 2:15:37 bike split put me up with the front runners, feeling good going into the run having happily kept a high cadence on the bike and eaten/drunk enough calories to keep a small family going for the day. The run was a three loop course around Cotswold Water Parks, again very scenic and very flat. There were loads of spectators and my grimaces prompted some encouragement from the crowd as I rounded for the last lap. at this stage the wheels were truly falling off and I struggled to keep my pace but conscious that because I was now truly mixed up amongst Lap 1 and Lap 2 runners, I wouldn’t know when someone was attacking my position. There was loads of opportunity to grab High 5 nutrition as bottles, gels, bars or just fruit. Nice to see lots of volunteers helping out including the kids who were very good at persuading me to take their energy gels.
A very shaky sprint finish to the line and I was all done, relieved that it was over. My run time of 1:24:41 earned me an early appointment with a lovely female masseur before the ‘crowds’ arrived. Despite being 3rd across the line some impressive runs from athletes in subsequent waves put me into 5th overall and 2nd in Cat with a total time of 4:14:52, a result that I was very pleased with!
I would definitely recommend the Cotswold 113 as it was well organised and makes you look very fast, especially if you don’t like hills. Roll on Helvellyn in September which we be a whole different challenge!