So it was Saturday 10th January 2015 and I’d just entered the standard distance tri at Salford in July, this was recommended by so many members and seemed relatively flat which was a big plus to me.
It was due to be my second standard distance tri after Ellesmere, however this sadly got cancelled. It meant I was even more nervous than expected due to never completing these distances together; I also mistakenly hadn’t even done them in any of my brick training sessions. Would this prove to be a big rookie error on my part?
For the week beforehand I had been tempted to watch the weather forecast but managed to refrain myself so as not to jinx it, this was because I wanted a dry bike course, as it is my strongest discipline of the 3. On the Saturday I travelled up to Salford in glorious sunshine, it looked so promising until I looked at the forecast for Sunday; light rain starting at 11am, and then getting slowly heavier as the day got on. My swim start time was 10.20am, which meant I would be out on the bike as it started raining.
So Sunday morning arrived and I headed to transition to rack my stuff and there were so many friendly black and orange members there to chat to. What was even nicer, was there were going to be 9 of us in wave 5 (Nick.S, Steve.P, Stephen.D, Dan.U, Ian.F, David.M, Matt.A, Andy.M and me), so there was a lot of friendly banter in the build up which eased everyone’s nerves.
The swim started and went better than I thought. I got out in 34:02, which as a breast stroker I was thoroughly happy with. My T1 time was clocked at 2:40, this included quite a long dash to the transition area and removal of the wetsuit. The bike leg was 6 laps of a 6.6km circuit, this I was pleased about and went really well with me stopping the clock in 1:15:15 (57th out of 352), with an average speed of 19.6mph showing on my Garmin. With 5 laps out of 6 being completed in the rain and on a wet and slippy circuit meant I was really pleased. T2 was again slow at 1:31 but I’d chosen to put socks on to make the run more comfortable, this definitely worked. The run was 4 laps of a 2.5km course and I completed them in a time of 50:51, this I found hard going although I tried to smile as much of it as possible. It may have been easier and quicker though if I hadn’t lost my second energy gel on the bike course. My overall time ended up as 2:44:17, which I was ecstatic with, as I’d set a target beforehand of 2:45:00.
Looking back on the weekend I couldn’t have asked for it any better (apart from the rain) as it was really well organised and marshalled, with everyone smiling, clapping and encouraging you on every lap along with all the spectators who had come out in the pouring rain. The support from all members was amazing both from the sides (Mrs.M) and when seeing and passing fellow members out on the bike and run courses, it definitely felt like we could have been racing at home in Shrewsbury.
All in all a good weekend was had by all members and I am looking forward to going back in the future to try and beat my time.
The Deva Triathlon is an Olympic distance triathlon held in the centre of the historic City of Chester. It is currently in its 16th Year and is run by the City of Chester Triathlon Club members.
I originally entered the Deva Triathlon as a tester for the distance and in preparation for the Salford Olympic Triathlon at the end of July. Little did I know when I entered there were going to be over 1000 competitors and that it was a qualifying event for the World Championships and European Championships (sending me in to panic as it was my first Olympic distance triathlon). However despite the high standard, there were also a good proportion of beginner triathletes.
The course was great and I really enjoyed the route for all three disciplines. The Swim was 850m upstream and then 650m back downstream. Despite being upstream the current wasn’t overly strong and so was suitable for all abilities.
The Bike route was a single loop on a mixture of open and closed roads into Wales via Eccleston, Rossett and Borras and back into Chester via Alford and Boughton. This was a fairly flat course which suited me well as I am not great at hills!
The Run route was by far the hardest discipline for me. It was a little undulating and included running over two bridges, the Old Dee Bridge as well as the suspension bridge – mostly on tarmac but also some gravel on the riverbank paths. The rest of the route continues out on to the Groves and in the Meadows with the finish being at the Bandstand, a truly City Centre race. Despite the run being 3 loops which seems to make things harder, the support that you were getting was amazing and kept you going when you were having those demotivating low points.
All in all this was a very well organised race with very friendly marshals throughout the whole route, and I would highly recommend it anyone who is either just starting out at the Olympic distances like myself of those of you wishing to qualify for World and European age groups.
Sadly I missed out on the European Qualification by 9 seconds….no walking on the run next time!!