We arrived at Grafam Water late Saturday afternoon to register, check out the transition area and the lake which was a barmy 12 degrees C, happy and nervous for what we have let ourselves in for we headed for our hotel for food and a hopefully a good night's sleep.
5.00 am wake alarms never get easier, venturing out to the car we were greeted to a misty morning and on arrival at Grafam Water to find thick MIST all around the Lake. We set about getting ready totally expecting the mist to lift especially after the organisers announced an hour's delay to the start, so we were confident we would be good to go, however the mist thickened and sadly the decision to cancel the swim was made on safety grounds.
15 minutes prep time to get bike ready we were all set off in waves, trying not to draft in the first 10-20 miles which was nigh on impossible. The bike course was on good roads but quite undulating with a total of 1800 ft of climbing overall, we both enjoyed the bike and set respectfully good times over the 56.5 mile (me 2 HRS 46 MINS and Elaine 3 HRS 27 MINS).
By this time the Mist had cleared and we could see the lake beautifully! The run was a fairly challenging multiterrain route out and back to the Dam wall then back past transition for 2 miles up along the lake and back, both bits being completed twice to make the distance, my run was going great until my plantar fasciitis caused me grief from 9 miles final finish time of 1 HR 52 MINS, Elaine had a great run completing in 1 HR 59 MINS. Our overall gender positions were me 163rd from 382 and Elaine 52nd from 91.
Overall this a great event in a beautiful location and very well organised with a lot of competitive Triathletes taking part, we would very much recommend it to TTC members.
Cheers Alec and Elaine
First open water tri, first standard. No time to acclimatise so swim was like avoiding drowning really. Pleased to have got it done in 30 mins. Took a few on the bike - a 25 mile pb. Much to my surprise,Took Even more on the run with a pb of 51:21. Finished 8th in Vet 40 female ( no vet45 category grrr) and 25th female overall in 2:44. No photos survive of the event- thank heavens.
Draft legal racing is soothing that I have fancied for a long time… Mainly because it might give me a chance to put in less effort but go faster on the bike! So a nice weekend away in the van allowed me the chance to have a go at Eton Dorney. The race started off from a very narrow gap between 2 pontoons and in a wave of around 200 it wasn’t long before I had been chewed up and spat out the back of the washing machine – I would later find out this was a common theme for the swim that morning! The rest of the swim was spent trying to make up some lost ground and I was feeling alright by the time I exited the water and ran to my bike, luckily the guy racked next to me in transition arrived at exactly the same time. A quick talk whilst running our bikes to the mount line and it was decided that we would try and catch the pack up the road. We worked well for the first 5k and got onto the pack and with some ‘gentle’ vocal encouragement the group began to pick up speed. I was slightly shocked to check my watch as we jumped off the bike at the end of the 21.5k ride to see 33min on my watch for the bike. A steady run picking off people in front brought me home in 1 hour 7 min, it turns out if I had been 15 seconds quicker I would have got an automatic qualification place for next years Europeans, as it is I have the confusing wait to see how the roll down system works. Regardless, I have definitely found my new favourite type of racing and look forward to having a go at a couple more this season!