So one year on and I’m back at Blenheim! My wave was the last of the day which made things a lot easier than last year’s early start. My support team™ were same as last year Mum, Dad & my mate John. I dropped my rucksack off with my parents and then cycled the 6-7miles to Blenheim at a decent pace to get warmed up and ‘in the zone’. It is a nice easy ride along cycle track and then through the imposing gates of Blenheim Palace grounds.
After meeting up with Mum & Dad I racked my bike and then got ready for the race. The weather which had been threatening rain all morning gradually improved and by the time i was ready to go to the swim start there was glorious sunshine.
The water felt cool but not cold which was perfect. The initial shiver as i let some water into the neck of my wetsuit soon went away and i swam about in a “i am doing a warm up but not taking it too serious” way. I found myself rather near the front and decided I would go for it rather than holding back like last year.
As the klaxon went we all splashed away and i did my damndest to keep up, i *think* i was about 10th out the water which i was really proud of (the final result was 28th fastest swim across the 4 super sprint waves).
hard part about Blenheim is the run from the swim out to Transition where you collect your bike. It is a steep uphill run with a hairpin turn — Ouch! I tend to be quite dizzy as I exit the water and this means i need a moment to compose myself and it caught me out again this year.
Back in transition and strip off my wetsuit, put on glasses, cycling shoes & bike helmet grab the bike and run to the exit. Now, I am no professional so i tend to stop after the bike-on line get on the bike and then set off — no flying leaps onto the bike for me!
The bike circuit is the best bit as it is on the road that runs around the estate, decent tarmac, no cars, a couple of wicked corners and a beautiful view throughout. The bike is two laps which means the first one you go out quite hard , get a feel for the course and then the second one — BLITZ it. My bike split was 27th overall which was a little faster than last year but not by much, though I went all out on the bike then too!
After the second lap you come to a halt and hop off the bike before running back into transition where I swap to my running shoes, and than off on the bit i dislike — the run.
Now this year I have been doing a lot more running. ‘More’ being a relative term, last year i did a couple of 3k runs to make sure i would be able to finish the distance and that was about it.
This year i have been doing the local Park Run which is a timed 5k held every Saturday morning and luckily for me the nearest one is just a few hundred yards from my house!
The irony here is that the run saw the smallest improvement — just 26 seconds faster than last year. However this year i didn’t feel like stopping half way round.
John and my parents where there at the finish line and, just as last year, I forgot to look at the big timing clock along side the finish so had no idea how long it had taken me. I was out of breath as I had attempted to sprint for the line as there was a guy running with me who really went for it. After a few minutes I felt tired but no where near as bad as last year so had i been quick? Did i push myself enough on the run or did i slow down too much. Was that why i wasn’t quite so tired…
Well there was no need to panic, under an hour again and in fact the swim time was great, bike good and the run well, it was not a disaster:
Swim — 00:07:26
Bike — 00:26:34
Run — 00:15:23
Total — 00:57:06
So I completed another triathlon AND beat last years time!
Next up — my first Olympic distance triathlon in London…