The Shropshire Triathlon was my first ever OD race in my short triathlon career so it was fitting to take the opportunity to race there again after my first year of triathlon specific training. It would be the place of the UK Champs this year bringing a bigger and deeper field of talent. The race was nearly cancelled in the week due to the green/blue algae problem they were experiencing and talk of a Duathlon were floating around. They went ahead with the competition and athletes had to sign a waiver to participate. The weather had been pretty bad leading up to the race and with a bit of jet lag I have to admit I was looking forward to getting going and taking a well deserved break afterwards. I was in the first wave with the 19-34's all going off at once. Swim - 23.06
The water was a balmy 13 degrees and without the chance of a warm up, jumping in and starting within 2 minutes was a bit of a shock. once going I made what I thought was good ground to the first buoy (about 500 metres in) only to sight and see a small group already halfway to the second buoy. I tried to stay focussed and swim with the group that I was with and managed to stick with them to the water exit, although doing a large portion of the leading.
Bike - 1.02.14
Onto the bike I knew I had to try to make an impact on the groups that had got away, knowing that I was in about 45th coming out of the water. Transition was solid but with cold feet from the swim I struggled to get my feet in my shoes on the bike as efficiently as I wanted. As we climbed out in the first 5k I was catching the immediate competitors in front, but with one big 40k lap I cycled the majority of the course alone. It began to hail on the bike and the wind was taking its toll but with a significant amount of flat and downhill my average speed was staying on course. I caught a large group coming into the final 5k of the bike and came into transition in 31st.
Run - 32.57
I knew the run was tough and I was looking forward to it as I knew the course well from last year. By the 3k turnaround point with a few hills already gone I was 25th. The weather had stopped and it was pretty sheltered out on the country paths of the run. By the 8k turn point I was into 20th and trying to get in the top 20 and beat the ge grouper ahead of my in my category. I caught him with 400 to go and eased past as we went through the muddy trail before the final straight. Fastest run of the day.
Finish 2.00.01 - Auto Qualifying Spot
I was disappointed with my positioning in my category and overall but pleased with my eight and a half minutes improvement from the previous year, with worse conditions. the time was pleasing and with a better time in each discipline I must take that progress and be happy with my season.
Well done to all my triathlon friends who raced and achieved their targets, especially French Fry who faired extremely well in her category.