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GTC athletes at the Bute Triathlon 2013

Written by Fiona May 14 2013

The weather could have been worse, but only if it had been mid-winter. Yet the organisers and entrants of the Bute Triathlon 2013 steadfastly smiled in the face of the torrential rain and cold. I had already heard good things about this event , organised by the Bute Wheelers, and I’m delighted to report it lived up to its reputation.

Bute Triathlon 2013

Bute Triathlon 2013. Pic credit ufopilot on FlickR

More than 100 triathletes, from beginner through to a GB team member, turned out on Sunday May 12 – and many added waterproofs, gloves and possibly even a flask of soup to their transition areas. There were two distances, novice triathlon and sprint triathlon, and I took part in the latter.

I don’t often race (it makes me feel sick and nervous!) but this triathlon was to be a practice before my attempt at the World Age Group Triathlon Champs next month. Coach Vickster had recommended I treat it as a hard training session, but not as a full-on I-think-I-will-explode race.

Prior to the start line I debated: Too cold to enter or not.

If I do go for it: Waterproof jacket or not; gloves or not; sunglasses for wraparound anti-rain-in- eyes effect or ordinary glasses; socks or no socks.

As it turned out I decided to brave the conditions, like 10 or so of my fellow Glasgow Triathlon Club pals. I took extra time in T1 to put on a jacket AND gloves. I wore sunglasses to keep the rain out of my eyes even though I risked limited vision because of the lens colour. I didn’t wear socks but as a consequence I couldn’t feel my feet until half way around the run.

The swim was haphazard

I was in a lane of five guys. Guys always start off swimming too fast. Four of them started off swimming too fast. After six lengths they settled down but just a little too slowly for me. I tucked in, enjoyed the draft and accepted I’d swim a little slower. I did 13:30, which is around a PB for me!

T1 was longer that it should be

Jacket and gloves on (I chose a red glove for my left hand and black for my right so I would know which was which at a glance). Helmet and race belt on. Run barefoot from T1 to the road. Jump on bike and go through the bizarre bike shoes on pedals already transition thingie. Success, thank goodness!

The bike ride was cold and hilly

The first six miles was into a headwind and up and down almost every hill on the island. The six miles back had more of a tailwind but still all those hills again. I should have gone a bit faster but I wanted to keep to a training style regime. I overtook and was overtaken repeatedly by one of the guys in my swimming lane. It was a very hard sprint distance cycle and I was thankful for my jacket and gloves. But my feet froze.

T2 was longer that it should be

By T2 I had my feet out of my bike shoes. I ran into transition. Pulled off my jacket, pulled on my running shoes (super lightweight Mizuno racing shoes with elastic laces and go-faster flames!). I ran out of transition the wrong way. Someone told me I was still wearing my bike helmet. I ran back cursing. I took off my helmet and started the run again.

Three laps equals a 5k run

Legs Eleven Craig

Legs Eleven Craig Pic credit ufopilot on FlickR

On lap one I was delighted that my legs felt fine. Usually they feel like useless jelly after a bike ride. Lap one seemed to go on forever though and I was worried I’d lose the will to run on the next two laps. But I felt stronger. And then I saw ahead the man who had been in my swim lane and who I had just beaten into T2 (except my idiotic transition meant he was on the run course before me). I caught him up as he told me that he knew I’d be coming after him. I didn’t have the breath to talk. I just ran on. Having the G-Force, Little Miss and the G-Force’s parents there to cheer me on at every lap was amazing. Just one lap to go and I knew I’d be allowed to sit down again and eat some cake. The run always hurts but I liked the laps that the Bute Triathlon offers.

After-race showers and cakes

Hugs from G and H. A hot shower at the Rothesay leisure centre. My choice of fantastic home-made cakes supplied by the organisers. Then we all headed on to the ferry back to Wemyss Bay and home.

What about the results?

It turns out that GTC pal, Legs Eleven Craig was first male vet and 2nd overall. An awesome result.  Nick Green scored his first ever top 10 finish taking 8th overall. Isla was 34th and third in her senior age group. Colm was 42nd overall. Pauline was 69th.

Ray took 11th in the Novice Tri and Nick’s partner Jane took 20th place overall and 3rd lady vet. What a great day out for GTC.

I ended up 2nd lady vet (I won a medal!) and 4th lady overall. I was in 23rd position. My swim and run were pleasing while my bike could have been a bit stronger. My T1 and T2 need to be slicker. All this was great practice for the first Worlds qualifier in less than three weeks. Much of this shows that Vickster’s coaching is reaping great rewards. But I will be sticking a note on my trainers that says: “Doh! Take off your bike helmet!”

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