Duston Triathlon was, in my opinion, a successful race. I placed 1st in the under 20 female category and 2nd in the overall female category (to an ex-elite ITU triathlete).
The venue was welcoming with all helpers being extremely friendly including Team Cherwell’s own Richard Hughes. Arriving a few hours earlier allowed me to do my pre-race routine which includes, driving the course, fuelling up on energy gels and tablets, setting up and familiarizing myself with transition, warming up and constantly pestering my parents to make sure I understand 100% of the race and nothing less.
After collecting my coloured hat from poolside, I stood with the other male competitors. The swim… let’s just say it wasn’t my fastest of 400m swim times, which may have been due to two main factors. First, my lane was a tad bit congested with competitors and second, my timing chip strap unco-operatively decided to unstrap itself, meaning I find myself mid tumble turn doing back up my strap, in hope that it will remain done up (which luckily it did). Note to self: bring a safety pin to poolside next time.
Transition 1 went well and luckily I didn’t have any traffic when I was mounting after the mount line.
The bike went well, it took me around 5 minutes to get into it, but apart from that, all was good. The course was, let’s say a slight bit hilly, however I felt this worked in my advantage as I managed to overtake the only other people I saw out on the bike course when on a hill. When crossing the half way mark I checked my watch to see my time and was delighted to see that I was on track for my aimed time. I guess this spurred me on to cycle even faster as when I came into transition 2, I was two minutes under my aimed time! It was the first race I used my aerobars and I felt them to be an advantage, especially on the straights.
Transition 2 also went well with my path being clear and racking my bike successfully.
The run was lonely. I saw no other competitors when running; I guess it was quite a mental challenge running by yourself especially when you are unfamiliar with the course as it gives you no extra motivation and also nothing to pace yourself off. But luckily I had my trusty companion, my watch! It was very useful to see my watch to make sure I was on track and also give me a lot of motivation, such as ‘it should only be 10 minutes from the finish now Rosie, you can do this!’ I weaved my way through the housing estates and finally the school grounds came back into sight, along with my mother stood proudly on the corner of the turn in, shouting me on and running behind me (and failing to keep up)! I kept to my tradition and sprint finished almost knocking down the race commentator as I did so! I got a big cheer from family and friends as I finished which is always nice to hear. To my delight at the finish there was an array of free fruit and recovery milkshakes which I promptly helped myself to after receiving my timing slip informing me that I finished the race in 1 hour 6 minutes and 5 seconds, roughly four minutes under the aimed time!
After collecting all my equipment from transition it was time for presentations where I proudly stood on the podium sporting Natural Ability kit. I was over the moon when I realized I was 2nd female overall, it was completely unexpected due to the rapid times some females can pull out on their bikes. One of the best things about the race were the freebies, never have I been given so many at a race before! 2 tshirts, 2 bags, 2 recovery milkshakes, a protein bar, a sports bottle, a hat, a rehydration pack, a tub of performance drink powder and 2 trophies, I was amazed!
I have to say the funniest moments from the race had to be when I lifted the leg of my trisuit to find a small lump of what looked like white chalk, baffled I flicked it off my leg promptly. It took me a good few moments to realize that it was in fact not white chalk but an energy tablet which I had taken on poolside with me, tucked in the shorts of my trisuit and forgotten to take, allowing it to dissolve in the pool and remain there for the rest of the race!
Overall, a good race! A major thanks to the organisers of Duston triathlon and my dedicated and always helpful coach Brian Butler!