The Dambuster triathlon took place on Saturday 22nd June at Rutland Water, Leicestershire. As a World and European Qualifier this race was absolutely stacked with some of the very best amateur triathletes in the country. The race consisted of a 1400m swim (cut short due to windy conditions), an undulating 42km bike ride and a relatively flat, out and back 10km that incorporates running over the famous Rutland Dam.
Early that Saturday morning, RP athletes Marcus Sheridan & Victoria Kollard both lined up focused and ready to race. As with all races, lots of prep had gone into the transitions and specific race dynamics. As a ‘spectator’, watching the various ways people go about things is truly an eye opener. Some novice and even some seasoned athletes make noticeable mistakes, like running into the wrong transition area, leaving T2 with their helmet on – yes I saw somebody head out on the run with their aero-helmet on! Eliminating silly mistakes should be your 1st goal before you start working on the harder elements – like reducing your 10km running ability.
So safely out of the swim and into T1, both Marcus and Victoria had strong transitions that set them up nicely for the windy 42km ride. The bike leg required good pacing and gearing, as it’s a ‘lumpy’ course. Both athletes negotiated this test well and swiftly headed into T2. Both athletes demonstrated great awareness and concentration to keep wasted time spent in T2 to a minimum. Out of T2 quick and onto the 10km run. Unlike the 1st qualifier at Chester, the race organizers didn’t opt for the age-group tattoos or markings, so the race did have more of a normal feel, this factor will have suited some but not others.
As with all races it’s a question of giving everything you have, and being there to witness events unfold, both Racepace athletes certainly did just that. On the day though you’re never exactly sure how your race will pan out – even before you find out your times/positions, once you’re over the finishing line you should know whether it was a good, bad or somewhere in the middle day. Marcus was confident he’d had a good day and performed to the very best of his ability, with virtually all aspects going as planned. Victoria was similar, though after a good swim and bike, she didn’t feel like the legs were quite firing at 100% on the run.
Both athletes have had in-depth evaluations of the race, and are keen to take that forward to the 3rd and final qualifier the Liverpool Triathlon on Saturday 13th July.