The BTF National Triathlon Championships took place in Liverpool last weekend, Sarah Black, Victoria Kollard, Neil Ainsworth, Marcus Sheridan and coach Rodger Wilkins were all looking forward to being part of one of the best domestic fields ever assembled in the U.K.
With National titles and qualification spots for the World Championships in London up for grabs, athletes from all over the U.K contributed to a field of over 2,000 competitiors.
The 1500m swim took place in the famous Albert Dock, along with the not so famous jelly fish!. After completing the swim, athletes were filtered into a huge and very impressive transition area, where they swiftly got their bikes and ran a lengthy 300m to the mount line of the 40k bike leg.
The bike leg was 4x10km laps on the main (closed) road past Albert Dock. Due to the sheer numbers of athletes on the course at the same time, it was inevitable that there would be some intentional and some unintentional drafting occurring. This is always difficult to manage on a multiple lapped course. This factor meant there were several time penalties issued and some faster than normal bike splits posted.
It was approximately 9.30am before the earliest starters hit the 10km run. Again the run was 2x5km laps though the consensus was that the run was more like 9.5km with several rather too quick sub 32min run splits posted. This slightly shorter run would prove to be a blessing as temperatures were soaring and making dehydration and over heating a problem for most.
After all the age-group races had been completed many of the thousand’s of supporters stayed to cheer on the youth’s, the para-tri and the male and female elite races, all still bathed in glorious sunshine.
Overall the consensus was that the event was a big success with only a few issues that may need to be looked at if the race was to return for 2014.
On a day where some had good luck and some had bad luck, pleased to say all RP athletes enjoyed the course and competing against such strong opposition, lessons were learnt and valuable experience banked ready for the next big race environment.
Full confirmation of qualification spots for London is due soon…