On a glorious day up in Kendal ‘MyTriClub’ hosted this year’s 2nd Kendal Sprint Triathlon. Over 200 competitors were treated to superb September weather and a great race day atmosphere.
RP athlete Victoria Kollard and RP coach Rodger Wilkins were both looking to finish the season off with good performances. Victoria recently qualified for the 2014 European Champs in Kitzbhuel so this race was a chance to build on that.
Triathlon is not a straightforward sport that has set parameters; each race can require a different skill set, as each race is unique in its location and specifics. This race was held over a 500m-pool swim an 18km bike ride and a 5km run.
Pool swims can be relatively straightforward but they can also be rather challenging, depending on who’s in your lane and how many are in your lane. It’s important you pace this well. The ‘pool’ mentality can easily get a hold and you set off as if you’re doing a 50m flat out. Next time you’re spectating at a pool-based triathlon, pick somebody out at the start and split their 4x100m times. It’s nearly always the slower swimmers that go too fast too soon and is quite interesting to see how dramatically off their pacing sometimes is.
The bike was on open country roads and incorporated some blind bends and a climb that had to be negotiated twice. If you had not managed to ride the course beforehand, then you would have been at a huge disadvantage. Unfortunately some athletes did come off their bikes, a risk we all take when you are in the zone. I would always advise riding the bike course before race day – it will not only improve your time but could also keep you out of hospital.
The run had a rather tricky climb in it too. Once you’d reached the top, you then had approximately 2km of gravity assisted running down to the finish. It was important that you didn’t push too hard up the climb, once over the top you really needed to get into your stride quickly for this fast, final push home.
The growing popularity of Triathlon was evident in Kendal with such a healthy number of athletes, who were all well supported by their friends and families.
Victoria & Rodger had mixed fortunes on the day, the important thing is to try to enjoy yourself but also to take a little time out to evaluate what went right and what went wrong and learn form it. The dynamic and diverse nature of the sport is what makes tri so interesting and keeps MOST of us coming back for more……