Race day began with a civilised start of 10.05am – opposed to the usual ‘what time is it’ start times. The other difference was that this was an ITU style drafting race.
Race morning and we made our way down to the transition where we had plenty of time to rack our bikes and go over both transitions thoroughly. The race started on the beach by running and diving into the sea which was really cool, amazingly my goggles stayed on. It was a 1500m loop around 4 buoys which was straight forward. I maintained a steady rhythm throughout the swim which enabled me to have a quick and controlled T1.
Out on the bike course I got into the groove quickly and as soon as I could I jumped onto the back of a group and stayed with them for as long as possible. This aspect was most stimulating as instantaneous decisions were being made constantly. Whenever possible I either cycled with someone or in a group. The times that I was on my own I could really feel the difference in the effort required. The bike leg was brilliant fun and I was pleased with how I executed it.
Having had a good T2 I set off on the run course which was 3 laps. My legs were feeling heavy after the bike so I maintained a comfortable pace for the first lap. In this way I was able to increase the intensity slightly in the second lap and maintain this throughout the last lap.
Fellow Racepace athlete Neil Ainswoth was also competing – he set off several minutes behind us – he passed me in T2, so was obviously having a good race! I crossed the finish line feeling pleased with how the race had gone. I believe that I paced it well and I made some good decisions. This type of race is a lot different to the non-drafting race most age-groupers are used to and suits some more than others, but it is good fun whether it suits you or not.
Once we had all finished the race we enjoyed discussing and evaluating what we had done and then we relaxed on the beach which was a perfect end to the day. (Victoria Kollard)