On Sunday the 6th September 2015, the infamous Helvellyn Triathlon took place, all in glorious sunshine - pleasingly we had managed to gain a relay team entry for the event. Our team consisted of Rob Greenwood, Victoria Kollard and Rodger Wilkins.
This is without doubt one of the toughest events in the country - just completing a single leg of this race is not to underestimated. Our intention was simply to race hard but also have some fun in the process.
Rob, who went to the Sydney Olympics as a GB swimmer was obviously keen to do the swim leg. Having done a few sessions at Salford Quays recently, he was interested to see how he would go. Even though he's been out of the pool for a number of years, after only a hand full of sessions he still lined up confident of a high placing! That he did - he came out of the 1600m swim in 20.37 and a fantastic 5th place - a superb swim. A 'short' run up into transition to pass over the timing chip - and away Victoria went.
Victoria now had the 'small' task of the 38mile hilly bike leg to negotiate. It was logical that many strong cyclists would pass her, so remaining composed and pacing the ride well was very important. Toria did what she does best and knuckled down - showing great focus coming over the infamous 'Struggle'. After a super fast descent into Glenridding back to transition it transpired that Victoria had managed to come home 5th Lady in a rapid 2hrs 10mins - fantastic.
So far so good...
Rodge, Rob and Rob's fiancee Helen decided to drive to the top of the kirkstone pass to cheer Victoria on - confident they could follow her down in the car and back to transition ready for the change over. Unfortunately that proved somewhat difficult, for a number of reasons and Victoria ended up pulling away - she was flying! The 'support' car eventually made it back to T2 to be greeted by a bemused team cyclist wondering where the hell her runner was!
Timing chip 'quickly' swapped over and Rodge set off on the run, with one other relay team around 20mins in front.
Knowing the course helps a lot here and that experience enabled Rodge to run through to 11th place but unfortunately still quite some distance behind the other relay team - oops! The weather was incredible throughout the day which obviously went down well with everyone - this is truly a bucket list race and on a day like today hard to beat in terms of environment. We all enjoyed being part of a team and we all had fun - as intended.
Special mention and congratulations to Alex Lawton who casually broke the course record, previously held by Martin Cain. Alistair Brownlee (who recently said it's the hardest triathlon he's ever done) won this race some years ago and I'm pretty sure that if he saw Alex's time - he'd be very impressed.