This is a pool based triathlon based at Edge Hill University sports centre, which provides an excellent venue. The format is 400m swim, 18.5k bike and 5k run.
As it was a pool swim, the swim starts were phased over several hours, and I had been allocated a start time of 9:40am. With this in mind, I arrived at about 8:15am, registered, and set my bike in transition, noting its position and the various entries/exits for T1 and T2. Once I’d done this, I headed back to the car in an attempt to keep warm, as there was quite a strong cold wind.
When it came time to start my race, I was very pleased to be placed in lane 6, which meant that I was in the lane closest to the swim exit, with steps out of the pool! There were 4 swimmers in my lane and we were set off at 30second intervals. I tried to focus on not going off too fast for the first length, and soon settled into a steady rhythm. As I completed the 16 lengths, I made full use of the steps and jogged out of the pool. I used the long run up from the pool to transition to evaluate how cold the weather was. I’d left a jersey in transition in case it felt too cold, and I noticed lots of athletes around me were taking time to put on extra layers, but I decided that I’d be fine in just my tri-suit.
I ran with my bike down to the mount line, and I was off, on my strongest discipline. I was determined to put in a good bike split, as I thought this would give me the best opportunity to do well in the race. The bike course used a mixture of open and partially closed roads. The first part of the course was on open road, from which you then turned onto 3 semi-closed laps, before heading back onto the campus. There was a ferocious headwind on the early part of each lap, where the road was quite open. This made it slow going, but I just got as tucked in as I could, and made sure that I didn’t go too hard fighting the wind. I was pleased to spend most of the bike course passing other riders, and was equally pleased that nobody passed me at all.
I came in off the bike, feeling that I’d worked hard, but I still felt strong for the 2 lap run, which finished on the running track. The run was quite undulating, and again felt quite exposed to the wind in places, but I just concentrated on managing my effort level, and finishing as strong as I could.
I was happy with how the race went. I felt that I paced myself well and was very pleased to discover that my time of 1hr 13mins meant that I won my Age Group (FV50) and finished 8th female overall.