After a couple of early season pool based triathlon’s, the Manchester Triathlon Club’s mid-week aquathlons are a good place to open the year’s account for open water race experience. With a full starting list of 50 people the race got underway at 7pm with a mad dash swim to the first buoy. Having recently been practising my deep water starts I was happy that I was able to get away cleanly and with little interference from other swimmers. My swim soon settled down and unusually for me I was able to find a good pair of feet to swim on, so other than throwing a few sighting strokes in to make sure we were on course, I was able to concentrate on a smooth stroke.
Coming in from the last, smaller, swim lap there is very little distance before reaching the transition area, this could be where races are won and lost if you aren’t slick and controlled in removing your wetsuit and getting your trainers on. Unfortunately for me my transition wasn’t the quickest, having trouble with my laces didn’t help, and I lost a few seconds to the first two women out of the water.
Onto the run and I knew I had to stay controlled and not ‘race off’ after the leaders, instead getting my pacing right so I was able to attack at the right time. Having spoken to Rodge prior to the race we wanted good consistent splits for the first three laps and then slightly faster for the final stretch home. With the run course being 4 laps of an out and back loop it’s very good for measuring whether you are gaining or losing time to other runners. After passing one of the two leaders after 2 laps I knew there was just one more woman to catch and could tell I was gaining on her each lap. Sticking to the pre-race plan I concentrated on executing my race correctly and half way round the third lap I was able to pass the leader but knew the race wasn’t over until we had crossed the line. Thankfully and I believe because I stuck to my pacing strategy I was able to hold onto first place with run splits of 5:09/5:09/5:08/4:56.
The Manchester Triathlon Club aquathlons are always a well organised, well run race so I would like to thank them for organising the events. (Sarah Jepson)
Wendy Drake, Neil Ainsworth and Sarah Jepson all executed superb races and pleasingly they all ran 5km P.B’s. Along with Victoria Kollard, they all head to the Chester Deva Triathlon this weekend knowing they are in great shape…