The 6th September saw the inaugural West Lancs Triathlon (organised by Vital Events) take place at Edge Hill University just outside Ormskirk. The swim was in the newly opened 25m, 6 lane pool, followed by a 3 lap circuit on the local roads and then a 5km run through the grounds of the University.
Registration took place on the Saturday so I took the opportunity to ride one lap of the bike course so it was fresh in my mind and also ride the run course. The bike course was fairly quick but unfortunately some of the road surface were less than ideal. Thankfully the race organisers had been round the course with some spray paint and highlighted the worst of the potholes.
With a start of 10:40 I had plenty of time to prepare and get my bike racked in transition and was able to watch quite a few of the earlier waves off. Having not done a pool based triathlon in well over a year I wanted to make sure I started at the correct pace for the 16lengths. With open water starts I like to get a quick start and get away from the crowds but here it was more about control and not taking the first 4 lengths to quickly and having to pay for it later in the pool. Using the skills picked up in the last 3 years I was able to hold a consistent time for all 4x100m’s and came out the pool ready to put the hammer down on the bike.
With a fairly long run into and out of transition it felt like it took a while to get on the bike but once on it I soon got into my rhythm. After initially feeling slightly heavy in my legs, this feeling soon disappeared and I started to feel smooth and was able to put in 3 consistent laps before returning to transition.
Out onto the run and I was glad I had ridden the run route the previous day. The start of the course winds its way through the University campus on tarmac footpaths then after returning back past the swimming pool it changes onto a gravel path and climbs slightly before finishing with one lap of the running track.
Not long after finishing, the organisers were able to complete the event with a prize presentation where I was announced as 1st place overall. The guys at Vital Events did an excellent job with this event and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to do their first triathlon or those after a late season ‘hit out’.
For me it was a great event to use before heading to the AG World Championships in Chicago on Monday 14th September. The event in Chicago is without a doubt the biggest event I will have the pleasure of competing in. I am going out there after completing the best year I’ve had to date with regards to training, racing and most importantly personal development. I will race with all the composure and determination I can muster and make sure I finish knowing I have given my all to cross the line. (Sarah Jepson)