I rocked up to sunny Chester on Sunday 4 June to do the Deva Triathlon, standard distance. It was a World Championship qualifier, so the nerves started as I checked out all the very scary looking competition at registration on Saturday evening.
Nerves continued to Sunday morning, especially as it was a joint start for my total age group with the men. The swim is my weakest bit, and I was dreading the washing machine with all the boys as well as a fair few feisty girls. However, after a fantastic race briefing from a local coach on the Saturday afternoon I managed a pretty good swim (for me) – out of the water about 15th or so. Everybody headed to the far bank of the river, but a few of us had been given the tip off to stay to the left, and it worked!
Thanks to Mark’s Monday night swim coaching, I have gained loads of confidence in a couple of weeks and I drafted pretty much the whole way. Swim was 27 minutes – very good for me. A long run up a hill to transition, and onto the bike where I expected to gain a good few places. Disaster struck – bike felt like I was peddling through treacle and I just couldn’t spin and get any decent speed up without grinding through all my power.
Overtaken by 3 competitors (which I should have been doing instead!), despondency started to set in and I lost focus. Was it really the bike or was it just my legs? Was I just useless and slow? Anyway, the upside was a beautiful course into the Welsh countryside and sun all the way. Back to transition and off to the run – gained about 4/5 places at least, but there was just too much to do to gain any more. Also my legs were pretty fried from churning it out on the run. Again, lovely route and a great atmosphere with 1000+ participants and lots of supporters. Ended up 13th in age group out of 50. My age group was absolutely awesome – some incredible women, including first and second overall women both from my age group. And that has to be a good thing for us older ladies (although I can’t wait to be in the next age group when the two of them won’t be there for a couple of years…) Was pretty disappointed at the finish, but have found the mechanical on my bike so at least it’s not me. Onwards and upwards to Ripon – will be really tough qualifying this year, but at least I’m out there trying!