Sussex Triathlon - Sprint distance

Sussex Triathlon - Sprint distance

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Race day dawned and after driving home late the night before in the torrential rain through flooded roads and with only four hours sleep I was less than enthusiastic when I set off, a feeling which seemed to be reflected by Rob when I picked him up and told him that the website recommended grippy shoes to run on the very muddy course.  However, when we arrived the skies looked a bit bluer and it was dry so our spirits were lifted.  As the race was quite close to home Colin managed to arrive with time to spare so he decided to have a picnic in transition before the race. 

Start time arrived and we all got in the water between two buoys, there were a lot of people and not much space so I decided to be brave and get to the front of the swim and try not to think too much about all the horror stories of people swimming over you.  I set off as quickly as I could on Rob's feet to try to avoid the hoard of swimmers coming in from the right towards the first buoy.  The good thing about a sprint distance is that you only have 750m to swim which meant  the other five buoys came round quickly and it was time to negotiate the giant step out of the lake.  As I ran the distance into transition I could see Colin ahead of me, Rob and his bike had left transition by the time I got there.

swim times being: Rob 13.39, Colin 14.41, Rachel 14.49.

As I set off on the bike I could just about see Colin but being a proper cyclist he soon disappeared and I set about chasing down as many of the people ahead of me as I could.  I passed three women quite early on and a fair few men but the course was very lumpy and there were a lot of blind corners, so with the rain and my usual cautious cycling I was doing my usual job of being overtaken on the downhills and bends and having to work twice as hard to catch up on the flats and uphills.  Rob said after that he didn't particularly like the bike due to the blind corners but the thought of how much more I would hate it kept him amused.  Coming down the last downhill I was caught by two ladies who were much braver than me, I managed to go back past them on the climb afterwards but coming into transition we were all very close together. 

Bike splits were: Rob 40.35, Colin 40.41, Rachel 42.53.

I managed to get out of transition as the first lady but was overtaken by one lady quite quickly, I hadn't studied the run route and there was a small loop where the out and back overlapped and Rob suddenly appeared coming the other way and was leading the race, then not far behind was Colin.  There was one horrendous hill which was very muddy and slippery both on the way up and down.  I really struggled to run up this and that was when I was overtaken by another lady which was quite disappointing but I ran as fast as I could to the end and was delighted to be third lady.  Rob was delighted to be second male overall after being overtaken on the run by an athlete that was not only a faster runner, but also older than him, a very rare thing indeed! 

Run splits: Rob 21.07, Colin 23.29, Rachel 24.44.

I need also to point out that in contrast to our recent Olympic race at Northampton where Colin beat Rob on the bike and in transition Rob has taken the time to do some transition practice and took great pleasure in pointing out to Colin that he also managed to beat him in T1 and T2.  As Colin pointed out to me, Rob had said after Northampton that a few transition seconds weren't really important but when Rob was the quickest at them they suddenly became crucial.  We stayed at the end for the presentations as Rob was really looking forward to his moment on the podium and despite his request to make a speech which was ignored he will really be pleased to see his moment of fame on the website.

 Overall times: Rob 1.16.43 (2nd), Colin 1.20.30 (10th), Rachel 1.23.58 (21st). 

Rachel Baker