Leeds – British Standard Distance Age Group Champs
Standard Distance is my “track 400m”. Too short to take it easy, too long to sprint. I’ve never won a race at this distance.
Leeds was the first opportunity to race tri since Aberfeldy MD in August 2019.
We took a leisurely trip up to Leeds, enjoying our first trip out of Wales for 18 months, calling in on my sister in the Forest of Dean, Heather’s sister in Leicestershire and staying with my brother in Mirfield.
There were 14 in our 70-74 AG – which is a good turnout.
My check in time was at 6:30 and swim start at 7:49. We had our temperatures checked and QRCodes scanned at pre-registration. The swim starts were staggered at 2.5 second intervals so we didn’t really get the usual melee but the penalty was that we were overrun by the younger AG women during the second swim lap. Could have been worse! I swam a conservative leg and clocked about 33m. 14th swim in 15 months!
The run out to the bike mount was 1000m and the bike course a two lap 36km. There were about 2000 bikes on the course at once so, doing the maths, there was no chance of complying with 10m drafting rules. The course was quite narrow and no way they could run motorbikes to check on us. The main problem was the varied speeds – there were sort of 3 lanes, slow medium and fast all on the course at the same time. People, by and large, tried to avoid downright drafting although I did think about it when the guy in second place passed me late on lap 1 as a direct result of the slowish swim. My run is just a bit faster then his, a drafting race would have suited me nicely.
We all had to carry a lot of fluids since there were no feed stations on the bike course.
The 10k run was pretty hard, undulating with loads of sharp turns. I was catching up with 2nd and 3rd place but not enough. I did win the run.
4th in Leeds. The guy who won is out of my league, a full 16 mins faster overall – all made on the swim and bike. The guys in 4th-6th were all within 3 mins of each other.
It was great to catch up with all the “old boys” again.
Take aways from this race:
>> Practice bike mounts and dismounts
>> Do some serious swimming
>> Get stronger bike muscles – gym.
Many thanks to all the staff and organisers at Leeds who put on a great event in difficult circumstances.