Nokia Windsor Triathlon
Nokia Windsor Triathlon
Swim 1500m (900m against the tide, 600m with the tide)
Bike 42km (Flat with rolling gradients, no real hills like the South Downs)
Run 10km (Flat apart from 3 x 500m steep inclines to the gates of the Windsor Castle)
Weather was perfect and arrived at the transition at about 5:30am kitted out in shorts and tee shirt. Always a good indication that it’s going to be hot! . My start time was 6:50 so I spent the time checking out the transition area and swim course so I knew entry and exit points. 6:40 I was kitted up and stretching at the swim start point. I met John Bullard who was in the same wave as me and we wished each other luck. The 6:45 wave started and the 43 to 44 (age group) wave jumped in the water (180 ). I’d been watching the previous starts so decided to take a front spot furthest away from the river bank so that I could cross the river quickly and avoid the oncoming current. The starter horn went and we all started kicking and stroking to get some clear water. I caught a few arms but after 100m’s got some clear water and settled down into a comfortable stroke and trying to pick up a pair of feet, however, this was not possible with the zero visibility so concentrated on my direction and keeping out of the current as best I could. At the turning point I had caught up with some of the earlier wave athletes so had to keep an eye on positioning for the exit. I managed to get a perfect turn around an island in the Thames and got a clear exit from the river for the 200m run to transition. This run was more like a fast walk due to cramp in the hamstrings, but once at the bike it was all but gone and did not return. I found my bike without hesitation, on with the new aero helmet, off with the wet suit and I’m off running with the bike out of transition. The mount was quick with little time lost slipping my feet into my cycle shoes… and I’m flying. The first 15km of the cycle was fast, keeping a 38km+ average. The middle section of the cycle we hit the undulations, which where tough on the concentration, trying not to let the average speed drop without “blowing up”. I think I may have concentrated too much on my speed as I missed a 1800 turn round point. I probably should have guessed I’d gone the wrong way as I had to skilfully dodge an orange 4ft barrier and a marshal to get passed. 20 yards down the road I came to a roundabout where there was another marshal who kindly told me I was going the wrong way. Whoops, 30seconds lost and now in catch up mode. From here on I pushed all the way getting up to 55km/h down through the Great Windsor Park. There had been a smattering of rain during the cycle so I took it easy on the corners in the Town and arrived at the transition in tact. With the bike racked and flats on I was off. The race pace brick training paid off as I was into my stride immediately and cruised the first incline to Windsor Castle. My breathing was controlled and so picked the pace up, over taking other athletes all the time. The surroundings of Windsor and the crowds were amazing and really helped me to push hard. Second lap and I was still feeling good on the way up the incline and maintaining a good pace. A few competitors over took me during the end of the 2nd lap but I was happy to let them go as I knew I had one final incline to go. The last incline was tough, even tougher going down as my legs couldn’t keep up with the down hill pace, but knew there was only 2km of flat running to go. I entered the finishing straight and tried to turn on the gas but could not get anymore from the engine and crossed the line in 02:16:18.
Report by Andy Roberson