Ok, the "A" race.. I was in the zone for this one. I’m not competitive (much) but felt I was ready to smash things up as I last did this one in 2015, missing out last year due to my (3rd) knee op.
So, got the new CWTC trisuit, tick new bike lid, tick, washed the bike and buffed it up like a guudun..tick. I even toothpasted my goggles so I had 20-20 vision for the swim instead of putting up with a misted goggle fuzz I have most swim nights.

So, got my start time & badge bag and made one of those faces you make when you look up at a totally blue sky thinking to myself that this is going to be a hot one. Off to the transition enclosure, reversed & hooked the bike up for an easy getaway, then set out my shoes. I remembered that Steve O’Grady planned to set up a Gazebo so I made off to find it which turned out to be a great shady place to put my kit bag to stop all my treats melting to mush.

So as I waited for the swim talk to finish I went through my swim plan: Before I get in, thrash my arms all over the place so everyone around me looks shocked, steps back, and makes a mental note to stay away from me (however the real reason was to warm myself up a bit). Then more seriously, 1st 2x lengths calm and easy, next 4 squeeze it up a bit, keep and hold it there for the next 4 and think of my head position (yes Ade.. you did flitter into my thoughts at that point.. briefly mind..), then just smash it the last 2. So the thrashing bit worked and the first 2 didn’t even register I was so buzzed up. I do recall really thinking of keeping my head position down as that’ll make things easier for me, however whether my speed reflected my plan, it probably didn’t and I was knackered in no time, but, I kept telling myself to stick to the plan and it’ll be fine.. so that’s what I thought as I came out and semi-jogged to T1.

I think for future tri’s I need to make sure I have the tri bars fitted. I didn’t for steyning or arundel this year but fitted them for this one and it seemed to really make a difference but I do need more practice with them – they just seem so close squeezing my shoulders together! So off I went. The approach to Chilgrove was what I expected.. a few turns and bumps then just a long flat.. long flat road with a few bends. I remember thinking of my body position, just doing little movements, keeping my legs moving smoothly and also thinking of the next things coming up. I’d dropped one of those fizzy energy tabs in my bottle and kept telling myself to take a swig every 10 minutes or so to keep my energy up. ½ way up Chilgrove hill I decided to get out of the saddle. I’ve watched others do this loads of time as they usually pass me but I never do the same – I’ve always thought that you only last for about 20 reps before you get dog tired and have to sit down again, which is when everyone you passed start to catch you up and pass you.. stupid. Anyway, after about 20 reps I had to sit down again and found myself looking back at myself and saying something along the lines of ‘duhh..??!.. what you go and do that for you muppet.?!!’ I suppose it’s a lesson of train how you want to race and I’m going to have to get out the saddle a bit more if I want to go for these glory mountain stages.. so I stayed in the seat from that point.

The return leg went well really, lovely summers day, a few cars, warm, a nice rice back to Chi, well, it was till I got to the fire station roundabout. Unfortunately, this is where my story ends, or rather my part in the chi-tri ends, my story is actually still ongoing (with the help of the BTF legal body). What I can say is that as I was leaving this roundabout to go to T2, I was involved in an incident with a car that turned across the cycle lane that I was on, resulting in me fairly rapidly leaving my bike, the cycle path and at that point, the race. Not a happy bunny.

When I got back to T2 and after going through all the paperwork, I was a bit or a wreck, however I need to say that I can’t thank everyone enough for all the support, advice, ideas and tips on how to get through this sort of thing. Being knocked off a bike by a car is a 1st for me. I’ve come off numerous times over the years for a multitude of reasons which was usually on the downs or trail or woods somewhere, however a BIG thanks to everyone that day for advice and thoughts on getting through this. I remember Guy joking with me that I’d do anything to get out of the run bit (ho ho.. it was actually a little funny but ironically the run was fast becoming my weakest part so I wanted to at least get to the end and tick the box!) however one of the best bits of advice I got was whatever I do, make sure I’m entered in another tri event soon. I wasn’t, but Bognor was coming up - I’d been put off by entering because it had so many roundabouts on it. I didn’t know it then but the sprint Bognor tri starts early, so the traffic is minimal to zero. So I put my name down. My biggest challenge now was to get a temporary bike to do it on..