Dambuster Triathlon 21/06/2014

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Mike Orton
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Location: Watford

Dambuster Triathlon 21/06/2014

Postby Mike Orton » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:13 pm

I returned to this event after a 3 year absence to compete in my first triathlon in nearly 2 years! Preparation had not been great as I had a virus for 3 weeks which meant I only had 2 weeks proper training before the event. However I went up there the night before and stayed in a hotel in Oakham and felt pretty relaxed.

For those who have not done it before I can really recommend it. It is the English Championships at Olympic Distance and a qualifier for both the Europeans and the Worlds; it has a really 'big event' feel about it. Very well organised with nice friendly people and a stunning location by Rutland water.

I had a decent enough swim - 23.30 - about a minute slower than usual. I had a bad T1 faffing with the wetsuit and helmet strap - definitely a bit rusty and cost me c. 30 seconds I reckon. Out onto the bike ride and I felt pretty good. Was passing lots of J's (50-55 age group) and didn't see any of the K's (my 55-59 age group). 3 miles from the finish a K came past me and we tracked each other through to T2. Just before we got to T2 we passed another K who I think had been leading so I actually entered T2 in the lead - around 1.12 for the bike - not bad as the course is 26 miles not 25. Transition was much better and I was out in the lead.

This lasted about 30 seconds until the guy who had been leading the bike came past and he was going at a good pace. I felt sluggish and about a mile in the other K came past, followed shortly by one more. This put me down to 4th.

I kept trying to relax and after a while I started to feel better and the legs were working well. When we got to the turn point and came back over the damn I could see that I was gaining on the guy in third. I got to within 50 metres of him by 8K and was pretty confident I could chase him down by the finish. At just that point I got cramp in both my inner thighs - I think the effort on the bike had taken its toll! It was really annoying as I didn't feel tired and had been moving well, but I had to slow and try to lengthen my stride to run the cramp out. After about another kilometre that had worked but there was now a larger gap and I only had 1K to chase it down. I came close but ended up being 4th by 20 seconds! 2.23 overall - 9 minutes down on 3 years ago!

Although disappointing, it had been a fun race and I was pleased to get round with no mechanicals or injuries. And 4th place qualifies me for next year's Euros in Geneva on the GB age group team so it will be good to put the GB tri-suit on again.

As an added bonus I saw Harvey there - I didn't realise he was doing it as well. Like me it is one his favourite events and he also did it 3 years ago in a similar time. He got round in 2.37 - not quite the Harvey of old but I think he is pleased to be 'back in the saddle' and work/family commitments limit his training somewhat. We had a good chat and a catch up after the event before heading home.

Hope everyone else's seasons are going well. Next up for me is the Big Cow Sprint in 2 weeks time - again this is the English Champs so I hope with 2 more weeks training under my belt I may be challenging for honours again. May see some of you there.



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Simon Hemington
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Re: Dambuster Triathlon 21/06/2014

Postby Simon Hemington » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:33 am

Good effort Mike. Makes me want to come out of retirement as I always loved the Dambuster course.
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Ian Huntingford
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Re: Dambuster Triathlon 21/06/2014

Postby Ian Huntingford » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:02 pm

Shame about the cramp, Mike, but congrats on qualifying for GB again - never in doubt!

Good to hear too that Harvey's back in action this season.


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