St Swithuns Tri was to be my second triathlon of the year. It was a new event, so I was looking forward to seeing the venue. I also guessed that some of the route might be similar to the route used in previous years for Winchester Duathlon, which would be fun.
My mum had agreed to come along to look after Baby M, so I knew that I would be able to do the race without worrying about her. However, it did give me an incentive to go as quickly as possible.
The day before the race, we headed out to Winchester to pick up our race packs. As usual, the organisation was very smooth. I like not having to rush around on the morning of the race sticking labels onto my kit.
St Swithun’s School has stunning grounds and imposing buildings. I’ve heard a lot about the school before but had never seen it, so I was very impressed. I’m guessing that there had recently been an event (prom, perhaps), so there was a marquee with a chandelier set up on the lawn for registration.
After collecting our kit, we went and had a look at the swimming pool. On our way back to the car we bumped into Tri Club team-mate Antoine and his family.
We then went for a drive around the bike course. For other events, we’ve had a practice ride on the course, but we didn’t have time for that, so we decided to make do with a ride. I like to look for any hills that I might not know about as well as sharp turns and gravel on the road.
In the morning, we arrived with plenty of time to rack up. Sergio and Gladys were there, so I spent a bit of time chatting with them as we had a lot of time to waste. I also saw my friend Becky, who was taking part in her first triathlon.
Stu’s wave was earlier than mine, so I was able to watch him run out of the pool to the transition area before I had to go and queue poolside.
My lack of swimming training showed. The pool was reasonably warm. I was the slowest in my lane and there weren’t many people left in the pool when I finished, which is always frustrating. I would love to be a good swimmer.
It was a reasonably long run to transition, but I’ve managed to learn from past mistakes, so I didn’t have too much kit to faff around with. Also, as the weather was warm, I knew that I wouldn’t need to put any additional layers of clothing on. I know that I can improve on my transition time, but I was pleased to be in the top half of the results for this section.
I didn’t mount my bike as smoothly as I wanted to. There were quite a few other competitors around, as well as a 90-degree bend. It was a nice course and I felt that I was riding well, even though I’ve not had much of a chance to get used to my new bike.
Frustratingly, there were a few sets of traffic lights where I had to stop. It was hard to get going after them.
My ride wasn’t quick, but it wasn’t as slow as I thought to was going to be.
I was unable to do a flying dismount as again there was a sharp bend, with a kerb, followed by some grass. As quickly as possible, I removed my shoes, helmet and mitts and put on my trainers. I don’t think I did too badly as my transition time was in the top half of the field.
As soon as I headed out onto the run, I realised that I should have paid more attention to the run course as the first section was uphill on grass, which was challenging. There was then a section on the grassy school field with a short uphill. I saw fellow tri club member, Sandra, and managed to catch up with her on the field. We had a short chat before I continued.
I headed toward where the main group of spectators were waiting. It gave me a much-needed boost to see Sonia, Stu and my mum – Baby M was sleeping.
I kept pushing. Knowing the route for my second lap made me feel a bit more confident.
I was really pleased that I was able to complete the 5k run in a good time.
Overall: 1:25:09 103/179 finishers; 4/14 in my age group and 30/77 female
I really enjoyed this race and would definitely think about entering it again next year. I was surprised that I did so well as I have not been training much