Monday, 8 June 2009

Weymouth Race Report

Weymouth Middle Distance Triathlon was my second race of the year and was another part of the build-up to Ironman UK 2009. As such, the plan was to take things fairly easy and practice for the big race.

On Saturday I headed down to Weymouth to register. As I turned onto the promenade and got a good glimpse of the sea I gulped. There was altogether too much white water. The waves were not huge but it looked far too rough to swim and I thought I was in danger of having a repeat of my Bournemouth experience from last year. I went to bed early on Saturday night very worried about conditions for the next day, the thunder during the night did not help me sleep.

With a 7:30 start for my wave I was up very early on Sunday for the drive back to Weymouth. It was a huge pleasure to turn onto the promenade and see a lovely flat sea without a white wave in sight. I went through all the normal preparations getting ready and before I knew it my time arrived.

This was only my second mass start race and I didn’t enjoy it. My goggles fogged up which made sighting very difficult and I was reduced to following the people around me. Although I felt fine on the swim I was gradually dropping back through the pack. I picked up a few places at the end of the swim as I finished quite strongly. T1 was reasonably slick and I slipped on a Helly Hansen top for the ride as the forecast was not good. I was disappointed with my time, 00:47:06, for swim and T1.

The bike started with a drag up hill out of Weymouth. Nothing too severe and before long I was out on the rolling hills of what turned out to be a nice bike course. I followed my nutrition plan for Bolton, eating a Power Bar every 50 minutes and drinking plenty of Nuun. In fact the ride was fairly uneventful until a few km from the end. With my hydration plan working slightly too well I needed to make a comfort break and knew there was nowhere convenient in transition so I followed another rider into a farm gateway. After doing the necessary (note: need a two-piece tri-suit for Bolton to make things easier) I jumped on the bike and headed down the road. At the next safe spot I jumped off the bike again and had to spend some time cleaning all the mud out of my cleats so I could manage to clip-in to my pedals properly.

Then before I knew it I was heading down hill in to Weymouth and along the front back to transition. This involved lots of weaving in and out of slow moving traffic so the daily commute through London has actually been quite useful training. My transition was fairly slick again, I even remembered to take my helmet off and turn my number to the front, and I was out on the run in no time. Time for the bike and T2 was 02:45:36, which I was reasonably happy with.

After a few minutes running I crossed from the sea front to the path by the country park. At this point I was glad I made my earlier comfort break as quite a few people were having to stop in this far more public area to relieve themselves. I am sure Bolton will be better organised in this department. I forced myself to take it easy for this part of the run though I was actually feeling quite strong and my legs felt fine, getting into their stride straight away. The first half of the lap was a gradual uphill until the first drinks station where it then headed gradually downhill back into town.

Just before the first drinks station I had a gel and followed it with a cup of water, again testing my nutrition plan for the Ironman. At the other drinks stations I slowed down just long enough to get some water on-board then carried on running. After forcing myself to take it slowly for the first lap I still felt really strong, so I started to push just a tiny bit harder at the start of the second lap. Again I had a gel just before the first drinks station and followed it down with water. Then I decided to go for it for the final half lap. I pushed myself quite hard all the way back to the finish and felt really good the whole way, managing to pass a few people in the process. Time for the run was 01:41:41.

Adding all the times together gives a grand total of 05:14:23. It is not a time to set the world on fire but I am quite happy with it. After a couple of minutes to get my breath back from the fast finish I felt really good and not too tired at all. It was almost as if I could have done it all again.

The prospect of having to double all the distances is still quite daunting but this has been a really good confidence builder. My race plans and training seem to be on track so I think I should be OK. Which is just as well as it really does seem very close now.


Karen said...


Just wanted to say a quick GOOD LUCK for IMUK! Yikes... I hope your taper is going well. Looks like you aced Weymouth and are well prepared.

I've found every "M Dot" race I've done (not full just the 70.3s) are very much organised, far more so then non dot races... usually some portaloos in transition areas etc.

GOOD LUCK. Training looks to have gone well. Believe in your training and you will do well!

MikeyB said...

Thanks for the support. Tapering is going well - I am great at training less and eating loads. Right now I just want to get to the race and get on with it.