Time to test the fitness

By Matt Hammerton

My first olympic distance triathlon of the year took place on the 1st of June at Rothervalley. The race consisted of a 1500m lake swim, 40km undulating bike and a flat 10km multilap run. It was a good chance to test my fitness out over the longer distances. The plan was to go as hard for the first section of the swim and bike and then settle into a good pace for the remainder of the race. I had no plans for the run…just see what was left in the tank!

The start caught me by surprise as I was chatting with a team mate. Needless to say, our conversation quickly ceased, adrenaline shot through my veins, and I took a few sharp intakes of breath as ice cold water slid through the neck seal and into my wetsuit. I was now swimming in full flight pushing hard to the first buoy that marked 350meters. Having turned round the first buoy I found myself in the lead!!! I maintained this position for the rest of the swim blissfully unaware of how far back other competitors where.

Leaving the lake in a shade over 20 minutes, I quickly ran though transition and onto the bike. The rain had now started and the cold was setting in as I powered through the first lap averaging about 38km/h. The drenched roads soon become dangerous causing me to slide around a few corners. Despite this, I stayed upright and more importantly nobody over took me; first pace was still mine!

Into second transition, the commentator was unaware of me as he commented on one of the other races currently underway. I speedily put my trainers on and set off on the multilap run which was ideal for finding out where second place was. After rounding the top of the lake I looked across to see second along with the lead vehicle! Knowing that he was an extremely fast runner, I pushed as hard as possible. 3 minutes lead isn’t much when you have a reigning National Olympic Champion breathing down your neck! With 1km to go I glanced back to see my lead reduced to about a minute. This gave me confidence that barring cramp or complete exhaustion, I had it in the bag and a couple of minutes later I crossed the line tired but elated - my first 1st UK Olympic distance. The last seven months of training, early morning Sunday ride in freezing conditions, 6:30am swims and tortuous run sets had worked!

Phil

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