Sunday 29th July 2015, 5.45am, Worthing Sea Front, the wind blowing, waves crashing against the shore, what were we doing there?. Judit Leszkovich, Gina Graham and Dan Mason, along with around 400 other triathletes, it was the Worthing Triathlon a Standard Distance ETU Qualifying event with everyone racing for a place to represent GB at the 2016 ETU Age Group Championships in Lisbon.
The race was a 1500m sea swim, followed by an undulating 41k bike ride and ending with a 10k lapped run along the sea front.
It was cool, breezy and the sea was rather choppy to say the least. Stood on the beach the hooter sounded and we were off, run into the water and swim through the breaking waves. To the first marker, but with the strong currents and waves it was difficult sighting and we had to aim far left. Round the first buoy and then the current was with us, cresting the top of waves and then crashing back down again, it was rough but manageable, thankfully with the last buoy in sight it was just the return leg to contend with, about 600m back against the current and then to shore. Up and out to the cheers of Andover Tri Club (ATC) supporters, who had made the trip down to Worthing. Back into transition, on to the bike with the hope of a fast split.
The bike was an out and back route along country roads and some dual carriageways, it was fairly undulating but felt good on the out leg, strange considering most of this part was uphill. At the turn point things changed, the temperature lowered and the wind was stronger, a head wind … oh the joys.
Shortly after an hour it was back into transition and onto the run, within minutes the it started to rain, this along with a stiff side wind from the sea meant that it was not the easiest of runs, unfortunately for Gina she had the worst of the conditions with her wave starting last, the heavens had opened. All persevered and got through the 3 loops on the run and on to the finish to the cheers of the ATC supporters.
It was a tough day at the office due to conditions but an enjoyable race and some great times from all the ATC contenders.
Judit Leszkovich finished 3rd in her Age group with a time of 2hrs 31mins
Gina Graham finished 9th in her Age group with a time of 3hrs 3mins
Dan Mason finished 16th in his Age group with a time of 2hrs 20mins
Judit has almost certainly qualified for Lisbon, whilst both Gina and Dan will have to wait to see if they get selected via the “roll down” system after the last qualification race in September.
A very big thank you to Lorna, Mel and Chris who made the journey down to Worthing to support us all, and ended up getting absolutely soaked in the process, top effort from all and certainly made me smile at the end. The storm was of Biblical proportions, I really felt for Gina on the run, a wetsuit would have been more suitable than trisuit.