Competing from the Club
Gina Graham, Chris Edwards, Rob Savill and ex-member Lisa Hill in Chippenham tri colours.
Early in the Year…Lisa said “Gina you need to do a middle distance race, it will be good training for your European Age Group Champs Race in Lisbon”. If I had said this it would have been ignored but coming from Lisa, Gina accepted this and entered which meant I had to as well!! Rob just blames me for the fact he is doing triathlon at all and is doing Ironman Sweden in a few months so this was just a short training event for him.
Anyway after lots of training including a first ½ Marathon at Bath (which was good apart from Gina sneaking ahead of me after 10 miles) and a few Bad-tempered cycle rides Race weekend finally arrived.
Saturday was registration day, Gina was working so Rob and I registered the 3 of us and then went to check out the campsite where are intrepid supporters Mel and Jacqui were trying to set up their tent. I let Rob sort them out as I was saving myself for race day. Us competitors had decided for the sake of an hour drive and the very early start we needed the comfort of our own beds.
Sunday Race Day, Alarm goes at 3.15am !!! Porridge on, eaten and on our way by 4. Arrive at lake 32 just after 5am, need to be parked , set up in transition and out by 5.45, all very well but there is a big queue to park as everyone has arrived at the same time, Rob just ahead of us and Lisa just behind.
Anyway it all worked out, we are all in wave 4, so at 6.20 we are briefed but could not hear any of it, Start is on the dot at 6.30. Mel and Jacqui are there to see us off which was fantastic. Swim went well, it was a bit packed at the start Rob and I get out of the water after 34 min, Lisa and Gina 5 min behind in 59 min. Issue for Rob as he lost his timing chip but got reunited with it at T2. Judit and Tracy have arrived to cheer us out of the water, fantastic support. Anyway after a fairly leisurely 4 min transition I am on the Bike and it is raining, (it varied between being light to heavy the whole bike course but never stopped). I am expecting Gina to come flying past any second but no sign of her, has something gone wrong…., no she is just taking it easy because of the rain!! She still completes the bike 2 minutes quicker than me. My bike is 2.53, Gina 2.51, Rob lost his chip for Bike but calculating back must be about 2.44, Lisa 3.07 (She needs to get back to a good club again).
Finally we are on the run and the rain is easing off, I am out of transition and no sign of Gina. Just got to keep up a steady pace and this is in the bag surely…….. NO, half way round the second lap she comes flying past me, clearly taking it easy on the bike has saved her legs for the run!!! I briefly see Rob on one of the crossovers , otherwise my second half marathon is slow at 2.23, Gina 2.12, Lisa 2.17, and Rob under 2 hours at 1.57. Final times Rob 5.23, Gina 5.51, Me 5.58, Lisa 6.11.
Well that was it, many thanks to the support team and all the Facebook comments. I am happy to have finished and pleased to get under 6 hours. A final note to congratulate Gina on coming second in her category and probably qualifying for European championships at middle distance if she wants!