Pete Lewis and Pete Holt both did this event with slightly differing experiences
Report from Pete Lewis
Today was not to be…
It seems that 70.3 Weymouth is quite the event for bad weather. Yet again the swim was halved this morning due to bad conditions and visibility.
I had a good swim and felt strong (17mins for 950m in swell) and committed to the bike in earnest. Dressed for the occasion this time, there was no chance of suffering from the cold as I did last year. I was motoring and felt strong. New race nutrition and the benefit of some solid training and gym work all starting to pay off.
Then something didn’t feel right on my back tyre and at around the 60km mark my worst fears were realised; a flat. Pulling over next to another stricken athlete, I helped him with my CO2 adaptor and he obliged with a mini spanner to help with a stiff valve extended (oo er Mrs!). Dewi (stellar gent) said keep the tool as I may need it. What a bloke.
Turns out I did need it some 5km later with another flat on the same wheel. Was it a dodgy valve extended or bad luck? Hard to tell as the micro flint on the road surface is so easy to miss when checking the tyre for obvious debris. Anyway, with my tyre changes getting faster with all this practise, another athlete pulled up alongside with a flat. Turns out he had never changed a tyre and “don’t have a clue what I’m doing mate!”
Now, at this point I’m fully inflated and ready to go. But having got this far due to the kind nature of another athlete, I decided it was my duty to ‘pay it forward’ and help Tom out. Having changed his tyre he offered me the use of his spare inner tube in case I flatted again. I must say I was tempted, but decided that he should keep it. Anyway, what are the chances of getting a third flat?
Pretty high as it turns out! So with no new tubes, no CO2 left, I had a choice. Wait for the broom wagon or try and make it back to T2 before the cut off. A quick bit of mental maths and I thought perhaps I could make it.
So the next 16kms was a combination of walking and cycling on a flat where I dare. If I passed a stricken athlete, I would ask if they had a hand pump. If so, I’d re-inflate in the hope I could squeeze at least another 500m out of it before it went totally flat again. This happened all the way back to Weymouth and T2.
Racking my bike and running into the change tent, I was gently guided to one side. Turns out there was a party going on and my name wasn’t on the list.
I missed the cut-off by 2 minutes! Gutted. Despite my protestations to the referee that I could go smash out a near 1hr 30min run time and therefore still be finished before many out on the course were done was met with a smile and a shrug that said “them’s the rules”.
The Race Director in me knew he was right.
So, a DNF when all the indicators were that I was on for a fast day. Never mind. At least I wasn’t one of the poor souls in the ambulance today (saw at least four blue light incidents).
And considering it was my first DNF in 18 years of racing and my first ever flat during that time, I’ll accept it graciously!
Well done to Peter Holt for a great performance in nasty weather and always with a smile (most of the time!)
P.S. That mental maths I spoke about. Turns out I forgot they had adjusted it to reflect the shortened swim. Think I would have still had a go to get back mind…
Not much from Pete Holt but the Legend that is our Coach got round with no dramas, what’s going on there..Allthough there are some pictures