Windermere Triathlon 2014
A 7.30am swim start and Kie being adamant that he was going to eat a minimum of 3 hours before the race meant a startled wake up to a 4.17am Sunday morning alarm. This was followed by bleary eyed donning of tri-suits, eating of race day bagels and quaffing of obligatory cuppa char’s before setting off into what was by all accounts, a beautiful morning.
Made it to Windermere from the Green with only a minor ‘discussion’ about route choice, I spent the journey entertaining myself taking scenery shots and selfies. Kie (more sensibly) spent the journey assessing the road surface, planning his racing line and generally focussing himself.
We were uncharacteristically early and for perhaps only the second time ever, reasonably well prepared. As we were doing pre-transition bike building we saw Greg- UTC representative number three. Hoody’s were on display.
I like to get into the lake, get out and repeat until it’s not a shock anymore. I shouldn’t have bothered on Sunday as the water (~17oC) was much, much warmer than the air (~5oC), and all that I ended up doing was attracting midges to my newly dampened skin.
As we were stood in our wetsuits waiting for the slightly delayed briefing to start, Kie noticed a guy on the rack over from us trying to change a flat- he stepped in to assist & the guy was all set to race just as we were directed to make our way into the water for our Wave 1 start. A quick hug from my parents (who had heroically turned up in spite of the early start) and we were lining up to ‘dib’ in.
Standard in water discussion about route with fellow competitors (that buoy? no that buoy, keep them on the left? No, on the right etc.) and we were off. I could see Kie pulling away ahead of me, and decided not to chase him down, take my own line and just cruise it. Then a fat guy elbowed me in the head. Cue anger, ankle grabbing, a burst of speed & I was back in clear water. The rest of the swim was splendid. I have terrible circulation, and can’t normally feel my hands for most of the swim- not this race, it was positively balmy. Nearing the red marker buoys on the final 300m or so I noticed Kie up ahead of me, I don’t know how, but we pretty much always end up exiting the water within 20 seconds of each other. Kie, 25 minutes 10 seconds (9th overall), Lucy: 25 minutes 20 seconds (10th overall, 3rd female), Greg 34 minutes, 36 seconds (89th overall).
Kie and I were racked next to each other- a quick ‘I loved that swim’ ‘because it was warm’ ‘good luck’ ‘go get em’ and Kie was running off out of transition shoes clipped to pedals, whilst I faffed about putting mine on.
I really like the bike route, I guess because it is so familiar. I name fellow competitors in my head, I spent most of the first half of the race overtaking ‘bianchi boy’ and ‘tanned relay lady’ on the uphills to be whizzed past by them on the downhills as I cautiously navigated my way down (I’m convinced I won’t survive another downhill crash and thus take it overly steady). At Newby bridge Iain was waiting with a camera and let me know that Kie was currently in the lead (whoop!). By this point I’d drunk all of my High 5…
My folks were parked a bit further round the back of the lake.
‘How many ladies ahead?’
‘Shit. Ah well’.
More fast female swimmers than I was used to – Kie confirmed it took him until Hawkshead to catch the leader- who turned out to be a lady (! <<- the exclamation mark is Kie’s). Kie: 1h 15mins 23secs (1st overall bike) Lucy: 1h 29mins 41 secs (42nd overall, 4th female) Greg: 1h 32 mins 50 secs (64th overall).
Back in off the bike without any hiccups (not the case for unluckily punctured Greg) and all I wanted to know was whether Kie was still in the lead & if he had anything left in the bottle on his bike- he did- hurrah! A sip to get me moving and I set off for the first and slowest of my 5 laps (confirming with a marshall on the way out of transition that a guy in blue was in the lead). I struggled round the first loop as dehydration took hold and I even considered sacking off the race to cheer Kie on- I stopped to drink a full cup of water as I collected my first lap counter (elastic band); a disappointed ‘Come on Lucy’ i.e. get moving from my Mum (we’re a competitive bunch)- and as I was replying with a ‘look’ and the question ‘is he still in the lead?’ I received a tap on the arse as Kie sprinted by looking strong in his UTC colours. I followed him out on to my second loop, by the end of my third Kie was stood spectating with my folks, and I was starting to feel good again. Perhaps too little too late. Kie: 41 mins 43 secs (5th fastest run), Lucy 49 mins 26 secs (42nd overall run, 5th female), Greg 46 mins 30 secs (21st overall run).
There is always the worry with wave starts that your win can be taken from under you, but not this time for Kie, he held them all off, finishing over 3 minutes ahead of second place (2h 24 mins, 7 secs). I lost a place to a later wave, 26th Overall, 5th female (2h 47 mins, 19 secs). Greg came 59th overall (2h 58 mins, 5secs), he would have been faster if not for that pesky meddling puncture- but at least he still beat his racing nemesis/friend Andy Dickson.
Kudos to Lindsay Turnbull who finished first lady and an impressive 5th overall.
A party the night before a race may not sound like the best preparation but a couple of pints of carb-heavy hydrating shandy may in fact have been key to success at Windermere….