This is the second time I’ve competed in the Leeds triathlon. At my first race, I was in awe of how well it was organised for such a big event. Today I wasn’t so impressed.
Everyone was asked to arrive at a specific time, then register at a specific time. From arrival to race start, I would have 58 minutes. Based on feedback from everyone who raced on Saturday, I decided it would be wise to arrive a little earlier. The extra 20 minutes I gave myself was all eaten up queueing to get into the car park.
There was no chance to get back to the car, so everything had to come with me to registration. While unpacking stuff, I knocked over an open can of monster into my box of spares. It felt like a workout just carrying everything to the race entrance. When I got there the queue was massive and I realised that I hadn’t picked up a face mask 🤦♂ I also hadn’t checked my tyre pressures.
The workout continued from the entrance to registration, the pace was incredibly slow and overtaking was almost impossible.
By the time I’d been through registration, I had 20 minutes to get racked up and into my wetsuit before race start
No time to give anything a second check, luckily I was near the end of the racks, so finding my bike should be relatively easy.
It was individual starts walking down a ramp into the water. I was second in the queue and didn’t notice how long the ramp was. I was expecting to be able to walk out to waist depth then start swimming. So it was a bit of a surprise in knee deep water to fall of the ramp on my third step and almost sink to the bottom of the lake . It was relatively warm though 18c and I set off at a steady pace.
After about 100m my wetsuit was feeling tight and my breathing was getting faster I switch to breast stroke to catch my breath, but my breathing wasn’t stabilising and the breast stroke felt more tyring than front crawl. I tried to crawl again, but I couldn’t keep my face in the water long enough before gasping for air. I wasn’t even half way to the first buoy and I started to wonder if there were cut off times for the swim or if I’d even complete the swim this is the closest I’ve ever come to just rolling over and raising my hand. I carried on with breast stroke and when I got to the first buoy, I felt like my breathing was back under control and tried crawl again. I kept it steady for the rest of the swim, but there were no more issues.
Not sure if it was the new foam race chip, but I got my left leg stuck in my wetsuit 🤦♂ I kept saying to myself, more haste less speed…
Happy that I was still alive after the swim, it was time to start enjoying the race. It didn’t seem nearly as hilly as the last time I was here. It was great to be overtaking people. I only got overtaken by a handful of riders, not surprising since there weren’t many people behind me
I was surprised how many spectators were out on the roads and their encouragement was very welcome.
Another long run, but pretty uneventful.
Despite all the maps and route guides saying this was a 3 lap run, in the fine detail it mentioned 2 complete laps then turn off for the finish on the 3rd lap Thanks to Nige for making me double check. Again, the crowd was great, except for the lady who had way too much perfume on.
The route was fairly hill, similar to most of my training routes. This made it difficult to know if I was running at my target pace. I actually thought I was running too slow based on my watch, but it turned out I was almost exactly on 5min/km pace
2 Hours 50 mins 43s
Only 10 mins slower than my target, can’t complain when I was so close to giving up
BTW, 30psi in my rear tyre when I got home good to know I can run them so low