Howard Jeffrey reports:
The conditions for racing yesterday morning were perfect and the venue was unmatchable. Clear blue skies and sunshine not a breath of wind and a temperature of about 14 degrees for my wave start. Dorney Lake for the swim within part of the grounds of Eton College adjacent to the Thames in the rolling green fields around Windsor.
I believe the lake was purpose built for the Olympics and it was laid out with race lanes as far as the eye could see, was flat as a mill pond and a perfect temperature for swimming. It felt great just approaching registration at a major event and it could have been in Spain or Italy and I felt in good shape.
I had a steady swim (without leaving my comfort zone) and was at one with the water for the 750m. Had the usual tussle removing the wetsuit but am not alone in that. Hit the bike leg hard on my TT bike and belted round flat traffic free superb tarmac paths. All the merciless sessions on the turbo felt like they had paid off as I was actually overtaking people rather than the other way round. 4 laps to make up 20 K then the final 5K run. After pushing the bike it was no surprise that I have had better runs (2 hilly half marathons within the last three weeks probably also had some effect) still 21.33 saw me come in 5th place (out of 13) in my age category. Winner of the category was Nigel Gates and for those in the know he is probably still one of, if not the fastest runner in the world at that age. No slouch swimming or biking either however he was 12 minutes ahead last month and yesterday ‘only’ 9! To be in the top 3, I needed to be 3 minutes faster (you all know when you are going as fast as you can 3 seconds is hard to find). Pushing the swim, cutting some excess rubber of the wetsuit and a bit more running training and continued bike efforts and I expect to get close. Well satisfied with finishing at almost exactly mid point in the 600 field.
Have a go at Triathlon, you know you want to!