Report from Howard Jeffrey:
I had another tilt at those foreign chaps again in the Eu sprint tri champs last Friday in Kitzbuhel Austria: Some of them are awfully good! Again I lined up in reasonable shape but the swim was into the water and GO! I need a few minutes to get accustomed so the chest seized up and I thought I was not going to be able to continue. Relaxed a bit and breast stroked for a while and eventually got the motor going. The floundering cost me a good four minutes but I did not exit the water last.
The rain had started to lash down for the bike leg and at the mount point I realised I had not put on my number. To go back or risk penalty or DQ? I reckoned the referees would have their heads down in the deluge and not notice a missing number and I could put it on for the run and finish, so I pressed on (made the right choice!). Was having a storming bike ride on the flats and surprisingly up the winding alpine slopes (very very steep and the effort was chest-bursting) till I missed a gear change (levers on the TT bars) and the wheel locked up and I had to dismount! The slope was too steep to remount and get moving so I had to run (yeh right!) up the mountain till I got to a flat bit and mount up again. Another four minutes gone! I managed to pass everyone who had overtaken me but had lost touch with an English guy whose scalp I was after (next time!). The descent was manic with a warning sign and men waving flags at every hairpin. I managed to rocket past a load of more nervous riders although had to hit the brakes at most sharp bends. ( A number of riders came a cropper).
On to the run leg and (complete with number) I still had some zip in my legs so pulled back a number of my peers on the undulating route round the lake. There was a long flat drag back to the finish and in the distance was a German who I thought I could overhaul. I got up on my toes to the cheers of ‘Come on GB’ and got up quite a head of steam. The cheers alerted the German about 300 yards from the finish and he looked round and started to sprint. ‘Come on GB you can do it’ helped me find overdrive and I passed not only the one I was chasing but another one who was taking the cheers from the supporters. Two Germans for the price of one and a finish position of 16th out of 27 in the age group. Lost time forgotten and a satisfying conclusion.
Looking forward to lining up after the requisite amount of training and a hiccup free race, if such a thing is possible, to break into the top ten and above!
Flew back Saturday and legs felt good enough to attempt the Staveley Stampede 10K on Sunday. Very hot and about half off road/grass. Race won by Craig Isherwood in 33.16, first lady Hannah Corne 40.03. Yours truly 29th in 43.57 (best 10K time for a year I think). Fellow Otley attendees were Ged Peacock 82nd in 54.59 and Kathleen Robertshaw 106th and 1st F70 in 59.32. We were all cheered in by Jack Robertshaw who had intended to compete but pulled a calf out training the day before.