Report from Howard Jeffrey:
I had intended to do the British sprint triathlon championships last week as a ‘primer’ for the European event next Friday. That was before Jacque got some of her toes crushed by a three quarter ton Friesian horse (Ouch!!). Big one broken in three places and the next one crushed beyond repair and partially lost. Anyway she’s on the mend now and we are packed ready to head off to Lisbon tomorrow. I had ‘trained through’ all the recent races so was not sharp as I was aiming to race better at Lisbon and then the following week the World standard duathlon championships in Northern Spain. There was still the need to do a race sharpener so I entered the Driffield sprint triathlon with a view to throttling back in the week before and then giving that a blast. It is a fairly low key event with a pool swim of 400m followed by 18K bike then a 5K run.
The weather turned out to be just about perfect with a nice warm sun for registration and then into the pool for a 10.48 start for my group which went by anticipated swim times. The lanes in the pool were quite narrow but thankfully there were only four of us at 5 second intervals in my lane. I felt in pretty good shape and was aiming for an 8 minute swim. Got into the rhythm immediately and within a couple of lengths had caught up one of the other guys. You have to wait till the end of the length to pass so that sort of forced a steady pace. A couple more lengths and one of the others had overcooked it and was breast stroking so the same again. The other guy was off and gone so I then had a pretty clear run in the latter lengths and had to keep in check and save a bit for the later stages. Left the pool in 7.38 with gas in the tank! Quite a long jog to transition to pick up the bike then onto some nice country roads. It was pleasantly undulating (if a bit windy at times) and again I felt all the turbo training was paying off as I held my own and better against what looked like ‘real cyclists’. I had my second line bike in action as the TT is on its way to Lisbon and it has a speedo on it. I was surprised to find I was pushing 27 mph on the flat and touching 30 on occasion. Again I held a bit in reserve as I was aiming for a 22 minute 5k. Out of transition 2 and the run was three laps around the school and leisure centre so was a bit twisty, turny and long stretches on grass. Solid run in a time of 22.55 which wasn’t bad considering the route and the heat. One of the guys said his Garmin clocked 5.25K which I can well believe. I know it was low key but I was pleased to finish within 10 minutes of the race winner in 33rd out of 280 competitors first in age group and in fact beat all the age group below as well. Hope to maintain the momentum for Friday which is 750m open water swim, 20k bike and 5K run, all accurately measured.