From Howard Jeffrey:
First, thanks for the accolade for August.
Into September and another triathlon in Roundhay park which is in and around my former training ground so I do it because I am ‘local’. I collected my number on Saturday and horror of horrors barriers were being erected all around the centre of the park for some festival shindig next weekend. It was a close call not to abandon the race as the communication routes from swim to bike to run were in danger of being separated by an iron curtain! Negotiation worked and some panels were left out but the run from the swim exit was extended to about 550 metres. The weather was pleasantly warm and sunny and the water temperature in the lake was ideal. I was in the third swim wave for the standard which was 1500m of two laps round buoys in the lake. The gun went off at 8.25 and we headed for the first marker. I am lucky to be able to swim in a pretty straight line as the buoy was in direct line of the sun so we were swimming blind with a few clashes as people lost their bearings. Not too many in the wave and I settled into a nice strong pace and felt good all the way round. After the water exit was the long drag in bare feet up the carriage drive to the transition which had been relocated to within the barriered area. I had a pretty slick transition despite taking the time to put some socks on and was out to the mount line in good order. The bike route was 40+ kilometres up the Wetherby road which is quite hilly. I was on my racing TT bike so made short work of the hills and felt in good form to beyond Wetherby. The old A1 carriageway is really open textured so it was a bone shaking few miles where there were many punctures. At the turn round at 20K I was expecting a tail wind but it was quite the opposite and we had to work harder into a head wind. I had a good strong ride right to the finish and was only overtaken by two people on the bike leg. Another acceptable transition to the run leg which I thought would be a serious challenge as it was three laps. First up hill 60 which is quite steep, then to the bottom of soldiers field and then a long drag back up the field to the top drive then back down to the bottom of hill 60 again and again mostly on grass. It was hard work up the hill for the first time as my legs got into running mode but then I remembered I can still run a bit so felt comfortable to the end of the 9 kilometres to the finish. Winning the age group was a matter of finishing as the only other guy in the category was more than 40 minutes behind. I was 62nd out of 215 finishers.