Box End Triathlon National Championships, 18 August 2019

This weekend I completed my first ever sprint triathlon (double the distance I have raced before) which also happened to be the National Championships and a qualifier for the European Age Group Championships next year. The weather was quite sunny with only light winds.

It started with a 750m mass open water start. I got off to a good start with only a few nudges here and there in the water. However as I went round the swim loop, I struggled to know how to pace myself with it being the longest triathlon swim I’ve done. I should’ve made more of an effort to stick to the people’s feet in front of me but on the last straight of the circled loop they just swam off.

Then running into transition, i lost my bike. It’s the first time I’ve ever lost my bike in transition. Turns out I’d run too far down the railings and had to go back and find it. My wetsuit came off quite easily and I was running out onto the bike course quite smoothly after that. 

Mounting the bike also seemed difficult. It’s the first time I’ve ever mounted on rough gravel and I managed to miss my mount twice, going into the pavement twice, maybe because I was already tired from the swim. I then had lost the girl who I came out of transition with and it took me a good few miles to catch back to her. The bike course itself was 20K on a fairly flat course on quiet roads which was nice, with only two short but steep hills. My dismount went a lot better than my mount and I got off smoothly running back into transition. 

I had very tired legs going onto the run, I left transition at a strong pace however I then got to what felt like a cross country course on the run. It continually went up and down the same mound on the course. I was really struggling at this point, but managed to find something extra after a gel and felt stronger going into the finish. I finished seventh in my age category, 4 years younger than some of the other competitors.

Over all, it was a good experience to race this distance as I’ve never done this before. I had no idea to pace it but next time I’ll know how to race it better.

Bea Pauley

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Tim PhillipsTriathlon