Brighton and Hove Triathlon World qualification race, 14 Sept 2019

On Sunday 14 September I raced in Brighton. It was a lovely day, the sun was out and because we had to rack our bikes the day before the start wasn’t too early. The first thing I did when I got to the race was finish setting up my transition by adding my bike shoes, computer, helmet and run shoes. I then went to watch some of the juniors to figure out how the sea swim would start. 


I got into my wetsuit. The water temperature was lovely it was 17 degrees which was nice considering it has previously been colder. This was my second sea swim so I was a bit nervous and worried about the waves as last time I had to change the side that I breath because the waves were too big. We had our race briefing on the peer, then headed down to the water. It was a bit of a struggle as Brighton has a pebbly beach. The hooter went and we were off. I felt good as I had managed to get out in front so I wasn’t being hit by as many people. However when I tried to kick my ankle was in so much pain (due to a previous injury) so I decided to just use my arms. I made it to the first buoy and then turned around. When I first sighted all I could see was the sun so I decided to draft off someone trying to keep an eye on the buoy. Around that buoy then the tide was bringing us back into the swim exit. This was good because by this time I had swallowed so much sea water that my mouth was extremely dry. I finished the swim and then remembered that I had to run out over the pebbles to the mat. Mum said that I looked like a crab running!


I finally got into transition and the lady on the microphone said that they had closed the bike exit. I was so confused so I carried on to the exit where there was a queue of women waiting to go out. They had to stop all races as several men had crashed and needed to be moved to make the course safe. This meant that I could take all the time in the world in transition so I got my wet wipe cleaned my mouth, drank my water so my throat wasn’t dry and had a nice chat with some of the girls and of course a photo with them. They then opened the exit of transition and allowed the girls off in groups of 4 in 30sec intervals. This was good for me as it was draft legal and normally I don’t start the cycle in a group.


The group I was out on the bike with was really good. We all took an even turn on the front pushing the pace each time. The course was fast and flat along the sea front. At one point I thought that I was going to get dropped but one of the girls shouted don’t get dropped now so I put my head down and managed to stay with them. We spotted a bigger group up ahead so I went to the front to push the pace I said that we can catch them and the girls all stuck with me. Finally we caught them with 2 laps to go. I was knackered so the girls from my original group came past picked me up so that we could get to the front of the big group. I managed to get to the front in time for the corner so I didn’t have to worry about the rider in front. The next lap was our last so I let someone else take the lead so that I could recover a bit before the run. Back into transition and straight to my spot. 

Transition 2 

I was surprised I found my spot so easily but glad that I did. Racked my bike put my shoes on and got ready for the run.


Went out on the run and was struggling. I had put to much into my bike (which is quite common for me, you would have thought that I would have learnt!). The run course was flat along the front of the promenade. I had a swig of water and started to feel much better. I came back from the first lap strong and feeling good. On the second lap my ankle started to hurt again so I slowed my run down, this was quite annoying for me as I had felt good and that doesn’t normally happen on the run. People were overtaking me and it was hard to keep going. At the half way mark of the second lap I decided that I could do it so I pushed through the pain. I saw a girl behind me who looked around my age so my goal for the last part of the run was to not let her overtake me. I gradually started to speed up until I could see the finish. The finish didn’t seem to be getting any closer but I managed to finish in front of the girl that I saw. 


I don’t think I managed to qualify. I felt like I had a good swim and a good bike but I really let myself down with my run. Next time I am going to try and save some energy on the bike for my run. It was a good experience swimming in the sea I felt like I floated more which made it easier when I didn’t kick. I am going to make sure I heal up and sort my ankle out before I do anything else. 

Sasha Vail 

Tim PhillipsTriathlon