5 weeks after Austria, I decided to dip my foot into competition once again. Cue the world's largest triathlon, with around 13,500 athletes taking on the 1500m swim - 40km bike - 10km run over the course of the weekend. Having spent the last 5 weeks focussing on recovering from Ironman, I knew that I wasn't at my peak, but I was intent on enjoying the race. I competed in the 'sub 2:30' division, which I'd heard could be quite competitive.
The swim... where to begin. It wasn't fast - well, I wasn't fast. Having neglected my swimming since Austria I paid the price with a 26:37 split. It was congested for pretty much the whole 1500m. About half way round some fool started to do breaststroke and kicked me right in the neck - thanks buddy! Coming out of the water there was the inevitable struggling to get the wetsuit off my ankles... one day I'll learn how to do it quickly!
After a long run through T1 I was happy to be in my comfort zone - on the bike! Having the roads closed in central London was a great experience, and cycling along the embankment was pretty fun. I cycled at a very conservative pace, simply because I'd done no high intensity work over the last 8 weeks. I was pleased with my split time of 1:00:34, which almost made up for my poor swim.
T2 went by smoothly. The run course was 4 loops of 2.5km which I estimated I'd complete in around 42-44 minutes. The run course was CONGESTED! This was simply a function of too many waves of too many people, starting too closely together. There were some very narrow parts of the course which made overtaking tricky, and certainly cost me a few seconds. I eased into the run on lap 1 in a time of 10:54. I was feeling good and was disappointed that the time wasn't closer to 10 minutes. 3 more laps of ~11 minutes simply weren't going to do, so I upped the pace. I then found a really nice rhythm and dialled in my pace to the finish. I negative split the run, running the last 3 laps in a time of 10:14, 10:10 and 10:08, for a final run time of 41:24 and an overall time of 2:13:37 (15th/173 in my wave).
It wasn't really this quiet!
#6939 coming through!
I later found out that the run was around 0.8km over-distance, so my run time translates to around a 38 minute 10km split. Overall I really enjoyed the race and had a lot of fun. There is certainly room for racing Olympic distance in an Ironman athletes season. My next race is in less than 4 weeks at the TriStar 111 Monaco race. Oh, and it's less than 9 weeks until Kona!