A sprint triathlon comprises a 750m swim, a 20k bike ride and a 5k run. It was created so that a professional could complete it in around 60 minutes. Which to a pro is a sprint…
To most normal people even a sprint triathlon is a real challenge.
I have not done a sprint race since 2016. I prefer longer distance races but when I saw this was on I thought it would be a good re-introduction to racing after a year without any events in my schedule.
What I didn’t know was that this year’s race was also the Scottish Triathlon Sprint Championship.
Swim – My aim was sub 15 minutes
The swim was split into waves of 50 people based on age groups. I was in the 40-50 age group. I was a bit nervous as I’d not raced in a while. I was also intimidated by just how fit the other other men looked.
In normal life, if I compare myself to the average 40-50 year old then I consider myself very fit. But in his lineup of lean, fit middle aged men I looked like a beached whale of unhealthiness. I tried to stay positive – I might come last but I’ll still be in top 50 in Scotland.
The course was an easy loop. The water was very warm (17C) so I set off fast but I couldn’t keep up with the really good swimmers. I settled into a nice rhythm and I got round with no issues.
I was pleased to be out in 18th place in 13 min.
It would be my best results of the day.
My transition was slow as its not something I practice or care about. I’m only interested in the times for each leg of the race. I think that comes from only doing long distance races were transitions are not that important to my overall result.
Bike – My aim was sub 45 minutes
One of my favourite games to play on long car journeys is “nice town, crap town”.
The rules are very simple. Whenever I am about to pass through a town I’ve not been to before, I try to guess, based on just the name of the town, whether it’s a nice town or a crap town.
The bike route passed through three towns I’d not visited before – Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly and Lochore.
My guess was that Cowdenbeath would be crap. Cows are big ugly beasts so a town based on the name ‘cow’ must be ugly too. I thought the other two would be nice as lochs are beautiful places. I was wrong. They were all crap!
Caveat (twinbikelawyer says I shouldn’t slander whole towns) – I should say, the bits the bike route went through were crap. The other parts of each town might be nice!
I knew my bike leg would be slow. I’d forgotten to check my TT bike until the night before the race. It uses hydraulic brakes but the water pressure was low. The brakes didn’t work. I didn’t have time to sort it so I used my normal bike instead. This bike is comfy and reliable but it’s not quick. All the swimmers who were slower than me soon caught up and passed me.
The course was undulating and the road surface was poor in places. It wasn’t a very scenic course but I was happy with my time of 42 minutes. It was as quick as I was likely to go considering the bike I was using.
I jumped off my bike and then held on to my bike as I mounted a pavement. As I lifted my bike over the pavement the front wheel came flying off. Narrowly missing an official. Is killing an official with a bike wheel a DQ or just a 15 second penalty?
Run – my aim was less than 25 minutes
The run was an out and back course alongside Lochore. I’d only run 200m when I passed by the finish line. My number fell off. I didn’t bother to pick it up as I couldn’t be bothered holding it for the whole race. But a nice man picked it up and handed it back to me when I ran back at the end. Thank you to whoever you were.
It was quite warm on the run. I’d have liked a water stop but I’m guessing COVID regulations don’t allow it as there was none on the course.
I was happy to plod around in 23 minutes.
I was happy to beat all the times I’d aimed for. It was nice to be at an event and see people out enjoying racing again.