Sunday was a fine and sunny day as 500+ competitors headed over to the Copthorne Hotel to take part in this race.
My wave set off at 8:15am (a deep water start) 60 of us churning up the lake, trying to get to the first buoy without getting too badly bumped / kicked / swum over. As ever, I managed to gulp in enough water to trigger my obligatory mid-swim coughing fit. I still cant swim straight in open water, so ended up tracking someone hoping they could. Eventually l navigated all 5 marker bouys and clambered out of the lake.
The bike section was two laps of a undulating course through some lovely villages and fast, smooth roads. Craig and I had decided to race together as a fitting tribute to the 'crazy' year he has. This was good news for me as he is stronger on the bike and chasing him would improve my time. As normal, he charged out and then had to throttle back in order for me to stay in contact. We kept an OK pace and I came in with tired but not spent legs.
The 10k run was 4 loops of an off-road course which was muddy and rutted - not pleasant running. Our pace was slow enough to let us chat and review quite why we do stuff like this! We crossed the finish together with fuel still in our tanks ... but sometimes doing things together is more important that getting your fastest time.
Quite a few guys from our Tri club where racing, as was Sean Dooley and others from Thameside Church. It was good to see other friendly faces as red as ours.
I came in 92nd out of 268, with a time of 2:44:33 (1500m swim=26:14, 46km bike=1:26:28, 10k Run=46:51). I was pleased with that, maybe because I know I can go faster!