So this was my first half-iron distance race in a while. I mainly just signed up to have something to train for. Perhaps I should have read the small print first!!!
So what do I mean “small print”? Well, the previous ones I’ve done have mainly been flat. The last 18 months I’d been concentrating on running more than anything else and for once I’d been hoping for a reasonable run split (which for me would have been anything under 2:30h). However, I hadn’t looked at the profiles and there was 700m of climbing on the bike and the run had over 200m. I really was not expecting that and it was extremely tough.
Throw in 30mph winds and 23C temperatures then you’ve got the perfect mix for a hard day at the office.
The swim thankfully was very straightforward and the lake was lovely and warm and doing it in a wetsuit is always a blast due to the extra buoyancy.
Apart from the climbing and winds, the ride was really quite enjoyable. I’m glad I was on a TT bike though as the wind really sapped the legs. That said, the Range Rover driving fannies really were on a mission to terrorise all of the cyclists. It seems every one of those ever made has been sold in the Nottingham area.
Finally, the run was dusty and windy but it went through woodland, beautiful fields with some wonderful buildings and architecture to look at. Also the support was amazing and lots of people had taken the time to come and see the race and cheer their friends, family members and complete strangers.
Lastly, it was great to see Tash again and race with her. She’s my triathlon wife and it’s great spending time in her inspirational company. The banter was great and the finish line beers felt earned and lush (which is a lot more than can be said for the garbage trailer food stalls. Glad we had our own stash of num-nums back at the tent / camper van).
Also, it was my first time at a pop-up race campsite and it really was an excellent set up. Even the showers were fantastic.
Would I do it again? Not sure. I loved doing it but I think it was just because it was the first time in about 2 years that I’d been able to do anything “normal”. I found parts of the ride a little frightening and I just hadn’t done enough “vert” to enjoy the run. However, I felt good the next day and wore my medal round my neck for the whole of the 4 hour drive home!