This was not my first visit to Holme Pierrepont for the National Club Rely Championships, the first beig back in 2011, when I was with a team compirising of the NCT boys. It was a grand day out, but due to our catergory we raced on the Sunday morning, with the rest of th club racing on the Saturday morning. Although it was good fun it wasnt a massive club experience. This year though I woud be racing as part of a mixed team, with the rest of the club, I couldn’t wait.
The weather had looked like it was going to hammer it down with rain all day, and the drive out there (such an early start) made it look like that would be the case, but apart from a few drops as we arrived it remained dry all day, and even moved towards sunny towards early afternoon.
A quick look at times this year compared to 2011 shows improvements across the board.
The Swim – This was much faster than last time out,a whole 45 seconds infact, mostly helped by me not having lost my goggles just before the swim this time. However a swim of just under 9 minutes is a little disapointing. Given my times in the pool would be putting me doig the 500m at a touch under 9 minutes anyway, and this should have been an all out effort in a wetsuit. A little disapointed especially whenI had been hoping for around 8 minutes, and that I was the slowest of the 4 of us. However the two handovers both went smoothly, despite forgetting Suzie’s name when trying to yell at her so she could find me at the first change.
The Bike – Another quick handover at T1 and onto the bike sharpish. The bike course is three laps of the lake and about as flat a course as there is.
The corners do require slowing down for and sprinting out of (taking care to not take a tumble as one person did whilst in T1)
Once out on the bike couse it was a case of head down and just hit it as hard as I could, and zipping past the slower people from A wave meant there was alwats something to be looking out for. After what seemed like three very quick laps it was time for a flying dismount into transtion and passing the band on to Sonja for her bike leg. Time for the bike course ended up being 24:12, a mere 46 seconds faster than last time, and this time without a shocking head wind, A little disapointed, especially considering I had been hoping to get around the 22 minute mrk. Upon further reflection I thought that maybe I had a better bike the previous year due to trying to make up for a shocking goggleless swim, knowing that I would have an hour to recover before the run. Still, looking at the speed for this year I averaged 36.3kmph, faster than my Olympic distance average speed.
The corner around the head of the lake required more slowing down, despite being a more arced corner as this had lots of manhole covers and rough ground, a crash hazard. THis was also the point where people were slowing and unclipping ready to go into transition.
The Run – A single 5km lap of the lake, with the first quater being a little undulating as it heads round the back of the grandstand.
I had expected to go under 20 minutes and had a target of around 19:30. I was really pleased to come back with a 5k time of 18:52, only 2 seconds off my 5km PB and the second time I hve run under 19 miuntes. A smooth changeover helped in part by the organisers having someone with a radio 200m down from trasition relaying back the numbers of the approaching runners meant we could be in place ready for the handover with plenty of tim. A quick first km as I chased down the two people who came out of T2 with me and then I settled into a smooth yet hard pace as we went round the lake.
Coming back down the lake towards the trnasition area and my change over I was passing loads of runners, including one with a Team GB trisuit, but the girl in the yellow vest who I’d been trying to catch more or less the whole way round remained elusive. Into T2 again and another quic chnage over of the band and I was done. Time to collapse in a heap and get some pre BBQ water in.
Looking at my speed overthe whole run I was more or less under 4 mi/km the whole way round, and felt like I could hve carried on the pace for anothe lap, which bodes well for the OD tris in the furure, maybe getting closer to 38 minutes over the 10k.
Results – Our team, a mixed team came 13th overall fromthe mornings racing, and 5th in the mixed category, even beating one of our all male teams (they finished 14th overall)
This was a great day out and some really good racing. It was nice to race with the club and meet some people who I’d never met, let alone raced with. A big tasty BBQ was a lovely way to finish the day off.