Bradford-on-Avon Triathlon

The 20th May saw three West Country Triathletes participate in the picturesque town of Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire.  Matt Cooke and James Kyffin were taking part in the Olympic distance race while Leigh Holloway was doing the sprint distance.

Recent cold weather and heavy rainfall played its part in the event; organisers had sent emails out to competitors the week before the race advising that it would be mandatory to wear a long-sleeve top and gloves on the bike.  On the morning of the race, during the 7:30am briefing, the freezing cold rabble gathered on the banks of the River Avon were informed that, due to a recent improvement in the weather and almost bath-like river temperatures of 12.5oc, extra layers were not mandatory but the swim was shortened (500m for the sprint, 1000m for the Olympic).

"Definately colder than the Huntspill"

Slipping in to the icy waters of the Avon was far from easy and getting your head under the water was almost impossible, so as a result James and Matt looked rather elegant swimming with heads well above the water.  The high water levels meant that currents were strong with most swimmers hugging the bank on the way back upriver and it was probably these conditions that resulted in some slow swim times.  James came out the river in 17th with a swim time of 17:46 while Matt was 10 places further back with a time of 19:17.  In the sprint race, Leigh swam the 500m in a time of 12:41.

A long run to transition and the addition of extras layers and gloves resulted in some pedestrian T1 times and then it was out onto the 36km bike route.  It wasn’t long before Matt had made up for the time lost in the water by over-taking James after about 10km.  The bike route was innocently described as ‘undulating’ by the organisers which is was for the majority and would have been quite pleasant if it hadn’t been for two hills near the end which I would describe as ‘seriously f*cking steep.’  Bike times were Matt – 1:07:16, James – 1:10:07, Leigh – 43:31.

Then onto the run, a nice flat route along a canal towpath was pleasant after the hilly bike.  The frozen stumps that used to be feet were least pleasant but after about 9km the feeling and warmth returned.  As expected, some fast times with Matt running 40:06 and James running a 10km PB of 42:26.  Leigh ran the 5km in 23:35.

Like a gazelle (that has been mauled by a lion)

Great results overall, Leigh’s total time was 1:24:09 meaning he was 65th out of 104 and 17th in his AG.  Matt finished in 14th position (out of 120 competitors) with a time of 2:10:10 and James finished 27th with a time of 2:15:26.  Well done Leigh, Matt and James.  Thanks to Sheila for the flattering photos – have you never heard of photoshop?

James and Matt the peanut smugglers