Waterside Long Distance Triathlon

Adrian Wood and I travelled up to Bradwell on Sea to compete in our first long distance triathlon.

There was 3 different races taking place on the same day so you either completed 1 loop for the standard, 2 loops for the middle distance or 3 loops for the long distance. The swim was to take place in an inlet next to a marina.  The tide was coming in and the cut off time of 1 hr. and 35 minutes. Both I and Aide were anxious about the swim as we had both bailed out of the Stert Island swim where the conditions had been challenging.

All triathletes regardless of what race they were doing started together and on the first loop there was quite a lot of barging.  It’s here I learnt a valuable lesson….. Do not use sun cream on your face as it makes your goggles slide around on your face and allows salt water in which is really quite annoying.  I constantly had to stop and empty and adjust my goggles. I took the swim gently knowing that I was in for the long haul. Apart from that the swim went quite quickly and I know that my sighting was a little off and I was glad to be out of the water.  The run up to transition was a long one and as I ran up the grass bank I saw Aide in front of me. Swim time 1.5 miles in 59 minutes (although my Garmin stated a lot more, that’s bad sighting for you).  I did check as I got out and there was a few other people still swimming.

I started out on the bike and the first lap seemed so slow but there was quite a strong headwind. I had to complete 3 loops of the same course approx. 25 mile.  The roads were smooth mostly flat with a few short hills thrown in.  It was a lonely course, most of the middle distance athletes would have been well in front and I didn’t see anyone on the first loop and on the second loop I lapped a few middle distance people which gave me a lot of confidence.  On the third loop some of the long distance people caught up with me and I finished the last loop with them.  Those short hills, well on the third loop they had grown into mountains.  Garmin says 77 miles in 4 hours and 20 minutes. 

I was glad to be off the bike but at this point I wasn’t feeling too bad and I set off on the run.  I had no idea what to expect on the run and the first few miles was on a hot long road.  The route then took us off road down a track along the sea wall.  The first part was a small gravelly track and unfortunately I took a tumble quite early which was a bit of a shock to the system but carried on running with cut knees, elbows and hands.  The track then turned into a high green bank with a narrow path cut through the grass.  I wasn’t expecting it and the first lap was quite challenging. I had promised myself that I would run 2 laps 12 miles before I would consider walking.  The first lap was long, the 2nd lap seemed quicker.   Once I got to the third lap I was starting to feel the strain.  I made myself run the sea walk until I hit the green bank as that was the hardest part to run then I allowed myself to have a short walk then run again. I learnt a lot about myself during this race, it was a lonely race and not many entered into the race so you spent a lot of time on the course alone.  The finish line was in sight and I was glad to see it.  The run was 19.79 miles according to my Garmin in 3.31  I was told I was the first lady in and won a pair of trainers and a cup and free entry to next year’s race.

This is a perfect race if you’re interested in doing a full distance and the price is reasonable to.  The race was in its second year and had not attracted the same numbers as last year but I think that the Olympics might have affected it.

Aide did extremely well on his first long distance race although I cannot speak for him to whether he will return again.