Marc Miller persuaded me (Ian George) to sign up for this race a few weeks ago once the Covid-19 restrictions had been eased allowing real races (yes you read that correctly real races) to take place. I took part in this event a few years ago when it was a draft legal format but because of Covid-19 the race had to be non-drafting with no mass starts. Fortunately the weather gods were kind as the sun was shining although it was a tad chilly and there was a rather nasty south westerly wind.
The race consisted of a 5.4k run, a 23k bike and another 2.6k run. Marc and I are now in the same age-group so it was always going to be a close race between us. Marc has always been a little stronger than me on the bike with me a little faster on the run. We have had some close races over the years most notable when Marc outsprinted me at the Club Champs a few years ago after I had spent the entire 5k run chasing him down.
Each competitor started about 3 seconds apart with Marc about 30 seconds behind me. I quickly got in to my stride and managed to finish the first run in 20.37. I got out of T1 fairly quickly and the plan was just to ride as hard as I could for the next 23k. The circuit is quite technical with some tight turns and with the wind playing a big part so I was quite pleased to finish the ride with Marc still behind but then only to be passed by Marc in T2. Instead of cycling shoes Marc had used trainers with old style toes clips meaning he was in and out of transition in a flash. I quickly caught up with Marc and pushed on as hard as I could to finish the 2ndrun in 10.13 for a total time of 1.14.21. Marc finished fairly quickly thereafter, however because of the staggered starts it was difficult to know who was the quickest. Marc ended up with a time of 1.14.53 so only a few second behind me.
For the record Marc’s splits were 22.12 for the 1st run, 40 second for T1, 39.50 for the bike, 41 seconds for T2 and 11.28 for the 2nd run. Mine were 20.37 for the 1st run, 52 seconds for T1, 41.40 for the bike, 56 seconds for T2 and 10.13 for the 2nd run.
This event also doubled up as a World Championship qualifier with us finishing 10thand 13th in our age group respectively. Incredibly the winner of the race we took part in was in the same age group with a time of 1.04.40. It gets just as hard the older you get!
A special, mention must go to Sinead Clark who also took part. She won her age group in a stunning time of 1.10.38. I remember when I used to be able to keep up with Sinead. Well done Sinead that was an amazing performance.