Not the best start to the day when you get up and find the front wheel on your ever so well prepared race bike to be as flat as the proverbial pancake,...
... this is where an age group triathlete differs from a pro. With no other tubular tyre in the house I was forced to use on of the wheels off another bike, a good wheel but not the Zipp 808 I was intending to ride if I was pro I could just swap the wheel like for like. Not to worry, onwards and upwards. Car packed up with the essential kit for the day and the ever-reliable Duckworth support crew, my girls!!
We are heading to Ulverston for the Epic Events Ulverston Triathlon, an event with about 250 competitors and let me tell you, this race is very top heavy, with numerous previous Kona qualifiers, GB age group athletes at both world and European level and a healthy dusting of athletes who generally specialise in sprint distance events, all in all a tasty field to say the least.
As for our team, three of us made the journey North, Adam Critchley and Jonathon Mann (both training for Ironman UK) decided to test themselves early season. Both of then have been going well in training and I'm sure they will have a great race this year in Bolton
Adam was off first followed by Jonathon then myself. Prior to the race briefing I did the usual networking with a couple of the other athletes and watched Adam and Jonathon set off.
Adam had a bit of a senior moment in Transition 1, when he did a couple of lengths of the bike racking trying to locate his bike, my opinion is that he still can't believe the bike he is riding hence not being able to locate the Issac!! Hope you locate it better on the 20th July mate amongst the other 40 to 50 bikes that'll be left by the time me and you get out of Pennington Flash!! Talking to Adam after he said he had a descent race and the time of 1:23:56 and position of 25th confirmed this.
As for Jonathon well he is quite the dark horse, sitting in the group during rides doing his bit on the front and taking in all the knowledge that is generally banded about on our rides. That said, he is in his second season of triathlon and is going really well. He's going to do great at Bolton I'm sure and is definitely one to watch, again a time of 1:20:24 and position of 16th speaks volumes.
Considering my race was stuck onto a very heavy week of training, and really isn't one of my better distances, went reasonably well. Basically I love to race, testing myself against the best at whatever distance is what I love the most about the sport.
The 400 metre swim was measured and with a time of 6:45 I certainly didn't put the fear of god into anyone I'm sure. Sprinting with the speed of a thousand gazelles, or jogging as it is more commonly known, I located my bike (ADAM), jumped on and got off on the 17 mile bike. I had been told the wind was on our back to the turn round point and straight away this rang true as big speeds were reached rather effortlessly. Trouble was, when I hit the turning point the opposite happened and turning the pedals became a real effort. At this point I realized that the weeks training was about to bite me right on the arse. That said, I managed OK and got to T2 reasonably well.
This is where I got the best result of the day handed to me by Adam "...Go on Joe, Liverpool won 3-2" YNWA
Get in I thought and with that I racked my bike TWICE!! (dropping it the first time) and set of on my run as Adam wandered round T2 looking for his bike again (Sorry mate, couldn't resist)
The run went really well passing 2 people and keeping a good pace. At the moment, the run leg of an event seems to be my banker. Having said that I was feeling it a bit as I passed my coach Ian Murphy near the finish, thanking him for the torture he had dished out over this week!!
I finished in a time of 1:17:32 which put me 10th overall and 4th in the V40 category. Before I could meet up with Joey and the kids though I had to help Adam find his bike so he could get home, it was all getting a little sad!!! (I feel the repercussions coming already)
I have to say we have a massive amount of talented triathletes in the North West, many of who seemed to race today, it's always fun to race against these guys and always great to see so many people giving it a go for the first time and embarking on what hopefully will be a great journey.
A big well done to Brian Foggarty on another blistering performance winning the race from a guy I'm sure I'll be having a cold one with in Kona post race!!
Epic events also ran a mini kids Aquathlon which is hopefully inspiring future triathletes and should be applauded.
And that's about it for Ulverston Take it easy and have a good week!!
"Adam your bike's over ere"...