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Thorpe Park Triathlon

Club member Lisa recently completed the Thorpe Park Triathlon and here is her report from the race.

I’ve never written a blog before because I was born in the Sixties! But there’s always a first for everything but as I find out not on race day!

5am alarm called, as we (myself, Cristina and Trevor Cooper) stayed near Thorpe Park it was a short drive with only a banana for breakfast as the hotel didn’t serve breakfast that early.

It was a beautiful morning, not humid as it had been the past few days and I was quite excited as it was novel place to race, it was also the National Championship.

Picking up my race number was easy and well organised. So then it was off to rack the bike and attend the race briefing. This is where we bumped in to Lucy and Glen Edwards looking great in club kit as usual, its always nice to see a friendly face or two.

Briefing over, no surprises…. until I hear shouts from the lake…. being in the last wave I was under the impression I had plenty of time but our wave had been brought forward (didn’t mention that in the briefing!). So panic ensued, trying to get the new wetsuit (yes I know …. don’t wear new kit in a race) on as fast as possible.

All good in to the water, there was some nervous faces around, but I could see Cristina wavering from the bank, ‘just swim it’s the fastest way out of the water’ I kept telling myself. The siren sounded and we were off, not being the fastest swimmer I was at the back pretty fast, it took me quite a while to get warmed up and my breathing right but the canoeists were lovely and sang to me!

I wasn’t quite last out of the water, I reached up to tug my new break away zip and it was stuck (did I mention you shouldn’t try new kit on race day). I saw Cristina and asked her to get my zip open, luckily she asked the official if it was ok and he told us in no uncertain terms that I would be disqualified if I have outside help. I had a vision of riding my bike in a wetsuit.

Somehow as I ran in to transition it came open, I was free! In a blur I was on the bike, it was a bit chilly but I was happy, my aim was to make up time on the bike and overtake as many as possible. There were six waves all together; the first four were men and the last two women, so I was very happy when I overtook three men. The course takes you outside the park on the open roads but at that time of the morning there was very little traffic.

As I came up to a roundabout my bike computer told me I was coming up to eleven miles, and in my smugness totally missed the direction arrows, so instead of turning left I went straight over the roundabout, I soon realised I had made a wrong turn and was able to correct my error only adding around mile or so to the bike course…. but to my surprise (and slight amusement) three others had followed me!

Back to transition only to find my neighbour in her rush to rack her bike had planted her big foot on my banana! They say these thing come in 3’s so if that was everything out the way I might have a good run!

It had warmed up by the time I started the run, the course is two laps taking you right through the centre of the park, and as the park was being opened to the public in an hour or so the rides were being tested so something of interest to keep my mind off of my lead legs. As I finished my first lap there was Glen, Lucy, Trevor and Cristian cheering me on. It gave me a real boost, I was quite pleased with my pace staying consistent. One more lap and I was finished.

I’m very happy to report that I have knocked seven minutes off my last sprint tri time in the previous August even with new kit and extra bike miles.

I would definitely recommend this one and I would do it again.