This event was a transfer from my original entry for Craggy Island, which now clashes with the Pentland Skyline. They way things were lying it was going to land AFTER the ArranMan Middle Distance Triathlon, which is not the order you want, but in the end injury forced we to defer that anyway. So my first Standard (or Olympic) distance event was upon me and, predictably, I wasn’t fully fit. Since running at Dechmont Law in June, what turned out to be a lack of warming down on a cold and wet day, has turned into a few weeks of achilles problems and I’ve hardly run at all, save for a couple of 5Ks on the back of two sprint triathlons in the meantime. However, the upside was my swimming was coming along, and the Monday night sessions with kindred spirits (bestpartday.blogspot) have seen me become pretty confident in the water, albeit I’m not the fastest.
I traveled down with Noel Tomnay who has recently joined the club (but was competing for Edinburgh #3) and we arrived in good time. The weather had started to turn, however, and it looked like we would be getting on the bikes in poor weather, and so it proved. The swim waves were divided in two, with various mixes of male and female and age categories lumped together and we were last out, along with the senior men. The swim was two loops of a circuit (1,500m in total) and the water was a comfortable 14 degrees. I settled in to the swim well and felt pretty good as I dragged myself out and was pleased to see there were still some swimmers behind me. Transition was the usual faff for me (must improve here, but on longer events it’s less of a factor) and we were on the bikes. The bike course was 12 and a bit miles out then a turn and back the same way. It was undulating with a few bits of climbing and also some nice fast sections. I had the aero bars on (newly purchased from Joel) and I was able to get down on them a reasonable amount. This was my strongest leg and I managed to overhaul a good number of riders (despite the hailstones – Scotland!) before heading back into bike-run transition. I wasn’t looking forward to the run, but it turned out that the achilles was a sideshow as I’d decided not to wear socks and my feet were ruined by the finish, with blood literally dripping through the soles of my shoes. The course was scenic, out and back along the edge of the loch, but with a fair amount of rough and muddy underfoot conditions (only 1 athlete managed a sub 40 out of 189 finishers) and it was over fairly quickly.
A great event, well organised (as usual) by Durty Events. Next up, the Beastie this weekend at Loch Lomond with Jim.
Results here: http://www.durtytiming.com/uploads/9/4/4/5/9445925/sml2016_draft_results.pdf