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Sunday 9th June 2013

I was up at 4:30 and arrived at Cosmeston Park by 5:15. I racked my bike (2nd one in) and went for a look around. The race was due to start at 7am so at about 6:30 I started getting into my wetsuit and wandered over to the waters edge for the race briefing. Things were running a little late so we were all stood around in our wetsuits, barefoot until about 7:10. I was second into the water and expected it to be cold, but it really wasnt (or my feet were so cold by then that I didnt notice). I very quickly fully submerged and went for a litle swim, full front crawl, with no 'cold' issues at all. Then I swam back to 'line up' near the first boy. I had my FR110 watch in the back of my swim cap (had my thicker blue cap on, and then the provided yellow one on top of that too). The water was very green, but clear enough to easily see my feet.

Swim

The race director shouted '30 seconds' so I made sure I was near the front of the pack. It was very relaxed, with no clear start line and most people appeared to hanging back a bit - perhaps becasue it was shallow enough to stand up back there, but where I was I had to tread water. When the race started I think I was just about at the front of the pack, pressed Start on the 910xt and was off. I kept the shore to my left and headed to where I thought the first bouy was. Very quickly I realised that as I sighted the marker bouy they'd  cocked up a bit - the marker buoys were yellow - the same as every single swimmer's cap! Every time I looked up I couldn't easily discern the maker buoy from swimmers in front of me.

I could see and hear swimmers around me, but it felt like I was too far left (at least, swimmers were quite far off to my right), but I managed to get a good site of the buoy and stuck to my line. As I rounded the first marker I started feeling a little strange, constriced and not breathing right (I'd been breathing every third stroke as I do in the pool) so I decided to breath every other stroke, so always on the right as it turned out. After a while I felt better and by the second marker buoy I was back to 3 stroke breathing.

As I was sighting I was sure there were quite a few swimmers in front of me but I focused on the marker buoys. Round the 3rd marker and the final one was in sight. Again swimmers seemed to be going too far right, so I stuck to my line and finally rounded the final marker and could see the exit. I swam over and gradually the bottom came into view. As I reached the carpet I stood up and climbed out.

Overall I felt good on the swim. I did swallow a few mouthfuls of water but not too bad. I think I set off a little quick and that explains the funniness at the start. I could easily have kept swimming if the course had been longer. The course was supposed to be 750m, and my fr110 watch record 756 meters, so perfect! My time was good, good enough to beat my old 750 meter record I'd set in a pool a month or two back. The gps plot looks pretty good too, almost perfectly straight swimming, so I'm very happy with that.

I didnt touch / hit or get touched / hit by any swimmers for the whole swim.

t1

When I'd walked the t1 area earlier I noted quite a bumpy grass run over to a fireroad type unsealed road which we'd have to run along, and thought that was going to be sore on bare feet, but didnt even notice any issues during the run to the bike. I quickly found the zip tag and unzipped and got my arms out of the suit before I even entered the bike area. I quickly found my bike, took off my goggles and swim caps (and noted the watch was still running, so I stopped that quickly). I pulled the wetsuit down past my waist, but quickly realised I wasn't getting it off standing up, so sat down and pulled it off. I could definately have been quicker! Then grabbed shoes and they went on fine (no socks), glasses and helmet all no probs. Unhooked the bike, ran to the mount line and got on the bike.  Wasted several seconds fussing with the pedals until they were the right way up for the shoes.

When I'd entered t1 I saw 4 people already getting their bikes, so figured I might just be 5th.

Bike

Was breathing heavily straight into the bike, but knuckled down and I think I overtook someone in the first mile, After two miles was stil breathing pretty hard, and noticed that the gel I'd selopated to the top-bar was hanging off to one side, and worrying that I might lose it I grabbed it (I think it was too close to the saddle, would be better up by the handlebars) and ripped the end off. Managed to take the odd suck on that for the next half mile and then got back down on the drops and pedalled on. At about 2.5 miles someone flew past me, all tucked up on their areo bars, and shortly after another guy overtook, far too quick to try to keep up with. 

At the turn around point I noted there was no-one else close, but now was cycling into the wind, and uphill, which really slowed me down. Kept plugging away and passed the start point and onto the second lap. As I round that end there was still no other riders close, so I took a few drinmks from my (needlessly full) water bottle. Back onto the drops again and I finished the course with no other overtakes, so was now perhaps 6th?

Looking at the photos every rider before me had their feet out of their shoes before they stopped their bikes...

t2

Dismounted fine, racked bike, helmet off, shoes off, struggled a little to get Bare access on, the tounge of both shoes got pulled under the elastic laces, I think because my feet were still wet, so wasted a few more seconds sorting that out. (I may even have sat down again to do this? Somehow my right foot got grit onto it too). I grabbed my last gel and set off on the run. I didnt think anyone else had come into transition from the bike.

Run

Instantly breathing was heavy, and the 910xt wasnt on the right page to show me my pace so I just ran (I had managed to press lap at each point so it wason the Run section). The first mile was gently uphill. I couldnt see anyone in front, even on the longish straights, but as I passed a spectator he told me I was sixth - superb! I tried pretty hard to run a good pace, but the nile beeped past and the watch showed 6:50-something. It had been uphill so not too bad... I turned at the top and the trail went off the gravel path and onto bone dru hard packed mud - really quite nice for a trail run. I kept expecting to be overtaken, but at about mile 2 the course did a u-turn and the two runners ahead of me went by, and as I turned the runner behind me was close... and then the runner behind him appeared. 

The guy behind caught me and just for 5 seconds or so we ran together, but then he moved in front and lost me. I was worried about being overtaken again, and really tried, but my legs weren't givng me anything. As I rounded a corner I saw the finish - lokked behind and it was clear! I crossed the line in 1:09:something and the computer they had suggested I was 6th. (half an hour later I looked again and it now said 7th, but 6th in my 'category' so maybed I'd looked at the wrong colum).

 

Overall I think I gave the swim 90%, the bike 95% and the run maybe 90%. Very chuffed if  7th was my final placing. A very enjoyable morning.

More photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/samwebster/sets/72157634026582118/page2/ - scroll down to where the yellow caps start exiting the water

  fileextension 20130609 Cosmeston Tri ‑ Bike.gpx download  graph  Play in google maps play in google earth view in Bing maps view on os maps   
  fileextension 20130609 Cosmeston Tri ‑ Run.gpx download  graph  Play in google maps play in google earth view in Bing maps view on os maps   
  fileextension 20130609 Cosmeston Tri ‑ Swim.gpx download  graph  Play in google maps play in google earth view in Bing maps view on os maps   
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  fileextension Cosmeston Tri 2013 Results.xlsx     

Official results

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